Women's Rights in the Arts Kayla Caselli

By Guerrilla Girls

Women have been seeking out equality in every aspect of life for thousands of years. Even after the eruption of women's rights, feminism movements, and proving themselves in roles with great power and knowledge, we are often still denied this equality. In these paintings, pictures, and sculptures, it is evident there is still work to be done to make this hope a reality. Leaders, of any kind or sort, have a responsibility to make this notion of equality true. A leader who is just and understands the diversity of humankind will need to practice and advocate for gender equality. The wage gap between women and men is just one of the many ways women are being judged by their biological gender more than their education, skills, or performance. The expectations, the lack of confidence, and the disrespect women have gone through in their journey to triumph is depicted in the halls of the Harn Museum.

Gender bias is another -ism that has been constructed and reinforced through socialization. In this regard, people are trained to believe that women are expected to do things such as clean, cook, take care of the kids, and not work. Women are often believed to be inferior even though there is no scientific foundation to such belief. These biases have caused a dark shadow of oppression to loom over the female gender. This shadow is passed from one generation to the next, mother to daughter, and breeds unfruitful ground to grow and thrive. The women who do reach great levels of accomplishment are often faced with countless more obstacles than a man in a similar position.

Throughout the exhibit there were pieces from Italian, African, American, Russian, and Finnish female artists contributing to the notion that this issue is far more reaching than the United States. It is a global issue and one that must be taken with a high priority within global leadership circles. Although women rights may seem to be more equal to men in places like the United States and Finland, these pieces are a reminder that even in two of the most socially advanced countries in the world, the oppression still has a heavy prevalence among the female population. It is also a testament that due to globalization and the interconnected nature of our global world, no country will be able to have equal rights for women in solidarity. The effects of advocacy for or against women's rights reverberate around the globe regardless of culture, upbringing, or circumstance. This was depicted in the Women's March that took place around the world earlier this year.

By Jackie Nickerson

The pieces caused many feelings to arise for me. They invoked a sense of empowerment as I looked upon the beauty of what these women had created and the passion it took to create them. It also made me feel partially responsible for continuing to fight for the rights I feel are naturally entitled to me, my future daughters, and their daughters after that. I almost felt like it was a passing of the torch between these feminist artist who created a legacy to the new generation of female leaders. Last but not least, the most shocking for me were some of the statistics I read in the Guerilla Girls pieces. One of them was a list of how many female faculty were in the art departments at many institutions. The University of Florida made it on the list with only 19% of art faculty being female in 1994. This was a painful reminder that even at an institution which I hold dear to my heart, we still have a lot of work to do.

By: Guerrilla Girls

Expressing intercultural communication can be done in several ways including conversations, emails, letters, essays, or speeches, After attending this exhibition I have no doubt that the most emotional and motivational way to make people understand perspective is through art. It is effective and overcomes all barriers including language, culture, and bias. Art is an intersection where all people can understand, feel, and interpret similar messages without a single word spoken.

Created By
Kayla Caselli
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