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Women art and power and other essays
"Although created at about the same time, the flow of line portraying feminine grace, tenderness and animation of the group of women on their way to worship the bodhi tree in The Raja with his Retinue is years in advance of the earliest Yakshas and Yakshis carved on the stupa of Bharhut. Even the famous wood nymphs of the archaic sculpture on the railing of the stupa, which belong to first century BC and are known for their charm as they entwine themselves around the trunks of trees do not attain the elegance of the dancers... The Ajanta figures were already moving away from certain features of archaic art, such as complete frontality and symmetrical immobility, at a time when sculpture in relief was still struggling to get out of the static mould... They were perhaps in the vanguard of the aesthetic movement and therefore in advance of their time."
Use the interactive map to compile information on the representation of women in Congress, such as the number of women who served from a particular state or region and when they served.
Women, art, and power : and other essays / Linda …
Following a worldwide feminist movement in the later 20th century, women became a renewed topic for art and art history, giving rise to gender analysis of both artistic production and art historical discourse. Gender is to be understood as a system of power, named initially patriarchal and also theorized as a phallocentric symbolic order. A renewed and theoretically developed as well as activist feminist consciousness initially mandated the historical recovery of the contribution of women as artists to art’s international histories to counter the effective erasure of the history of women as artists by the modern discipline of art history. This has also led to a rediscovery of the contributions of women as art historians to the discipline itself. Gender analysis raises the repressed question of gender (and sexuality) in relation both to creativity itself and to the writing of art’s necessarily pluralized histories. Gender refers to the asymmetrical hierarchy between those distinguished both sociologically and symbolically on the basis of perceived, but not determining, differences. Although projected as natural difference between given sexes, the active and productive processes of social and ideological differentiation produces gendered difference that is claimed, ideologically, as “natural.” As an axis of power relations, gender can be shown to shape social existence of men and women and determine artistic representations. Gender is thus also understood as a symbolic dimension shaping hierarchical oppositions in representation in texts, images, buildings, and discourses about art. It is constantly being produced by the work performed by art and writing about art. Feminist analysis critiques these technologies of gender while itself also being one, albeit critically seeking transformation of social and symbolic gender. The analysis of gender ideologies in the writing of art history and in art itself, therefore, extend to art produced by all artists, irrespective of the gendered identity of the artist. Women, having been excluded by the gendering discourses of modern art history, have had to be recovered from an oblivion those discourses created while the idea of women as artist has to be reestablished in the face of a an ideology that places anything feminine in a secondary position. Women are not, however, a homogeneous category defined by gender alone. Women are agonistically differentiated by class, ethnicity, culture, religion, geopolitical location, sexuality, and ability. Gender analysis includes the interplay of several axes of differentiation and their symbolic representations without any a priori assumptions about how each artwork/artist might negotiate and rework dominant discourses of gender and other social inflections. The postcolonial critique of Western hegemony and a search for non-Western-centered models of inclusiveness that respect diversity without creating normative relativism are driving the tendency of the research into gender in and art history toward an as yet unrealized inclusiveness regarding gender and difference in general rather than the creation of separate subcategories on the basis of the gender or other qualifying characteristics of the artist. The objectives of critical art historical practices focusing on gender and related axes of power are to ensure consistent and rigorous research into all artists, irrespective of gender, for which a specific initiative focusing on women as artists in order to correct a skewed and gender-selective archive has been necessary, and to expand the paradigm of art historical research in general to ensure that the social, economic, and symbolic functions of gender, sexual, and other social and psycho-symbolic differences are consistently considered as part of the normal procedures of art historical analysis.
The earliest images of women in India (excluding those of the Indus valley civilization) are a set of Mauryan period figurines (Dhavalikar, 1999: 178-9). These figures are not the first art objects to represent the feminine. Leaving aside the figures of the Harappan civilization which appear to be stylistically and culturally unconnected with anything in the historic period, there are terracotta images, believed to represent fertility or mother goddess figures. These are not images, they are symbols. They do not pretend to represent the physical impression of the female form.
In Women, Art, and Power, and Other Essays.
I am indebted to an article by Nitin Kumar (2007) which encapsulates the key point here. In discussing a passage in the Ramayana in which the beauty of the heroine Sita is said to exhibit remarkable beauty despite her desperate condition he remarks 'This description however, puts focus only on the physical, and rightly so, for the physical sphere is the locus of the manifestation of internal qualities'. This is a central point in understanding not just the aesthetic but how it must have impacted upon women in ancient India. Piety, fidelity, learning, spiritual achievement were valued, but unlike the modern world which sees their attainment as quite independent from physical beauty people (or at least poets) in India expected inner achievements to be expressed in physical forms, and likewise physical form was taken to be a sign of inner achievement.
In the wake of the Civil War, however, reformers sought to avoid marginalization as “social issues” zealots by focusing their message exclusively on the right to vote.3 In 1869 two distinct factions of the suffrage movement emerged. Stanton and Anthony created the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA), which directed its efforts toward changing federal law and opposed the 15th Amendment on the basis that it excluded women. Lucy Stone, a one-time Massachusetts antislavery advocate and a prominent lobbyist for women’s rights, formed the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA).4 Leaders of the AWSA rejected the NWSA’s agenda as racially divisive and organized with the aim to continue a national reform effort at the state level. Although California Senator Aaron Sargent introduced in Congress a women’s suffrage amendment in 1878, the overall campaign stalled. Eventually, the NWSA also shifted its efforts to the individual states where reformers hoped to start a ripple effect to win voting rights at the federal level.
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In 1915 Carrie Chapman Catt, a veteran suffragist since the mid-1880s and a former president of the NAWSA, again secured the organization’s top leadership post. Catt proved to be an adept administrator and organizer whose “Winning Plan” strategy called for disciplined and relentless efforts to achieve state referenda on the vote, especially in nonwestern states.9 Key victories—the first in the South and East—followed in 1917, when Arkansas and New York granted partial and full voting rights, respectively. Beginning in 1917, President Wilson (a convert to the suffrage cause) urged Congress to pass a voting rights amendment. Another crowning achievement also was reached that year when Montana’s Jeannette Rankin was sworn into the 65th Congress (1917–1919) on April 2. Elected two years after her state enfranchised women, Rankin became the first woman to serve in the national legislature.
Free Othello Women papers, essays, and research papers.
Despite the new momentum, however, some reformers were impatient with the pace of change. In 1913 Alice Paul, a young Quaker activist who had experience in the English suffrage movement, formed the rival Congressional Union, later named the National Woman’s Party.8 Paul’s group freely adopted the more militant tactics of its English counterparts, picketing and conducting mass rallies and marches to raise public awareness and support. Embracing a more confrontational style, Paul drew a younger generation of women to her movement, helped resuscitate the push for a federal equal rights amendment, and relentlessly attacked the Democratic administration of President Woodrow Wilson for obstructing the extension of the vote to women.
Women in Congress: An Introduction
There is a danger that attempts to interpret an 'Indian' experience from these sources will over-simplify and universalize the experience of women. Women did not have a singular, universal experience of life. The experience of prostitutes (with their greater financial independence) was not the same as that of house wives (who exchanged independence for social respectability) or of nuns. It varied with their wealth, their education, between rural and urban environments. And so their experience of art, and the ways in which they were affected by artistic stereotypes of women must have varied. For example, Sanchi and Bharhut may have helped shape the minds of the richer urban patroness for whom it was a regular part of their life, but may rural, Hindu women of low income probably went their entire lives without visiting a site like that. Their experience through smaller, locally produced terracottas will have been very different. Whatever the experience, it will have mattered very much because for all these women art shaped the ideas of beauty, ideas which constituted an important part of what it was to be female in ancient India.
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