(I hope this title won’t reject anyone from reading what I have to say on this matter. Give it a change guys)
I never bothered to define myself as a feminist.
Not because i had anything against feminism, but mainly because I have yet to experience the degradation of women on my own flesh, and would never let anyone the opportunity of humiliating me for the sole reason of my gender.
The first time chauvinism and sexism kicked me hard in the stomach was about three days ago.
As I was surfing the web, minding my own business (latest Tony awards videos, House compilations and co.), I came across an article regarding an artistic performance in the D’orsey museum in Paris (the article: http://tinyurl.com/nxn2mjp) . An artist named Deborah De Robertis exposed her vagina in some bizarre tribute to a famous 19th century oil painting by Gustav Courbet called “The Origin of the World”. She invited the visitors to come and stare at her vagina.
“Mah, that’s sh*t” I thought. As a girl studying classical music i was educated to appreciate only very high standards of art.
That was definitely no art for me.
The audience’s reactions to the spontaneous leg-spreading greatly differed, as you would expect, and were on the spectrum between absolute repulsion and applause.
Being the bored but somewhat curious 17 year- old that I am, I went on to Youtube to read some comments on the video documenting this event (the video: http://tinyurl.com/nb5t2rh).
Instead of being amused by some of the comments, I found myself being infuriated by almost all of them.
Why do I ever care, I wondered,
something burned hard in my stomach. Some sort of yet unfamiliar pain.
Soon after reading all of the comments, I realized the true purpose of De Robertis’s performance.
“Shave it b*tch! Since when its showing your c*nt to people “art””
“damn, someone needs to mow their lawn”
“Clapping people are even more ridiculous than this poor woman who thinks that art is showing her ugly vagina in public.”
“just freaking SHAVE already!!!!!!”
and those are just from the first page.
The key word is hypocrisy.
We have come to a painful point in time where painted vaginas are “acceptable” and “bearable” to watch, because, well, it’s art. Yet actual, concrete vaginas are too ugly and unesthetic to bear. not to mention presenting it in a museum borders on a crime against humanity.
Those people so pleased with themselves who define themselves as “liberal” ,”educated” and “broad minded” are nothing more than hypocrites, as they can’t face and tolerate a sexual organ of the human body outside the canvas in a museum, or on a movie screen.
People were so offended by this performance.
Well, I am offended by those who are feeling it so natural and comfortable to refer to the female sex’s genitalia as “ugly vaginas”. This is blatant sexism, but people are preferring to prettify it and stay “politically correct”.
I am asking you how “liberal” people who are holding in pseudo humanistic values, can humiliate half of this planet so naturally, as if it’s totally legitimate.
The female genitalia has been deeply demonized by a male propaganda that goes centuries back in history, presenting it as an organ so repulsive and somewhat terrifying, that even women are feeling alienated from their own sexual organs. This is true even in 2014.
Vaginas have lost their legitimacy. Thus, female sexuality is also illegitimate. This is the perception our advanced, modern society holds.
This was a hard realization to me, that I, as a human being, am tolerable as long as I don’t show any confidence in my sexuality. I am forbidden, by social norms, to think that the fact the I have a vagina is a natural part of my identity as a woman.
De Robertis came to show that this conception of female sexuality has never left, even though we would like to believe it, as there are many erotic paintings, sex scenes in movies and tv shows out there. That was supposed to give an “ok” to female sexuality, right?
well, as long as people keep referring our bodies as objects who can be used, humiliated and thrown away, we have done absolutely no progress.
And this is art.
It’s not a cheap provocation because art is not there to please you.
Art is ever-changing and is meant to evoke emotion, whether it is happiness or anger.
Art criticises and challenges reality and our social perception.