Feminism | Posted by Rikke Bank on 12/23/2016
My Quest To Make Lady Diana Into A Feminist Monument
The Princess Diana statue
We’re all familiar with equestrian statuary, or the full-sized equestrian statues that commemorate historic figures – most frequently emperors, rulers, or military commanders. These statues have existed since at least archaic Greece and ancient Rome and are presumably created to praise men who have honored their country by winning wars and conquering new land at the cost of a lot of lives. These statues are difficult and expensive objects for any culture to produce, so they’re hardly common. And yet, even though this discipline has existed for more than two thousand years, there are only 36 equestrian statues with female riders in the entire world.
When I started working with the Berlin-based artist Poul R. Weile, he told me his vision: to create an equestrian statue …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Emma Havighorst on 07/14/2016
Does Fergie’s “M.I.L.F. $” Music Video Have A Feminist Message?
The first time I heard Fergie’s “M.I.L.F. $,” I genuinely thought it was a joke.
“Wow, Fergie’s just desperately trying to stay relevant,” my friend declared. I laughed in agreement. The song’s blatant auto-tuning, remixed dance track, and seemingly nonsensical lyrics made her observation obvious to me.
But then the same friend and I watched the song’s music video. The “M.I.L.F. $” video left us staring at the screen in shock, wondering how such a horrible song had somehow turned into a tongue-in-cheek, clever presentation of an arguably feminist message.
To break it down, the music video’s message is this: Yes, we are mothers. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t also work and make money and provide for our families. Though I had initially written …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Gabby C on 03/25/2016
We Need To Address The Music Industry’s Gender Gap
Female musicians rock.
“I’m tired of men who aren’t professional or even accomplished musicians continually offering to ‘help me out’ (without being asked), as if I did this by accident and I’m gonna flounder without them,” the Canadian singer Grimes wrote in a now-infamous tumblr post about sexism she has experienced. “I have the best job in the world but I’m done with being passive about any kind of status quo that allows anyone to suffer or to be disrespected.”
Though Grimes wrote this in 2013, it seems little has changed. Although Lana Del Rey made the cover of the issue featuring the list, of the 127 artists featured on last year’s Billboard Power 100 List, only 15 were female. Less than 5% of established producers in the world are …
Pop-Culture | Posted by David G on 02/10/2016
Why Beyoncé’s “Formation” Video Is So Important
This past Saturday, Beyoncé released the first new song from her upcoming album, entitled “Formation.” The song, and accompanying video, may be the most important works the star has released. If her 2013 eponymous album was the birth of her understanding of self empowerment and goal to empower other women, “Formation” indicates that she will only build on this mission and continue to forcefully declare her political views.
Many things make “Formation” special, but perhaps chief among them is Beyoncé’s evisceration of the respectability politics to which African American women are often subjected. The song can be interpreted as a much-needed declaration of defiance, both against the stereotypical, cultural expectations for African American women and against the idea that African-American women aren’t, and cannot be, leaders in …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Liz L on 02/5/2016
How Grimes Is Daring Music Critics to Dismantle Hierarchies in Pop Music
When I met Grimes — the project of DIY musician, writer, performer, and producer Claire Boucher — after her recent Nashville concert, our first exchange was one of unabashed praise. “Your voice,” she said to me. “It is exceptional.”
As a grown woman with the distinctly high-pitched (frequently mimicked) speaking voice of a 3-year-old on Christmas morning, Grimes’ compliment was utterly validating. Naturally, I cried a little, thanked her a lot, and proceeded to truthfully share my gratitude for her work with the same utter sincerity that she presents within her own striking musical oeuvre.
Grimes is completely unapologetic in her art production and presentation of her own self-engineered pop stardom. The musician conjures visions of a sci-fi galactic queen warrior. She is a keen engineer of sound and …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Chloe H on 01/15/2016
How Young, Female Photographers Are Carrying On A Powerful Legacy
There’s a strong legacy of female photographers.
The Musée de l’Orangerie is a renowned art gallery in Paris, France. Although it’s best known for housing Monet’s “Water Lilies,” the gallery is currently featuring an exhibit entitled “Who’s Afraid of Women Photographers? 1839-1919.” I was fortunate enough to see the exhibit, which includes the work of 75 female photographers — some famous, some unknown. The featured artists managed to overcome the sexist expectations and prejudices that were part and parcel of the era in which they worked and laid the groundwork for an industry in which female artists have continued to thrive.
Although relatively little attention has been paid to their work, many women have thrived as photographers over the past century. While many women discovered the art form …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Morgan K on 05/15/2015
Margaret Keane and the Countless Invisible Female Artists
A Keane painting
Our generation may not be too familiar with the haunting “Keane Eyes” which were ubiquitous in the 1950s and 60s. Those dark, doe-eyed figures found their way into print and media, living rooms and coffee shops countrywide. But it wasn’t until Tim Burton brought light to the reality in his biographical drama Big Eyes that the truth about those paintings supposedly created by Walter Keane was made clear to young people.
Margaret Keane – Walter’s wife – spent years painting the “Big Eyed Waifs.” The artist’s husband convinced her that using his name would increase the paintings’ popularity. But as the fame of the paintings — as well as Walter himself — grew, so did Margaret’s anger and isolation. She finally reached a breaking point and came …
Feminism | Posted by Cheyenne T on 04/15/2015
Meet The Teens Using Intersectional Art As Feminist Activism
First I found myself through art. Then I found myself through feminism. Finally, I found myself through activism. I was confused but ambitious in high school and passionately tried to learn everything I could about the world. Even though I realized that my peers were also developing their own senses of self, I still desperately wanted to understand who I was, to feel comfortable with myself and understand my place in the world.
Art was my escape because it didn’t require me to stay inside my body. I could be anyone and present anything to the world. It wasn’t necessarily me, but some creation of my own. I was frustrated by the person I was told I needed to be in order to be successful and taken seriously …