December 8, 2017 Breathe Free Press

BALTHUS – DANGEROUS TIMES WHEN THE PENDULUM OVERCORRECTS

The Nazis did it. The Taliban did it. Isis did it.

I say no to the petition to remove the Balthus painting from the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. Art is subjective and almost never should be censored. I’ll go out on a limb to say to never. To censor is to silence. We are on the slippery slope of authoritarian control when works of art – literature music and dance are labeled degenerate.

Women must not.

What begins with one picture may lead to a battle of subjective perception and selective designation of expression. Art controlled not only under the constraints of the patriarchy but also straight-jacketed by self-righteous approval of other women.

The time for the women’s revolution is now.

Zealotry is the wrong response particularly when it beckons the suppression and repression of artistic expression.

A revolution must contextualize not sexualize.

A revolution must enlighten not behead.

A revolution must inform not sentence.

A revolution must keep its head.

The #metoo movement must not be hijacked.

We must have more freedom. I want more freedom to express the central themes of my work. I want less prohibition, not more inhibition. The breaking of silence must not become the Inquisition. Women must not adopt the weapons of the patriarchy. We must not define our movement with tools of suppression, repression and equal opportunity oppression. We must be conscious not to over correct. Women must show balance and wisdom where men are prone to extremes.

“Men, their rights, and nothing more; women, their rights, and nothing less.”

The sexual harassment and abuse of women finally are central to the cultural – social discourse. Historically women have always been last in to benefit from the fight for equality and civil rights. Today in the second decade of the twenty-first century we still do not receive equal pay for equal work. The Republicans in Congress voted no on every attempt for paycheck equality. Two presidents from both parties have been elected despite allegations and proof of sexual impropriety toward women. JFK was a secretly infamous womanizer.

The foundations are being pulled out from under the old boys’ club.

Locker room – boy talk. Melania Trump used to minimize and pardon her husband’s disgusting, insulting assaults on women. Ninety percent of Evangelical Christians voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. Many support Roy Moore candidacy for the US Senate is saying a pedophile is better than a Democrat.

I first suffered sexual abuse at the age of ten.

Nearly every woman and girl have suffered numerous acts of sexual harassment ranging from verbal to physical. Put out or get out – the spine crawls from revulsion. Backed into a corner – bent over a desk – squeezed into a tight space the decision leaves no room to maneuver. Regardless you are marked for life.

Sexual harassment and abuse are disproportionately gendered.

Although boys and men also suffered the hands of predators. One can into the weeds defining levels of gendered abuse from being “felt up, groped” verbal to rape. None are acceptable nor should be tolerated. Women must now realize that even if the glass ceiling weighs down on our heads and pockets the code of silence is in shatters.

It is always open season on girls and women.

I have spent most my life in fear of rape. I believe most girls and women feel the same dread. When I was mugged in 1975 at five on a lovely fall afternoon my first thought when pressed me into the corner of the stairwell with my assailant holding a knife albeit small to my throat was rape. Just to be clear, he was white and well dressed.

Men were free to roam.

Men have never spoken out forcibly clearly and directly against abuse and rape. We all know until recently the was blamed and condemned. It was her fault because of how she dressed and behaved. Her physical appearance provoked the predator. Culture and society weighted women down with codes of modesty. We are living a momentous movement when women refuse to accept objectification.

Whatever constraints and oppresses white women goes double (+++) for women of color.

Women are imprisoned in social-cultural codes of reproduction.

We are subjects of the state and religion brainwashed to give up control of our wombs for country and god. Virginity has greater value than our abilities, financial intellectual and cultural contributions to society.

History misrepresents and maligns the Other.

The landmarks and literature of the colonist and conquer bare history’s abuse and torture. Women must not erase but correct the record with our own landmarks of compassion openness – our narratives written told depicted by the liberated Other. Our voices and creations must have equal weight – shoulder to shoulder – with the declining patriarchy.

We Must Tell the Whole Story!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About the Author

Breathe Free Press Breathe Free Press is a literary magazine of resistance and awareness dedicated to essayism as art. The essay as a space for observation funneled through social awareness in narratives that subvert genre constraints.