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Re: Need insight on feminism?

Postby spacefem » Sat Jan 21, 5:19 2012

Thanks for introducing yourself! I also think octopuses are very smart.

I'd have to say it depends on the art. A while back we had this thread about some awesome photographs of men in stereotypical pinup poses (http://www.petapixel.com/2011/10/04/men ... ale-poses/). It drives a lot of questions... does an artist "see" women in other poses that aren't suggestive, or in his mind are women just sexual objects and nothing more? Would he draw men in the same way?

Finding a model who's okay with it is only part of the okay-ness I think, not the whole story.
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Re: Need insight on feminism?

Postby zibber » Sat Jan 21, 5:33 2012

As someone who technically studied art history for about five years (although for the last few, I was either distracted by philosophy or completely absorbed by gender studies), I know all too well that every individual expression of creativity is just that, an individual expression of creativity. There is a host of factors that can go into an analysis and without exception, (infinite) multiple analyses are possible. Furthermore, volition is a very complex thing that cannot be waved away like that.

Porn is a whoooole nother topic. As is all work. Do people do work because they want to or because they have to? Do you feel comfortable with everything you do for money? If you do want something, what is the nature of that wanting?

ps. It might be that your sister has a lot of interesting things to say about this, too.

pps. Might I suggest Etant-Donnees bij Marcel Duchamp as a feministically acceptable (: work?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89tant_donn%C3%A9s
Last edited by zibber on Sat Jan 21, 6:01 2012, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Need insight on feminism?

Postby Butterfly North » Sat Jan 21, 5:38 2012

Dude, your sister is part of some sort of feminist guerrilla army? Does she have a gun? Call the police.

As for your question, well, there is very little that should not be depicted as part of art. I'm not really an expert but I've seen lots of absolutely amazing art which could be described as sexually suggestive. I was renting a room last week in a house filled with this amazing african art and the piece that stood out to me as most thought-provoking did have a sexual element to it. That was part of the point the artist was trying to make. I have also seen a lot more (mainly amateur) art focusing on the sexuality of the female form that is absolute crap. Unoriginal, clichéd, the only merit to it is that it might titillate someone. I wouldn't ever presume to tell your brother that what he does isn't art, but maybe if I saw his stuff I would think 'boooooring'. Maybe I wouldn't. Maybe an understanding of feminism throws a fresh light on exactly why it's bad, maybe it doesn't, maybe your brother's art is not bad. I don't know because I haven't seen it and you haven't described it.
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Re: Need insight on feminism?

Postby monk » Sat Jan 21, 14:42 2012

Welcome to Spacefem!

My thoughts are that if the art in question is sexually suggestive vs. sexually blatant (like porn snapshots) than it can't be too bad especially if it's just provocative poses & such. How the human form is appreciated (male or female) has been a staple of art for several thousand years now and your sisters objections are more a matter of taste no matter her political leanings. The issue that she uses her political stance to dispute with your brother leads me to believe that she has a resentment towards men that is unrelated to feminism but that she is using as a club to berate your brother.

It has been my experience that women who have self labeled or received the label of Militant have anger issues with men(usually specific men, like ignorant family or abusers of some kind) that are a separate personal problem outside the scope of most mainstream feminist issues. But that is of course a personal anecdote and doesn't represent everyone.
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Re: Need insight on feminism?

Postby Rainbow Dolphins » Sat Jan 21, 16:12 2012

I think when you're creating artwork that includes sexually alluring depictions of women, you need to keep in mind the ideal of beauty you're endorsing. Is it attainable? Does it break cultural norms? Is it healthy? Is it empowering? How will it influence the viewer's opinion of women in general? Is it going to make a large percentage of the female population feel bad about themselves? In addition to consent of the models (which is a no-brainer) I think these are the major moral implications for sexually suggestive artwork, concerning the depiction of women. No, I don't think it's inherently bad to create artwork that shows women in a sexual light- almost all women have sexuality to some extent, and I actually think depicting that sexuality in an empowering light is essential to feminism.
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Re: Need insight on feminism?

Postby zibber » Sun Jan 22, 2:28 2012

Or your name's Jeff Koons and you're just kind of a dick who figured out how to play the game.
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Re: Need insight on feminism?

Postby Sonic# » Sun Jan 22, 10:34 2012

Being depicted as sexual isn't a problem. Being depicted as sexual in such a way that a woman can only be sexual, where that sexuality is an undue problem that turns into looking down on a particular group or gender - that's a problem. The general tendency to depict women more sexually than men in many forms of art, like comic books and fantasy art, is a continual problem, because these depictions imply that women are more vulnerable and defined by their sexuality, which need not be true.
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