“Womanizer” hammer, women’s purses 2013
This piece and incident, as described below, came to mind just yesterday as did an article from last spring, I think as a result of several things currently in the news: The WaPo’s Robin Givhan’s “Let’s talk about ‘Project Runway’ stars using ‘old lady’ to describe unflattering clothes” from April 23, 2019. Fashion, women who wear it and the men who get to decide…
This grad-school piece above was a ‘first draft’ attempt to express some degree of my lifelong rage at misogyny and the males who perpetuate it. When I presented it to my class, four young-ish men, the response was muted (these guys generally did not acknowledge the facts of sexism and they practically rejected the existence of ageism), but two of them did criticize my choice of purses. I had dug around in my own stuff and had rooted around a couple of thrift stores to find an array that suggested women of different ages, styles and incomes. These classmates told me with straight faces that the purses weren’t expensive or stylish enough, that they weren’t adequate; I could tell from their expressions that they were offended by the low-end items. In other words, these young men with limited experience in life and no experience as women, concluded my piece did not work because my materials were not expensive and designer-made, not because they did not communicate my intent. The instructor did not challenge my classmates; he pointed out a couple of confusing aspects of the piece, then hurried along, clearly not wishing to spend time talking about the world women exist in. It was a lost opportunity for all of us, I think.
So, this is what I was paying for, this is what ‘the academy’ allowed, rewarded and perpetuated. This was a few years ago; I look at today’s news and wonder how much has changed…
letterpress prints of self-portrait(-ish)
foto book of the old me
one of my new ‘titles’
1/16/2020 Hey! There’s a good interview with Elinor Carucci on TheGuardian.com site about her photo work regarding late middle age. She and Ann Neumann discuss some of the (unsurprising) issues women encounter as they age and how her images examine her (rockin’!) aging body…I can totally relate to the picture of her lying in the snow–ha!–and to some of the other things she brings up, especially since I have had so much trouble getting people in the art world to even acknowledge how older women are marginalized. A good read and some good art.
12/6/19 Hey! I just another article about ageism and sexism in the workplace: Washington Post article, “Administrative assistant jobs helped propel many women into the middle class. Now they’re disappearing” Yup, older women are effed in this culture and this economy.
10/29/19 Hey! I just heard a bit of a story on Marketplace.org about the intersection of ageism & sexism in the workplace and recommend the podcast: A double whammy for older women in the workplace
Here’s work from a ‘foto album’ I’ve done recently about aging and the language people are starting to use towards and around me, cuz they’re not seeing me, lots. When someone does notice me, it is not in response to the persona I strive to project into the world, but rather, it is as a thing apart, “an old.” I do not recognize this “other,” this irrelevant shell. I keep looking for what so many others see: my new old identity.
promotional paddle fan–ride the bus!
draft poster promoting male responsibility in sexual relations
Hey, here are some things I worked on recently and had some fun with–the paddle fans are to promote bus riding and the poster is a second draft; I plan to amp up its bold color and make the text a little more readable.