Date of publication: 2017-07-09 09:01
Author: Linda Nochlin is professor of art history at Vassar. Her book on Realism (Penguin) will come out this winter. This article is based on a section of the anthology Woman in Sexist Society: Studies in Power and Powerlessness , to be published by Basic Books in April.
This erasure has taken many forms. Collections of prophetic oracles were destroyed. Texts were changed. For example, at least one woman's place in history was obscured by turning her into a man! In Romans 66:7 , the apostle Paul sends greetings to a woman named Junia. He says of her and her male partner Andronicus that they are "my kin and my fellow prisoners, prominent among the apostles and they were in Christ before me." Concluding that women could not be apostles, textual editors and translators transformed Junia into Junias, a man.
Today, two-thirds do, and women make up almost half of American 8767 s workforce. In fact, almost everywhere, including India, more women are employed, though their share is still very low. Manufacturing work, traditionally a male preserve, has declined, while jobs in services have expanded, reducing the demand for manual labour and putting the sexes on equal footing.
The assumptions behind such a question are varied in range and sophistication, running anywhere from “scientifically proven” demonstrations of the inability of human beings with wombs rather than penises to create anything significant, to relatively open-minded wonderment that women, despite so many years of near-equality—and after all, a lot of men have had their disadvantages too—have still not achieved anything of exceptional significance in the visual arts.
In spite of all these problems mentioned above, one could see that the condition of India women has improved a lot. There are now adequate educational facilities for girls and women. Special incentives and reservations are there to encourage them to study. Even in employment there are special reservations.
A man and a woman are like two wheels of a cart. The cart can move fast and safely too, when both of them pull it in the same direction and with equal strength. Hence no developing country or society can afford to ignore the role of women, if they are to progress.
Women have achieved impressive advances during the last century, but progress has been uneven across the world. The main impediments to attaining equality have often been a combination of culture and religion. In North America, women have approached near equality in commerce, business, the military, etc. The main hold-outs in North America have been conservative religious denominations, of which the largest are the Roman Catholic Church , the Southern Baptist Convention, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints , all of whom restrict or prohibit female ordination.
Man considers woman to be frail and weak by nature. She is shorter and delicate compared to the strongly build man. But man forgets that a woman is made so, so to play a specific fro in nature which a man cannot play, that is the role of the mother. In intelligence both are equal. Man is aggressive and emotional. A woman is patient, calm and receptive. She can bear more pain and has more tolerance than a man. She is stronger in conviction and in perseverance. Yet women all over the world are playing a secondary role only.
A new pattern is emerging in which both partners work outside the home but do not share equally in housework and child care as we see in Western families. In India, the paternalistic attitude of the male has not undergone much change.
This advice has a familiar ring, of course: propped up by a bit of Freudianism and some tag-lines from the social sciences about the well-rounded personality, preparation for woman’s chief career, marriage, and the unfemininity of deep involvement with work rather than sex, it is still the mainstay of the Feminine Mystique. Such an outlook helps guard man from unwanted competition in his “serious” professional activities and assures him of “well-rounded” assistance on the home front, so that he may have sex and family in addition to the fulfillment of his own specialized talent and excellence at the same time.
- A briography Chiu Chin (Qiu Jin) and women in Japan 697 first feminist 698 movement can be found in I Will Not Bow My Head: Documenting Political Women .
A version of this story originally appeared in the January 6976 issue of ARTnews on page 77 under the title 8775 Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists? 8776
In those refreshingly straightforward pre-Freudian days, Rosa Bonheur could explain to her biographer that she had never wanted to marry for fear of losing her independence—too many girls let themselves be led to the altar like lambs to the sacrifice, she maintained. Yet at the same time that she rejected marriage for herself and implied an inevitable loss of selfhood for any woman who engaged in it, she, unlike the Saint-Simonians, considered marriage “a sacrament indispensable to the organization of society.”
Yet at the same time Rosa Bonheur is forced to admit: “My trousers have been my great protectors Many times I have congratulated myself for having dared to break with traditions which would have forced me to abstain from certain kinds of work, due to the obligation to drag my skirts everywhere ” Yet the famous artist again feels obliged to qualify her honest admission with an ill-assumed “femininity”: “Despite my metamorphoses of costume, there is not a daughter of Eve who appreciates the niceties more than I do my brusque and even slightly unsociable nature has never prevented my heart from remaining completely feminine.” 78