Deep Thought Thursday: What if she were a man?

This woman’s work is exceptional. Too bad she’s not a man.

   –Edouard Manet, commenting on the work of Berthe Morisot (19th century)

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11 comments to Deep Thought Thursday: What if she were a man?

  • Lest we think that such sexism in art is obsolete, see Joanne Mattera’s blog entry on a current show at MoMA: http://joannemattera.blogspot.com/2008/03/color-with-y-chromosome-at-moma.html

  • This made me laugh. Art and politics … people have always said dumb things and they will continue to do so. Thanks for the post.

  • Hehe…this made me laugh too. I went to engineering school and worked as an engineer for six years before becoming an artist, so I’ve become quite accustomed to being the rare female in the room professionally. Luckily, this was more common in engineering (although sexism was never an issue for me) – I’ve met so many fantastic female artists at high profile shows, that I’d have a hard time saying sexism is too prevalent in the world of representational art.

  • Marvin the Mavin

    I am sure Manet said, “French Man.”

  • OMG! This still goes on EVERY day. It is obvious. I read somewhere the statistics of the ratio of men to women in the arts. There are far more woman. However, the men get far more attention and opportunities. This is a fact still in this year of 2008!

  • Call me a pollyanna, call me blind, call me a woman with a name spelled in the masculine form (no “e”), but I’ve not experienced any slights because I am a woman. That I know of. I guess you never really know. Probably alot like female chefs or male elementary school teachers.

  • our friend was awarded ‘best black poet’ at his high school…He asked the board , who are the other poets who are better ? So, they took off the word ‘black’ & he won ‘best poet’ in the high school…

  • I used to think sexism was a problem of the past until I started work as a manager in a male dominated industry. Wo! That was a challenge in ways I wasn’t expecting. I’m now an emerging artist and haven’t run into any problems, but I’ve heard from my mentors- women who have been artists for 20-40 years that it is a problem in our area.

  • Many years ago a gallery owner told me she was reluctant to represent women artists because they change their names (marriages and remarriages) and because they are inconsistent in their careers (caregivers for children and aging parents.) She accepted my work, however, and thus began a treasured relationship. I still have the same name. A woman should never change her career name. But she was right about the unevenness of my career, as it has been subordinate to my husband’s work and parental health issues. I have no answer for family needs–I wouldn’t have done things differently. Sexism is often based on predictable behavior: Understand it and deal with it intelligently.

  • I hate that it may be necessary, but for that reason I sign my work with a first initial only. There’s a chance the piece will be considered on it’s own merits before it is filtered through a societal attitude. Argh.

  • Wow…I hadn’t ever read that one…things are still somewhat the same,especially in the plein air scene. Several of us women artists have encountered that same attitude, that we aren’t tough enough or serious or don’t make a living in art..some men artists seem to form a clique…we often refer to them as “macho males”. Some of us have also run across this attitude in some male-led artist workshops. The male teacher will cater to the men he feels are serious.We have formed a network among ourselves to raise awareness about that situation. No one wants to pay $$ to be ignored while finding a workshop.