So much more to give

Cut your hair short and get the right handbag or you won’t be successful.  How can it still be true in the 21st century that I can’t be taken seriously, whatever my looks and figure?  I’d hoped for more from a Women in Asian Business conference than discussions of the best handbag to get ahead[1].   

Sadly it seems that encouraging children to read doesn’t make society any better for women either.  A study of children’s literature over the whole of the 20th century showed that stories were twice as likely to be about boys as girls.  With adult women rarely mentioned as being anything other than a mother, queen or witch[2].  What are we doing in reading Rapunzel to our sons and daughters?  A girl who was so conditioned to focus on her looks that she fails to realise that she could use her own hair to abseil down the tower and escape to freedom.  So much for realistic life expectations and good role models. 


[1]https://www.ft.com/content/46405948-b625-11e1-a14a-00144feabdc0

[2]https://www.theguardian.com/books/2011/may/06/gender-imbalance-children-s-literature

Published by jencableart

Jen Cable uses textile techniques and processes to explore culture; drawing attention to the outmoded, fabulous and bizarre. You can see her work in progress on instagram jencableart. Jen studied Mechanical Engineering before returning to art later in life. She combines perceived soft, feminine processes with hard, masculine materials to provoke thought on gender and society.

2 thoughts on “So much more to give

  1. This made me think of the a quote from an actress (anyone from Bette Davis to Meryl Streep) who said that there were no good roles for women over 30. That takes you to the Bechdel test and by the way this article comparing peak ages for actors vs actresses (in 2015): https://time.com/4062700/hollywood-gender-gap/ and https://www.indiewire.com/2015/02/sorry-ladies-study-on-women-in-film-and-television-confirms-the-worst-65220/

    But I think that things might be improving as Meryl Streep is in her 60s and been in quite a few movies in recent years. Helen Mirren is found all over the place as is Judi Dench.

    But when I think of all the books I read for my children the only one with a strong girl characters were in Pullmans trilogy: “His dark materials” and Cornelia Funkes “Inkspell” trilogy, so only a slight improvement there.

    /m

    ________________________________
    Från: Jen Cable Art
    Skickat: den 2 februari 2020 17:28
    Till: maky@hotmail.se
    Ämne: [New post] So much more to give

    jencableart posted: ” So much more to give, 2019, leather briefcase and paper string, looping Cut your hair short and get the right handbag or you won’t be successful. How can it still be true in the 21st century that I can’t be taken seriously, whatever my looks and figu”

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  2. Thanks mariekyletoft, funnily enough it was ageism that inspired the piece i made next. Watch out for my future blogpost ‘Mirror, mirror’ as it’s exactly about the lack of opportunities for mature women.

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