Refreshing Feminism (diptych)
egg tempera and gold leaf on two cradled panels
24 x 10 x 1.5 in.
The theme of this exhibit makes me think about the conflicts within the feminist movement: between first-world and third-world problems; racial and class divides. I reflected on very basic ways that women are held in servitude. Going to the well and hauling water has been a woman’s chore since time immemorial. We can see this in the bible, where narratives are set around women at the well.
Women are always in the front lines as environmental resources are degraded and scarcity creates stress. The scarcity of potable water, and competition for it, is an increasingly acute problem in the world. As populations are displaced and resources are stretched, women in developing and war-torn countries are forced to walk farther and farther to access and haul water. This exhausting chore prevents them from other productive work and they are often subjected to sexual assault.
I believe the refresh of feminism should involve a focus on the worldwide environmental crisis, which impacts women and children first and hardest.
© Judith Joseph