Arts feminism considered

Sometimes people claim that we don’t need feminism any more. Women have rights, they argue, so what more could they possibly want or need?

A recent post from the UK office of Huffington Posts carries an essay saying: “One only needs to look around the world at the terrible situation for many girls and women to realise that feminism is still necessary and vital. But even once females have better living conditions and more rights, feminism still has a role to play as women try to shape careers.images-7

“Several recent news stories have made it clear that women are way behind when it comes to careers in the arts.

“VIDA’s overview of who got published in literary magazines in 2012 suggests that it is still – no surprise – overwhelmingly men. Not only is it men who more often get their literary work published, but it is also primarily men who get their work reviewed and who are the reviewers, too.

“And in the New Yorker, Alex Ross’s piece on female composers shows that it is still primarily men who have their compositions performed.

“It seems quite likely that if similar surveys were done in other creative fields, the results would be the same. Are female sculptors or painters or photographers exhibited as often? Do female playwrights have their works performed as frequently? Do female architects get as many commissions? Are there many women making films? And so on.

“Not only should we wonder about women making art, but also about whether as many women work as art critics or judge prizes or get grants as men do.

“While some might claim that there aren’t as many women doing these things so it’s natural that they get published/performed/whatever less often or even that they just aren’t as good as men, neither of those things are likely, or neither claim is borne out by evidence.

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