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Mary Clurman's picture

Well, this is all a rush to

Well, this is all a rush to judgment for me, as today is the first day of "class" and I only got the assignment this morning. But I've never been short on opnions, and I do think before I speak, but tact is not my forte!

As for the plate, I have to say that I don't find it easy to relate to, in fact I find it annoying in its rendering of an apparent judgment w/ regard to women. Anger was, however, basic to women's issues in the '70's, so Chicago was probably expressing the feelings of her generation, identifying w/ them and giving them 2-dimensional form, coming up with "art," as would any professional artist earning her living. I cannot fault her except to say that the image does not reach me. (But I note that the middle face, the one with the crown, has a mouth like a keyhole, or a vagina.…)

I, too, paint, am an independent woman (retired, divorced & widowed) with strong feelings on gender differences, which I want to explore more explicitly. Woolf is certainly right about the need for a different kind of education -- schools at all levels foster competition and now we have enough of it, it's time for cooperation instead.

And I have realized lately that I, at least, and other women I know, prefer discussion to argument because we prefer resolution to winning. Winning is what men seem to want, so often, or at least the men I've known. It is also what our culture encourages, pushes. Al Gore, in his Assault of Reason, quotes the Bush-Cheney Administration as seeking "dominance" in the world. What a bore!

I know women who seem to believe that playing the dominance game is the only way to go, but that just confirms Woolf's impression that teaching women to see the world thru men's eyes will never prevent war.

It us extraordinarily difficult to oppose any person who believes that fighting is, perhaps even in itself, winning. Turning the other cheek is not enough, it takes wit and very quick thinking, the skills of debate plus the forbearance of Christ, I guess. No wonder our political campaigns descend so quickly into mud.


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