Day: January 25, 2013

“Racism Still Exists”: The Power of Art

I frequently hear people say that art has no political power, that it is merely aesthetics and/or money. Many countries repress the power of art by punishing the artists. Here the dominant culture disparages art’s power and commoditize it and among other things turn it into a speculative consumer product. Nevertheless, art in our country can be politically powerful and these posters tell it all.

Your Must-Read of the Day

The Longest War, by Rebecca Solnit, details the ways that physical violence against women and political hostility toward women are part of the same epidemic of gendered violence and control, leveled almost entirely by men. Women are beaten, raped, killed, harassed, controlled and abused by men at astounding rates. We write these incidents off as isolated or personal, tragic but certainly not epidemic. On other pages of the newspaper we talk about conservative encroachment on women’s bodily autonomy as if that’s totally separate from violence, as if it’s a “social issue” or a difference of political opinion. But all of it — the violence, the domestic abuse, the street harassment, the online harassment, the gang-rapes, the abortion debates, the contraception battles — comes down to a desire to control women, and rage when that control isn’t maintained.