R W A R | THE ART OF FEMINISM IN PHOTOGRAPHY
I typed this into Google- "What is a feminist artist? It responded with the following:
"The feminist art movement refers to the efforts and accomplishments of feminists internationally to produce art that reflects women's lives and experiences, as well as to change the foundation for the production and reception of contemporary art."
Okay, so while I guess that is a great vanilla explanation of what it means to be a feminist in the world of photography, I would like to elaborate.
Get ready, I am about to say a bad word. This is your warning, and this is not a drill.
Politics. It's a dirty, dirty word these days. It's enough to make my head spin. However, with this election and the movement of #RESIST many good things have come from it. We as a nation have woken up. No matter what your political stance, the idea that feminism is something to be pushed forward is a good one. In my humble opinion. This goes without saying in my work.
I have lots of ideas of images to shoot in my skull. Many of them require nothing but myself in a bathtub. I think about the shot every time I walk past my bathroom. It's calling me.....but it's kind of dirty and in way, I am terrified of the result. What will people think of me? I know the shot would be epic. I know many will "get it" and I also know many will hate me for it.
It's hard. Feminism has become somewhat of a weapon of mass destruction if you will. The core belief of any feminist, be it man or woman is the crazy notion that everyone should be treated as an equal.
And sex, or the illusion of sex doesn't have shit to do with it.
I am not stupid. Sex sells. Sexy ads are everywhere. Sex is what graces the pages of my favorite print publications, and what draws viewers into spending their money on them. I am not opposed them, and it seems universal in both men's and women's magazines.
For the record, I happen to love imagery that is a little "dirty" and makes you blush. Not vulgar, but dirty.
But it can also be a gut punch to my already firm opposition in the exploitation of a woman, and how it can allude to women being nothing more than sex objects. How can I toe that line?
Say it with me. FEMINISM: The belief that ALL human beings should be treated as equals.
Well friends? Easy. Do what you damn well please.
Equality for everyone (in terms of artistic expression) is open forum.
This is personal. I think I have gotten so wrapped up in the IDEA of being a feminist, that I have forgotten what it MEANS to be a feminist. Feminism has dick all to do with what a person is wearing or not wearing in the shot. Or even in real life. It has zilch to do with what we say, but everything in what we do.
Because I have been so preoccupied with what people think, I have limited my audience, and my creativity to please those I am scared of offending. And for what? That is clearly cock-blocking my own feminist balls.
So bathtub.....get ready. I am coming for you.