History of Women, our rights crumbling

The image, History of Women, has become a series, quite unintentionally. I took some of the traditional women icons and regrouped them for a poolside lounge day.

The sculptures / icons, surrounding a pool, are Venus, Dianna the huntress, Queen Nefertiti, and Liberty (Leading the People, from the French Revolution). These icons, are traditionally the most internationally well known women in the world- in the western world anyway.

I hadn’t wanted to use images of any religious, political, or celebrity. The icons who were famous came with their own baggage, so those were out. Finally I turned mostly to mythology or images created by other artists.

I’d searched my art history courses to find these icons. I’m remembering now that the art history courses had their own paternalistic teachings, which I forgot when choosing the art for this painting. I had not remembered that the art history textbooks I’d studied during the early 1980’s, had maybe a handful of women artists. Not more. And people of color or lesbian artists were no where to be found. The books had been written by white men I guess, so we didn’t exist. Heck, the reason I moved from America to here was this attitude: the attitude that women’s art was less than. Less worthy of being in a museum, less worthy to be exhibited, less worthy of buying, less worthy of being written up in periodicals…and text books. As if there were no one else except white men who made art, wrote about art, exhibited and bought and sold art. Basically, less worthy of promotion and sales. My bad, I’d forgotten this all since moving to Europe.  IF I still painted, I would paint this image anew, using the icons I have discovered since my early days as an art student. But I digress…

They contrast to the goggled and sunglass wearing women who lounge and walk the foreground. The rich, casual, entitled, and blind…in this scene they ignore the icons of our history. Those who have their eyes covered. Covered eyes are the symbol I’ve used to show the women searching, yet not seeing. They are blind to their own power, because it shines from within, not to be found outside of themselves, from men or from others.

So, in each painting from the series, especially History of Women, the eyes are covered, the women searching.

I purposely used traditional iconic women, to show these women in history. It is as if the women in the foreground are surrounded by powerful women, but they are not seen. No longer seen. No longer does their energy and purpose and power attract the women in the foreground.

As if they are forgotten symbols, no longer inspiring, no longer relevant to the modern woman.

And yet, I painted this painting, History of Women, to remind us of our unique history. That of bravery, empathy, Mother Nature, the birth ability we have, and will or will not use.

There is alot in this image that are only symbols.

But as I grew, I saw so much control that should be a woman’s right, being disregarded, dismissed, or controlled by men. Husbands, fathers, brothers, governors, government…and yes, teachers.

And now, 50 years later, the rights we do have, I see crumbling before my eyes. All which was hard fought for, is bending…but not forward, towards progress and mutual respect… but backwards, towards submission.

It seems to me, that a lot of “Modern” women, think everything is ok for them- only. But the picture is bigger than that of a ‘special online group’. It spreads out from the rights we’ve gained: the right to vote, the right of an education, the right to earn equal salary, the right to work the same jobs, the right to take the Pill, the right to have an abortion.

These rights have been hard fought for over decades, not just magically appeared.

As I watch Poland, Russia, Israel, Brazil, the United States, I see the right to abortion slipping away from the grasp of women’s choices. The women who need to have this right more than the others with more money, more power, more affluence, more influence. Those who will have a way to get an abortion no matter what.

I think, So I never had a kid, so why should I fight for this right? Because I think of the other women. Women who need to have the right to choose for themselves, because those who are chosing for them, do not have the woman’s good intentions at heart but instead, have their own greed and power in mind. Is this only men who do this? Hell NO! Women who want a male sort of power, will feed lies to women as well. Supposedly creating a group to fight for our rights, but instead digging up every lie and crime and fake news to help to sign away any rights we have fought for and won.

I don’t know what the hell women are thinking to not look at the big picture. Leaning toward Alt-right governments who claim they will help to get rid of the rules of this pandemic, these ‘rights’ they feel are being taken away. Yet they miss the HUGE picture of their own rights as women, becoming the next target in the cross hairs. The next targets of wanna be rulers of Brazil, Poland, America, fill in the blank.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve seen women fight and gain “equal” rights. Rights to say what they will do to and with their own bodies. Now, I’m seeing the children of these women, those who’ve fought for years, for decades, casually, stupidly, just hand over everything we’ve won.

Please think beyond your own personal views, towards those of other women.

Your personal sexual preferences, your financial and political power, your religious views are not applicable here.

The rights of women are.

Get off your high horse and ride along side your sisters.

To buy a print of the image above, click here: History of Women. To view this image in a video, click here.

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