Paper about Art and Feminism, 1974, page 7

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          a gay mood, lines below the horizon a sad
mood, emphasize blue and purple dots for
an evening calm painting. This was a way

' of making pictorial expression more gener-

ally available. He also boasted that he

could work on La Grande Jafte by gaslight,
for his "system" worked so perfectly that he
knew exactly how many dots of which color
he could apply to each area in order to
produce a given effect, no matter what the
lighting condition might be.

This does have democratizlng implications.
We may now object to Seurat's system as
being a mechanization of art, a kind of
dehumanization of it. But to Seurat and to
many of the people around him, as well as
to these women theorem painters, this was
not the issue. The point was that more
people could derive the satisfaction of
creating something for themselves that they
thought of as art, no matter what our par-
ticular present-day judgments of it are..
And we have to remember, too, that the
whole notion of the standardized, the
mechanical, and the repeatable did not
necessarily have the negative implications
at that time that it has now. Mechanization
and standardization were seen as instru-
ments of democracy, ways of making more
and more available to more and more
people, not as instruments of alienation or
dehumanization. Here again my interest in
the women’s movement forced me to
rethink certain issues and certain innova-
tions in the field of nineteenth-century art
which I hadn’t really thought about before.

These then are some of the ways in which
“we as individuals and members of social
groups can effect change." That is, by
doing, writing, publishing, spreading, and
simply thinking about issues in our own
fields. I don’t believe one can separate
/thought and action: I think thought is action.

{I donft believe that going out and waving

 a muscle means that you're acting. I believe

i thinking is one of the most important forms

 of action because it's the form of action

'1 that leads you to truth and it is only

; through truth that you can arrive at what is

l really the whole point of the women’s

Z movement and that is the implementation of

3 justice. If we don’t know what is true, it

' seems to me we cannot implement what is
just, and for me, justice is the main goal
of the women's movement, not all women

88

loving each other, or women establishing a
realm of special virtue (because I don’t

think that women are especially virtuous nor
need they be). But I think that our first
priority is to implement justice. ,.)
By that I mean two different things: primary iv». " \
justice or the abolition of primary prejudice

but even more important, the abolition and
combating of secondary injustice or dis-
crimination. And let me differentiate. By

primary injustice I mean the very obvious

fact that there are no women in the

Supreme Court, that there are almost no

women bank presidents-maybe there's one
—that there’s never been a woman presi-

dent of the United States, that it is very hard
even in the realm of the arts to mention‘ a

woman museum director. But in any case

those are the obvious and visible manifesta-

tions of injustice. Women are simply open-

ly deprived of visible opportunity. On that,

, we work with affirmative action, we work

on making sure that faculties at colleges
and universities are as co-educational as
the student bodies. (Why is it that we call a
college “co-educational” when it has a half

- male, half female student body, but not half

men and half women faculty?) The area of
overt discrimination—primary injustice——is
our first fight, but it's not really the major
fight.

The major fight is against secondary injus-
tices. And by secondary injustice I mean
the whole way that women are dealt with
from the moment they enter the world.

I mean the fact that men very often show
more attention to, are rougher with and
more demanding with their male children
than with their female children. I mean
what a child entering a nursery school sees
and experiences. All the teachers there are
women. in other words, right away male
and female children are indoctrinated with
the notion that women are there to serve
their needs while men are off doing some-
thing else, presumably more important.

I would also question the notion that “boys
will be boys"—in other words, permission
and encouragement for roughness, brutality,
violence, ignoring the sensibilities of others
granted to young people of one sex: male;
reproval (and kids get the notion very quick-
Iy of what is approved and disapproved)
either voiced or not of such behavior in
women. I don’t have to mention too many