Throughout history, women around the world have struggled to obtain equal political, social, and economic standing with men. Consequently, this struggle has carried over into the art world and fields of aesthetics. Fifty-one percent of today’s visual artists are women, yet only 28% of museum solo exhibitions in eight selected museums featured female artists. The art community has a diversity problem, and it is highly important that feminist aesthetics are acknowledged and implemented under the general umbrella of aesthetics. There are several reasons for this. First of all, women deserve reparations for their historical exclusion from the art world. Secondly, current patriarchal standards within aesthetic fields need to be abolished as they actively harm not only female artists, but women in general. Third of all, the neglect of feminist ideals under the scope of aesthetics is contradictory to the purpose that art should (and has been claimed to) serve within a cultural context. In my essay, I will elaborate on these three reasons for intersectionality in the world of art and will address a few criticisms of feminist aesthetics.
Historic Misogyny in the Art World
The artistic spheres of the past were even more of a “man’s game” than they are today. There are multiple reasons why women of the past were excluded from artistic practices. First of all, the genius trait was elevated above all other qualities an artist could have. Women, so-called creatures of emotion, were seen as being incapable of the high intellect that produced great works of art. Not only did prolific male artists possess a genius intellect, but also strong emotional intelligence. Sentimental qualities in men were considered valuable traits, as the...
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...ale artists in galleries the same way that Jesus included women in his spheres.
As I have stated, it is crucial that aesthetic fields implement a more egalitarian system. This would make up for past grievances relating to the exclusion of women. Such a system can be established while avoiding essentialism, which is crucial in ensuring that the feminist ideals are intersectional rather than exclusive to certain groups of women. Feminism has the ability to enrich aesthetics and bestow higher semantic value upon certain art forms due to the nature of feminist art. Last of all, in order to live as Christ did we must be deliberate in creating a society that is free of social divisions, including those within the arts. A feminist aesthetic would not only improve the art world, but would help to pioneer universal equality because once again, “life imitates art.”
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