You may have heard about the ‘women-only’ art exhibit at the Dowse Art Gallery (which opened last weekend) It’s had a bit of light press over the last few weeks, ever since they announced it.
I’m not weighing in on whether it is right or not to ban men from attending. I can see both sides of that argument, and enough has been written about that! I’d like to bring our attention to an entirely outrageous side issue that seems to have been missed by mostly everyone else (yes, including those so-called progressive men calling for equal rights!)…
Let’s introduce this one gently, shall we, let’s read a story in the Dominion Post… (the actual story is linked at the bottom of this post)
“Men took their wives…” since when do wives (or any women for that matter) need to be “taken” to an art gallery?! So on the one hand we are arguing on the equality of the sexes, and against the discrimination against men, and on the other hand, we’ve travelled through a time warp and have gone back to a time when us wives had to be taken places?!
One of the main arguments against the segregation is that “we are NOT a muslim country, we have equality here in New Zealand” *ah-hem*, I suppose the wives have to be taken to the art gallery, because they are not allowed to drive in New Zealand?
(Don’t even get me started on how the article is called “Peek behind burqa” – this documentary is depicting women not wearing their hijabs, they do not wear burqas, not all Muslim do, funnily enough!!)
Ok, I admit, this is one reporter at one paper, perhaps it is a one off? I thought so, until I heard the Dowse Art Gallery’s director, Mr Cam McCracken on National Radio (Link to audio file below) This is a transcript of part of the interview:
“We’ve just had the opening weekend, and had a great response from our audience. Men have been very good natured about it, allowing their wives and partners to go and have a look, and those who’ve seen it have come out and said, what a lovely piece of footage”
Well, I guess this is better?! They didn’t take them, but they ALLOWED THEM TO ATTEND
Ironically, Mr McCracken ends his interview with
“I think it as part of our role to push the boundaries, I see art galleries as social incubators as much as anything, we’re doing our jobs if we ask questions of our audience and of ourselves”
Yes, push those boundaries Dowse, first insult all of tangata whenua by having an exhibit that involves water that has been used to wash corpses (see story below) and then bring New Zealand society back to the 1800’s
- ‘Peek behind burqa’ rattles some by Michelle Cooke – published in the Dominion Post on 9th September, 2012
- Morning Report on Radio NZ – September 10th 2012
- Exhibition cancelled after iwi object to content by Shabnam Dashgheib – published in the Dominion Post on 24th February