discuss how gender/femininity is encoded in the history of Western visual arts

discuss how gender/femininity is encoded in the history of Western visual arts

. Briefly, how does the film: The Strength to Resist: Media’s Impact on Women and Girls illustrate


how these established Western visual arts traditions inform our media today in sexist ways? What can


we do as consumers to change these negative trends?




In chapter 17, “Ways of Seeing” by John Berger,


Berger talks about how women have been portrayed in art, renaissance through modern day.   Berger


says that we look at men for what “he us capable of doing to you and for you” (Berger, 167). While


women are view for what “can and cannot be done to her” (Berger, 167).  Berger says the “men act and


women appear”(Berger, 168), what Berger means by this is there is a cultural accepted view of women


are to be looked at and men are to be the judges.  In relation to painting this idea of formed into the


ideal painting of the nude. The nude styles of painting objectified women as an object to be stared at, in


a generalized way. The nude women where not a certain person, but like previously mentioned where


generalized. Why this is, is so that the viewer can feel like the female depicted is something for him look


for his pleasure. Thus depicted the idea of women as objects, “To be nude is to be seen naked by others


and yet not recognized for oneself” (Berger, 168).   Berger talks about how in painting of nakedness


women depictions of real women but of them still being seen as an objects of the viewer. But with a


certain viewer in mind, normally done of one lover (Berger, 167). Berger says “nakedness is not,


however, an expression of her own feelings; it is a sign of her submission to the owner’s feeling or


demands” (Berger, 169). This fathered the idea of male supremacy and women as something that is


property of men. Berger say that the ideas of the painting of women as object continue in today’s


culture just through different mediums, “the attitudes and values which informed that tradition are


expressed through other more widely diffused media—advertising, journalism, television” (Berger, 172).



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