Artworks
Marxism and Art: Beware of Fascist Feminism
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ajardini's picture

Sr. Editor

Women catch a lot of flak for showing skin.  Just look at Miley Cyrus, right? 

The criticism is even fiercer when it’s an artist getting naked instead of a pop star. (Don’t we expect it from them after Britney and X-tina?) Hannah Wilke found out for herself that haters gunna hate, hate, hate, hate.  Feminist art critics in the '70s wagged their fingers at Wilke’s penchant for taking her clothes off during performances and their documentation. Because she was a young, thin and beautiful woman, they thought seeing her lady bits confused the feminist agenda that aimed to stop objectification and sexualization of lady folk. 

That didn’t seem quite right to Wilke, whose work features her naked body in order to reference issues of gender inequality.  So she made this piece in response, reminding critics with her bold hand-on-hips stance and defiant smile that this is her message, and feminism means being able to express it any way she likes. And she likes it in the buff.