Rhetoric Expression of Gender Inequality in Art

Gender inequality is still a major issue all across the world. In America, about sixty years ago, many people have suffered heavily because of discrimination. It was the time when a white male dominated the world while women, children, other race and ethnicities had to be beneath that man. The white man has the power to do whatever he thought is right. He was always involved in the public sphere; he was very outgoing and always socializing with other man. A man is considered to be a business man, who provides food and comfort to wife and children. In return, a wife must obey his man and take care of the children. Her life was always quiet and private, limited between the walls of her home. A woman had the right to go out only with him, otherwise she would be considered unladylike or woman of easy moral. She didn’t have the right to work because she was considered weak and overemotional. If someone is overemotional, he is being unreasonable, so how can a woman who needs to be “taken care of” work and contribute to the modern society? In the eyes of the man, a woman must be controlled because she is not able to handle the burden that modernization has put upon the uprising society. Men are born to rule. Women are born to obey.  Does this sound familiar to you? Art was always a reflection of our reality. There are numerous pieces of art that depict inequality that women had to deal with in the past, present and future. So let’s exemplify the first two.


If we look at one of the works of Roy Lichtenstein you’ll notice how his art portrays stereotypical gender roles and expectations. Woman is always depicted like overemotional, insecure without her man, the one who serves his husband and takes care of the children. On the other side, men are promoted as strong and confident, as business man or sportsman, alpha males who always have everything in control. Gender roles have to be promoted according to what the society expects from them. You couldn’t have found a woman plumber like on www.emergencyrepairplumbers.com nor a woman could get a job in one of the “male” areas. Woman is an object, she exists to be appealing to man and to relieve them from stress. She could be bought or borrowed the same way as you would get a loan from westseattlemortgage.com. She is something temporary and replaceable, like a car or an accessory.


If we look a piece of art from Jerry Kearn, we’ll first notice the interesting tittle of the picture Affirmative Action. We all know what affirmative action plans suggests. This artist has clearly depicted a woman’s issue associated with not having the right to get equally paid for her work as men. It depicts a working class heroine that is fighting and standing up for herself. This piece of art almost screams to others about gender inequality. It calls to open our eyes and perceive the reality we live in. The woman is the focus of the art piece and she is powerful and ready to dominate. However, the ironic part is, though she appears strong and dominant, she’s doing hard, manual work intended for the lowest class. She is in conflict both with the world and herself, standing on edge. She is in the same time both trapped and vigorous. She’s well-dressed in a very feminine manner, with curly hair and high heels while doing “man” work. This is also a conflict between traditional and modern perception. Is she now allowed to do men work but she also must be very feminine and all dressed up? Or her muscles mean she is equally strong as the male gender?

We leave the rest of interpretation to you, this art is meant to turn your brain on and realize you don’t leave in such a democratic state as it might seem to.


Amanda Pitt

Amanda Pitt

I am a feminist who fights for equality! I have a passion for architecture and other forms of visual art.
Amanda Pitt

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