Feminist Modern Art

Essay by italianqt03xCollege, Undergraduate December 2003

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"In Western Europe and in America, the two world wars had a positive effect on the position of women. In the absence of men during the wars, women assumed many of the jobs in agriculture and in industry. As Woolf predicted, the newly found financial independence of women gave them a sense of freedom and simulated their demands for legal and social equality"(Fiero 113)

Women were becoming equal to men. Women were becoming stronger and began having their own ideas known to others. But even though, there was much gender discrimination. Men did not like the idea of women taking the role of the man. Men wanted the control that women now learned to take. Men no longer had the control over women that they once had. "Gender discrimination in both education and employment triggered demands for federal legislation on behalf of women. Even as new types of contraceptives gave women control over their reproductive functions and greater sexual freedoms, the struggle to secure legal and political rights continued, generating protest marches and a spate of consciousness-raising literature" (Fiero 114) For women to finally become thought of as anywhere close to being equal was a long and hard struggle.

Even today, women are not completely considered equal.

During the 60's, women looked to art, literature and poetry to express themselves, to bring change to the masculine world. Black Venus, a painted polyester "earth mother" (Fiero 117), is a sculpture of a very large black woman, and she has on her stomach a heart, which represents fertility, and she is holding a ball in her hand, representing the earth. She is a big mother and she has the world in her hands. "Saint Phalle's Venus celebrates the joys of sensual freedom. She is the feminist reproof of the...