How does gender ideology impact womenâ€™s creative expression?Â
Over the centuries, this debate about womenâ€™s nature, â€œthe woman question,â€ included such claims as it is in womenâ€™s nature to be weak and fragile. The debates often claim that weakness is inherent in females, rather than focusing on the way women are taught and/or socialized. Furthermore, the debate goes, women are suited only for domesticity because of their nature. It has even been argued that women have no souls. Most importantly in our discussion throughout this course is the way these restrictions on womenâ€™s lives have impacted their creative expression. In Week 1, we learn how gender ideology has impacted womenâ€™s creative expression and its visibility in society.
Our focus is on Renaissance women in Week 1, but we look at how contemporary women are still resisting ideas about women that began as early as the Renaissance period. The Renaissance â€œideal ladyâ€ was an idealized woman who was defined as virtuous, pious, and modest, and though she may have been encouraged to be artistic, because of persistent ideas about womenâ€™s gender her creativity was deemed important only to charm and entertain men in the court, or was relegated to remain in a convent or the home. As we have seen, these ideas about women (ideology) restricted her creativity and visibility. Significantly, the visibility of womenâ€™s creative production is still an issue partly because of gender ideology centuries old.
For this weekâ€™s journal, discuss in three to four pages how gender ideology impacts womenâ€™s creative expression. Illustrate your discussion with examples of creative women from the Renaissance period. Your examples should come from our required or recommended resources and represent at least two different genres (for example, poetry, painting, sculpture). Explain how ideas about womenâ€™s nature and role impacted womenâ€™s work. Finally, after viewing the multimedia, conclude with a reflection on how the contemporary activism of the Guerilla Girls addresses the similar issues in todayâ€™s art world.
To help you explore this journal, consider some of the following questions:
Â· What role does she play in her life (courtesan, wife, mother, nun, aristocrat, etc.)?
Â· How does that role support or discourage her creative expression and her visibility?
Â· Does she resist or comply with the expected norms of her gender?
Â· How do artistic women create within defined roles and images of women?