The Judy Chicago Dialogue Portal
The Judy Chicago Dialogue Portal was born from Penn State’s 2014 campus-wide, semester-long celebration of Chicago’s archive that concluded with a weekend-long symposium at which Chicago delivered a timely, call-to-action lecture based on her new book “Institutional Time: A Critique of Studio Art Education.” The first of four parts, “An Invitation from Judy Chicago,” features the video of Chicago’s Penn State lecture, discussion questions formulated by the artist, a video compilation of her teaching, and a multimedia presentation by Dr. Karen Keifer-Boyd analyzing Chicago’s pedagogy. TO JOIN THIS IMPORTANT DIALOGUE & REQUEST ACCESS FOR YOU & STUDENTS send a request on the contact page.
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1. In What about Men, Judy Chicago’s husband argues that men have to allow women rights and give them a voice. Men have power and privilege and do not want to give up their power;which is why women are forced to ask permission and be granted opportunities.
2. It is very hard to find men involved in women’s movements because there are very few photographs showing men actively participating. There is no real documentation because of controlled history and very few men wanted to be associated with the women’s movement.
nice one … men are trying
1. I think that men can have a role in the struggle for women’s equality if they are willing to come to terms with the truth of sexism, that men have been putting women down throughout history. I think that if men are truly committed they will be very helpful to the feminist movement. We live in a patriarchal society so having true support from men could be beneficial and bring attention to the movement.
2. I think there is a lack of education about the men that are active in feminism because overall there is a lack of attention on feminist movement. Most people are unaware of the numerous feminist artists and leaders that have made a difference for women in todays culture and I think that men who support feminism are affected by that blanket statement.
1. I definitely believe that men play a role in the struggle for women’s equality. Without the men’s effect on the issue, there wouldn’t really be a significant gender equality issue. While some women do contribute, men are the prominent cause for gender inequality, as today’s society is patriarchal and women are seen as inferior and less powerful. Men continuously put women down and make women feel like they are only good for sex and housework. If the men and women that contribute to sexism and putting women down realized that the sexes are not seen as equal would help support the cause, then men and women can live as equal.
2. I think that there is a lack of education about the men active in the feminist movement because the number of men that support feminism is probably relatively small, and there is also not enough attention drawn to feminism as a whole. Due to of the lack of attention that feminism has, the men also become ignored.
1. I believe that men have a large and extremely vital role in the struggle for women’s equality. Men have founded and built the patriarchal society we live in today, and in order to give women equality, it is important to have the support of men who recognize the need for change and are willing to speak out to promote such a change. Men play a very important role in the fight for women’s equality because the stereotypical roles that we find in society today and are trying to change are not just an issue for women. There is a stereotype of a woman as a stay-at-home mom who takes care of the children, cleans, and cooks, while the man goes to work; this stereotype is being broken but cannot be done without men, who change it by taking on responsibilities that have been stereotypically female. Another stereotype that is typically seen, especially in films, is that it is “strange” for a man to be a nurse, yet more and more men are entering this profession, and changing the way that people think about this stereotype. Feminism has been stereotypically known as a hatred of men, but it is not, and in order to change this way of thinking, men must recognize that feminism is not built upon the hatred of men. When reading this question, I thought of Emma Watson’s HeforShe campaign that she presented to at the United Nations, in which she discussed how men are involved in women’s fight for equality, and she discussed how gender equality benefits men as well because gender diversity, especially in the workplace, can create a better environment and create more success.
2. The lack of education about men active in feminist activism is an issue, but I believe that is because of many different factors. I believe that one factor may be that men may not openly express their involvement in feminist activism because of the societal pressures found in patriarchal society, and the fear of being judged by others. Also, I believe that although the number of male feminists is increasing, male feminists are largely outnumbered by female feminists today, and therefore are not immediately thought of or associated with female activism as much as women are. Additionally, in an academic setting, when speaking of the feminist movement, we are primarily taught of the accomplishments of women and the strides they have made in working toward gender equality, and the prominent figures we learn of are rarely men.
I am glad to see the responses to the question about men’s role in women’s struggle for equality and am curious to know if the men who have responded have felt welcomed by the feminist community. There were several comments about the way in which my husband, photographer Donald Woodman, supports me. If the roles were reversed (as they sometimes are) and I support him, no one comments on it. Why does it still seem unusual for men to be supportive of women? Also, in relation to my question, before Donald and I met and married (thirty years ago) he felt rejected by the women’s community when he offered to become involved in installing “The Dinner Party” in its first alternative exhibition in Houston. As a result (as I often quip), he had to marry me to install “The DP”. Seriously, however, I’d be interested to know if this situation has changed and if men now feel welcome to participate in women’s studies classes, feminist groups, etc. Judy Chicago
It seems to me that men’s role may be viewed on several levels–active support and participation in changing institutional sexism and the collective struggle against such sexism, active support for women’s individual struggles against sexism (such as mentioned in Judy Chicago’s October 24 post in relation to her husband and evolution as men toward a more enlightened expression of masculinity, or perhaps, humanity. All would seem to be necessary and important roles. I agree with jillianjaffe’s comment that men’s role in the feminist struggle is not well-reported because that struggle has been ignored or downplayed for years, notwithstanding some very public expressions of support and some progress.
I am addressing this question in relation to orchestras. Orchestras are hierarchal patriarchal systems. Women who are section musicians, principals or even conductors must participate according to male dominant rules. The inclusion of women in orchestras has not resulted in a feminization of the field. The patriarchal nature of orchestras, one in which the conductor acts as a dictator, does not lend itself to collaboration, and is not conducive to the type of exploration and experimentation that leads to creativity. Instead, orchestras are rigid and follow traditions that have come to seem arbitrary and stilted to many people. Instrumental music programs in schools feed into this hierarchal approach, and focus on competitions and contests, leaving little time for teachers or students to reflect on the music they are learning and performing. The intense competitive aspect of instrumental music programs allows for very little creative exploration. Because of this the creative component of music making is largely left out of both orchestra organizations and the classroom. I would love to see a radical change in how music is rehearsed and performed, giving students the permission to experiment with interpretation, performance delivery and composition. If the male structure of performances was changed to reflect a more collaborative experience, women students might find ways to take leadership roles in choices around music making and thus transform the orchestra field.
While watching, What About Men, it was interesting to see how men could have such a large impact within the feminist movement. There are several levels in society, whether it be connected with gender, religion, race, ethnicity, etc. It is assumed and accepted by many that the only people who really have a voice, that is taken seriously is; straight, white, men. Though they have been given the privilege of a voice, it is important that it is used as an active participant for the movement. It is discussed in the video about; how important it is to acknowledge that voice men have and how it can be used to fight for and with women. It is important for men to stand by women during this fight for equality, and use the powerful voice they’ve been given. I feel that the video implies that men have just as much of a role in the feminism movement, as women do. As men stand along side women in this fight against sexism, they are also benefiting themselves. Just like women have specific ‘roles’ in society, men have been implied with the same. There are stereotypes for both genders and are solely based upon previously made judgments. Men are seen as masculine, strong, and confident; while women are seen as delicate, inferior, and sexualized. In the video it also puts emphasis on the specific roles men and women have been given by society. For example; women can’t play football because it is too rough or men can’t become a nurse because it is seen as a feminine occupation. Some of these ideas sound odd due to the fact that we as a society, are not used to the idea about men and women breaking these unspoken rules. If men and women are both acknowledged as powerful voices for each other, we can break the unjust/bias implications that have been set by previous generations.
After watching the film, What About Men, I was able to observe, as well as better understand the role that men play in the struggle for women’s equality. Donald Woodman discussed several examples that shed light on the patriarchal society in which we live. Historically speaking, the Christian bible initiated theories and beliefs about women being submissive to men, and these beliefs continue to dominate our society. Woodman spoke about how during the Vietnam War, many women were involved in the Anti-War efforts, but not many men were involved in the women’s movement that was occurring during that time. Woodman was involved in both the Women’s movement, as well as the Anti-War movement, but received minimal support from others. During this time, he realized that the lack of support he was receiving was because his ideals rejected that of the dominant culture. Throughout history, as well as in current society, women have been regarded as inferior to men, and because of this widely accepted belief, all aspects of society have been shaped around the dominant culture, men. Although it is widely accepted, it is often overlooked. Woodman, considered to be apart of the dominant culture, has used his power as a man to raise awareness to the issue of women’s equality, as well as to send the message to other men that they are needed in order to make progress in achieving gender equality. Men play a significant role in the struggle for women’s equality; to achieve equality, it is necessary for men and women to come together in order to indicate to society that there is not one gender type that is dominant and the other submissive, rather, that we are all equal.
I chose to watch the video “What About Men” on the website. The thesis os this video is the integration of women in visual arts and the involvement and place of men in the feminism movement. The ideas are developed through real life experiences of how women are neglected from history with the example of the legendary female race car driver. The thesis of this video is important to everybody but especially to men, at least to me. The example of the two concurring rallies of Anti Vietnam War and Women’s Right movement was particularly marking as a lot of women who were treated poorly by men were involved in the Anti War protest while only a few if any men were involved in the Women Right’s movement. This just shows how women are not taken seriously in history. The guest speaker, clearly positions himself on the subject, making it clear that he was supportive of the feminism cause and that he was honored to be able to participate in this convention. I personally feel like it is important for men to be able to talk about the fact that the society is male dominant because if this isn’t discussed, there is no room or hope for change.
Of course, a marking point of the video is when the guest speaker mentions PennState and how the culture of the university can affect it’s students.It is very true that PennState University Park is very much so concentrated on the football team when looking at common interest. In it’s nature, televised Football is male football and that fact makes it more difficult for women to fit in the natural campus society. I would like to add that as a men, the fact that I come from Europe, where football is actually soccer and American football isn’t played at all, also affected me when I first moved to PSU.
I think the question of men’s role in women’s rights is very interesting. Donald Woodman talks about the idea that women had to ask men for the right to vote, and that men were reluctant to give up the power that they had for themselves. Looking back at history, there had to have been so many men that led to the women’s movement. Men who allowed women to create their own new power, men who possessed both ferocity as well as kindness and compassion. These men are not often talked about in history, because we want to hear about what the women did, and how they got ahead without men. But in all honesty, men had to play a part in this transition.
That’s awesome dear