“Keeping it Together”, $1100
A Reaction to Objectification of Women
Technology often portrays women in ways that promote common gender stereotypes. This can be seen in representations of female robots and cyborgs in movies and video games as well as the life sized sex robots that are currently on the market. These female objects are made to represent the "ideal" woman – one that is passive, silent, highly-sexualized and easily objectified. This reflects the way women are viewed in real life and only reinforces these perceptions. In reality, women are often objectified just as they are in the cyber world. In a sense, many women become robots creating a false appearance both physically with plastic surgeries, botox, and makeup, as well as psychologically. Often times when everything appears to look perfect on the outside, many are just trying to keep it together on the inside. There is a fear of speaking out that comes from a long history of silencing women through violence. Many women feel they have to sensor themselves, or “keep it together”.
“Thinking With Her Heart”, $1000
A Reaction to Gender Stereotypes
I made this painting as a reaction to one of the strongest gender stereotypes in western culture that women are more emotional than men, which has lead to biased evaluations of female leaders and women in power.
Some Supporting Quotes:
“I don't think a woman should be in any government job whatever. I mean, I really don't. The reason why I do is mainly because they are erratic. And emotional. Men are erratic and emotional, too, but the point is a woman is more likely to be”–President Richard Nixon
“Here is my dilemma...as a woman in a high public position you have to be aware of how people will judge you for being, quote,‘emotional.’ And so it's a really delicate balancing act—how you navigate what is still a relatively narrow path—to be yourself, to express yourself, to let your feelings show, but not in a way that triggers all of the negative stereotypes.”–Hillary Clinton
I think most women in general can relate to feeling this way at some point in their life. What is confidence in a man is often viewed at competitiveness in a woman. Leadership in a man is often seen as bossiness in a woman. Women have to walk a fine line between being too feminine or too masculine to gain respect. That being said, it’s not so easy for men either, especially those who were taught to hide their emotions and “be a man”. However, the ones who aren’t afraid to show emotions and who treat women with respect are the ones we need to speak out. Women will not be equal until men recognize the inequality and are vocal about it.
A Reaction to Oppression of Women
Violence against women is often against our voices and our stories. It is a refusal of our voices and of what our voice means: the right to self-determination, to participation, to consent or dissent, to live and participate, to interpret and narrate. Author Rebecca Solnit says “If our voices are essential aspects of our humanity, to be rendered voiceless is to be dehumanized.”
Powerful women have been silenced throughout history and I’m happy to be alive in a time when we are coming together and speaking out more than ever, but there is still a fear of being silenced through violence. I made this painting as a reaction to that fear. I believe that all of us have felt silenced and powerless at some point in our lives and can relate to this.
“The Balancing Act”, $1300
A Reaction to Gender Inequality
Society often comments on whether a woman can find a good balance between professional and personal life or whether she has to choose one out of the two. Can a woman have a career, be the breadwinner, raise a family, and be a wife at the same time? Throughout history, back to the times of hunters and gatherers, women were supposedly the ones who stayed home to cook and clean and take care of the family. This is a debatable notion, but one that is believed by many and still taught today. Now, women are choosing careers that were once considered “mens jobs”, and taking on the responsibilities of all of it. Even though some are able to manage this successfully, women are still being paid significantly less than men for doing the same job. There is also an imbalance in many homes where women are expected to do it all when it
comes to taking care of the home and family, even when their career is equally as time consuming and important as their partner’s.
“The Looking Glass”, $1200
A Reaction to an Imbalance of Power & Patriarchy
Virginia Woolf wrote, “Women have served all these centuries as looking glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size.” Many women are blind to the fact that they have this power and see themselves as inferior because that is what they were unknowingly taught to be. A mirror is an accurate reflection of its beholder, yet throughout history, women have served as models of inferiority who enlarge the superiority of men. Self-confidence is often attained by considering other people inferior in relation to oneself (e.g. President Trump) Men often become angry and defensive if women criticize them because they depend upon women to build them up. So, when women refuse to be inferior, men lose the status of superiority on which they have always depend upon and violence often occurs as a result.