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Feminist performance art VS Black Flag, Sabbath, and other culturally masculine institutions
10.27.2015
08:50 am

Topics:
A girl's best friend is her guitar
Art
Feminism

Tags:


 
Jen Ray’s paintings of “sparring Amazonian women who inhabit decaying, semi-surrealist and strangely beautiful wastelands” evoke the late ‘70s avant-post-psychedelic science fiction worlds one would associate with Heavy Metal (the magazine, not the music), but with a decidedly feminist bent—both in subject matter, and, some might argue, in form as well. Angry, jagged, “masculine” lines are filled in with soft, “feminine” washes of color—that is if colors and lines can even be described as “masculine” or “feminine” in the 21st century.
 

Untitled. 2007. (Detail)—Click on image for larger version.
 
Ray seems to delight in playing with gender stereotypes, and it’s all the more obvious in the exceptional performance pieces she constructs to augment her magnificent large-scale works of fine art.

North Carolina born, Ray was based out of Berlin for nearly a decade before recently returning to her home state. Her exhibitions of painting and performance have been presented in Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Dusseldorf, Wolfsburg, Paris, Copenhagen, Mexico City, Amersfoort (Netherlands), and most recently, at New York’s Albertz Benda gallery

Ray’s newest exhibition, Deep Cuts, runs at Albertz Benda until November 7th. The presentation which accompanied the opening, directed by Ray, featured a performance by Honeychild Coleman and Amor Schumacher along with a chorus of women backing up détourned renditions of Public Enemy’s “Countdown to Armageddon” and The Guess Who’s “American Woman.”

In a world where the mere mention of the phrase “performance art” sends eyes rolling with assumptions of self-indulgent, pretentious, mess-making (and add the word “feminist” to that phrase and you’ll likely lose even more dudebro interest) it’s remarkable how entertaining, as well as conceptual and thought-provoking, Jen Ray’s productions are. It’s very nearly as populist as it is powerful in its approach.

Give it a couple of minutes to ramp up and stick with it till the end… this is killer:
 

 
The first of Jen Ray’s performance works that I viewed (and still my favorite) was Hits which takes Black Flag’s tongue-in-cheek 1987 macho party-anthem “Annihilate This Week” and turns it on its ass. My remark upon first viewing this piece was “this is more interesting than any (punk band’s) show I’ve been to in the past five years.” The sterile atmosphere of the gallery space and its attendees being invaded by singer “Mad Kate” out-Rollins-ing Rollins somehow makes the proceedings even more “punk.”

This may not be safe for some work environments:
 

 
Much more after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
There’s a giant pink vagina couch for sale on Craigslist
09.18.2015
02:56 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Feminism
Sex

Tags:


 
If you’re in the market for a giant pink vagina couch, boy do I have the perfect one for you! For sale in Portland for a measly $600 you can now have one of your very own.

From the listing:

Beautiful pink “vagina couch” that I made in art school and no longer have space for. The couch is large: measures 5’ 3” long, 3’ 3” wide at the middle, and stands 2’ 3” tall (and is heavy like a couch). The pics are from my portfolio and are several years old; as a result, the couch has some scuffmarks and stains, but otherwise is in excellent shape. A professional upholsterer helped me build the couch, so it is also functional and durable as a piece of furniture.

If you want to buy it, you’re responsible for hauling it.


 

 
Via Sarah Mirk on Twitter

 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Trading cards: Professions for women of the future imagined in 1902
09.18.2015
12:03 pm

Topics:
Feminism
History

Tags:


Firefighter

French artist Albert Bergeret’s collection of trading cards from 1902 titled “Women of the Future” tries to imagines women’s jobs and professions of the modern era. I’d imagine back then these were quite inspirational to young girls and women. However, I do find some of the wardrobe choices quite suspect. Especially the scantily clad military-themed ones. They seem to be more for the boys.


A member of a light-infantry corps in the French army
 

Military-fencing Master
 

Student
 

A doctor
 

A member of the Assemblée
 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Woman tries to deter cat-callers by wearing a garbage bag on the streets of NYC
09.14.2015
09:03 am

Topics:
Fashion
Feminism

Tags:


 
Cat-calling is not without gradient, and not all uninvited attention from a strange man is threatening or really even obnoxious. For example, the besuited senior citizen who once shouted “God Bless America” at me from his milk crate throne was perfectly charming—namely because he wasn’t vulgar, didn’t expect a response, and made no move to follow me. On the other end of the spectrum you have guys who trail behind you as you walk, pester you for acknowledgement, become enraged at your evasion, or just plain disgust you with graphic harassment. Yesterday I had some rando yell at me, “What that mouth for?” and while I always hope I would be quick enough to yell “for biting off dicks!” in such a situation, I was thrown by the sudden shock of being screamed at by a stranger, and I didn’t gain my composure quickly enough for a decent riposte.

So how is one to avoid cat-calling? Comedian Jessica Delfino tried wearing a garbage bag, and it kind of worked! I have to say though, I see a few fatal flaws to her experiment’s conditions. One, this does not look like a trash bag. I mean kudos on the draping and everything, but that is a very fashion-forward interpretation of the medium—even without the figure-flattering benefit of the patented cinch sack! Two, she’s obviously traveling with a cameraman, and despite her attempts to be discreet, you’re way less likely to get cat-called when you’re with a friend, especially a male friend with a camera. Finally, I feel like there has got to be a dude out there with a trash bag fetish for whom this would only be a serious turn-on.

Still, her initial results are compelling, and further trials are encouraged. Personally I’d like to explore the repellent properties of a pregnancy prosthetic—again, you’d get some fetishists, but you can’t avoid every perv.
 

 
Via Dazed

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Blood, Sweat, and High Heels: Vintage photos of women boxing in high heels
08.18.2015
12:17 pm

Topics:
Feminism
History
Sports

Tags:


1920s
 
Occasionally, while searching for photos and images for Dangerous Minds, I will sometimes—often—inadvertently stumble across remarkable images that have absolutely nothing to do with my original search. Like women boxing in high heels! Apparently women boxers can throw blows in the ring like men, except we can ALSO do it in pumps!

Eat their stiletto dust, Floyd Mayweather!


1920s
 

From the 1939-1940 records of the New York Public Library’s digital archives
 

Clara Bow, 1927
 

1920s
 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Barbie Swiss Army knife
08.18.2015
11:09 am

Topics:
Art
Design
Feminism

Tags:


 
American parents have become increasingly nervous about sharp objects over the generations, and I think it’s time the culture eased up a bit. I’m not saying toddlers should be wielding machetes (although that is totally a thing in quite a few cultures), but a simple pocket knife was a pretty significant part of my own childhood (even if its actual use was limited to absentmindedly whittling sticks to points). At the same time, there are aspects of more traditionally “girly” toys that I think are great too, so why not combine them in one handy-dandy multi-tool/toy? Behold, the DIY Barbie Swiss Army knife, brought to you by Instructables user Mikeasaurus, who says of his unholy union:

Empower young girls to expand their horizons beyond playing with stereotypical gender reinforcing toys by combining a everyone’s favourite pink girl-centric doll with something a little stabby.

A multi-tool is hidden inside the torso of the Barbie, where the blades can be pulled out from a slit in her side. The body also separates at the waist to reveal a screwdriver hidden in the legs. The two halves of this doll are connected by magnets, so she holds together when fully assembled. Barbie never looked so good!

I doubt these are actually particularly safe for kids—a knife mounted in a doll’s abdomen is probably a bit less stable (and therefore more dangerous) than the knife alone, but it’s so darn cute and creepy, I may just have to make one to keep in my purse. You know… for protection.
 

 
Via Instructables

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
‘Sexism,’ a disturbingly accurate board game from 1971
07.31.2015
11:02 am

Topics:
Activism
Feminism
Games

Tags:

Sexism board game - 1971
Sexism. A board game from 1971
 
Sexism was a board game, conceived back in 1971 by Carolyn Houger, a resident of Seattle, Washington. With the creation of Sexism, Houger hoped to “bring out the humor in the Women’s Liberation movement.” The idea for the game came to Houger after her four-year-old daughter returned home after playing the card game “Old Maid” with her friends and made the statement, “wouldn’t it be terrible to be an old maid?

According to the folks over at Board Game Geek, the goal of Sexism is to move from the “doll house,” to the White House (flash-forward 44 years and we’re still waiting, but I digress). The first player to move into the White House, wins. Sexism is compelling on so many levels it’s difficult to know where to start. Just take this game board square from Sexism called “Abortionist.” The square itself depicts a pregnant woman and a clothing hanger(!) with the following game instructions if you land on it:
 

 

The bill didn’t pass.

Go to the Maternity Ward

Laundry Service and Part-time You Know What!

 
Sexism encourages players to play as their opposite gender as it is known to produce “hilarious role-playing situations.” So, if you win as a “woman” the game will instruct the other players that, “You are now a person, and must be treated as such for 24 hours. Non-winners may be treated as usual.” If you play as a “man,” you are greeted by a cartoon of a large thumb pushing a woman down with the following message: “Congratulations, you’ve won — or have you?” Wow.
 
White House or Playboy Club game squares from Sexism
Decisions, decisions. White House or Playboy Club game squares from Sexism

When it comes to the cards that you might draw while playing Sexism,  playing as a woman you might draw a card that says “Go back two steps because you’re a woman. You’d just as well get used to this.” Whereas a man might draw a card that makes this incredible statement:

I staunchly defend motherhood, God and country. I’m against giving more money to ADC (Aid to Dependent Children) for each child. I’m against abortions. I’m against women earning as much as men. I’m against paying taxes for free child care centers. Go ahead three steps.

In an interview with Houger from 1972, she said that her intention wasn’t to create an “anti-male” game. In addition to enlightening folks to Women’s Lib, Houger had high hopes that the game would start a dialog about sexism, as well as help people understand that both men and women should be treated as “people.” Houger also said she wanted to highlight the fact that women can also be sexist, by “reinforcing sexism” with their actions or attitudes, especially when it comes to assigning gender-specific roles - a point that she makes rather directly on many of Sexism’s game squares.

More on Sexism after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
What if that Human League song were only ‘you were working as a waitress in a cocktail bar’?
07.30.2015
04:39 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Feminism
Music

Tags:


 
File under “so dumb it’s genius.”

You Tuber svantana has reduced the lyrical content of Human League’s 1981 hit “Don’t You Want Me” to the catchiest and, perhaps, most thematically important line: “You were working as a waitress in a cocktail bar.”

The gist of the entire song boils down to that anyway, right?

At 1:35 into the song Susan Ann Sulley takes up her half of the duet with Philip Oakey and responds “I was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar, that much is true. I was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar. I guess it’s just what I must do.”

What’s clearly important here is that both sides understand that the woman was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar.
 

 

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Feminist psychodrama ‘Felt’ examines sexism, gender and violence
06.25.2015
09:35 am

Topics:
Art
Feminism
Movies

Tags:

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When I was a university student there was a slogan chanted by the more militant feminists:

All men are rapists.

Their suggested solution to this problem was to “Cheese wire all sexist bastards.” (i.e. cut off all male genitals). It was a provocative response but revealed how many women perceived the world as a hostile place, experiencing sexism, chauvinism and oppression on a daily basis. Move on three decades and little appears to have changed. Today figures were released by the Crown Prosecution Service in the UK that show a record number of prosecutions in England and Wales for violence against women and girls. The figures include cases of rape, domestic violence and honor killing, while figures released by the University of Michigan show that more than 20% of female students experienced “some sort of nonconsensual sexual behavior in the past year,” with around 12% experiencing “nonconsensual sexual penetration.” It’s dispiriting reading to think for all the progressive politics, feminism and political correct agendas, little has really changed in the relationship between men and women.
 
001amyfltroom000.jpg
Amy Everson in opening sequence of ‘Felt.’
 
A new film Felt by documentary filmmaker Jason Banker and artist Amy Everson highlights the issue of endemic sexism and the extreme responses it can inspire. Felt is the story of a young woman Amy (Amy Everson) who is disconnected from the world and finds her everyday life is a “fucking nightmare.” She is (apparently) recovering from some kind of sexual trauma—what this may be is never made explicit—other than her character saying around halfway through the movie that women are brutalized by men and invalidated for not having a dick. To cope with the sexism and hostility she feels around her, Amy designs herself a “man suit”—think Buffalo Bill’s skinsuit, but this one’s made of nylon—in which she parades around her secret hideaway in a local wood—experiencing her new identity and having dreams of being a “superhero.” Her close female friends think something is wrong and try to help, but Amy believes she is just expressing herself—or exorcising her demons—as she thinks best.
 
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You kinda feel this ain’t gonna end well…
 
The men and women around Amy tend to be little more than caricatures: they’re either dumb or douchebags. An emo rambles on about roofies and rape; a Christian woman wants to pray for Amy; a friend’s abusive boyfriend, an engineer, demands respect for being, well, an engineer, a useful part of society and a man; the photographer objectifies women but is disgusted by their bodily functions (farting); and so on. We are dropped into this world without any back story—the man suit appears first appears around fifteen minutes in—or a real emotional connection with Amy and therefore Felt demands the audience bring a lot of understanding/sympathy for Amy and her experience of the world.
 
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If you go down to the woods today…
 
Felt has the feel of a hybrid, which in essence it is. Originally intended as a music video, the film developed into a documentary about Amy Everson and her art, which is inspired by her own sexual trauma, before becoming an improvised film. Being improvised means some of the actors appear to be merely reacting to Amy’s performance rather than presenting real characters.

Everson gives a very good performance, though at times it seemed as though I was watching Everson being Everson rather than Everson being “Amy,” and there is good support from the cast especially by the scene-stealing Roxanne Lauren Knouse. Jason Banker’s direction (and camerawork) is highly assured and very impressive—the opening montage of images is like a short art film. Overall, Felt is a feminist tale for today and has many good things to recommend it. You can judge for yourself as Felt goes on release from tomorrow details here.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Exotic dancers of the 1890s
06.18.2015
04:52 pm

Topics:
Dance
Feminism
History

Tags:


 
I love these photographs dated around 1890 of popular burlesque performers in their heyday. What you notice immediately is how different they look from today’s standards of exotic dancers. No breast implants, collagen injections, butt implants, lip injections, cheek implants, liposuction and this damned list could go on and on…. Of course those options didn’t exist back then, so who really knows if any of these women would have opted to surgically change themselves.

I just dig these specific women who are totally comfortable in their own natural skin whilst celebrating their beauty, femininity and sexuality. They’re refreshing.


 

 

 

 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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