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Hogarth judge

February 2018



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Hogarth judge

Notes on Cant XIII

While the bankers and Kochs have pretty much been given free rein over the stuff that actually matters, our political left has chosen to focus on issues of etiquette to assuage hurt feelings.

The doctrine of "sexual objectification" is a perfect example of its divisive and trivial arguments over language, imagery, symbolism, and representation; and how it mistakes these things for things that matter. If I were of a more conspiratorial mindset, I'd suspect this was planned. My opinion is that it also is a perfect example of how people who apparently care about social justice have been distracted by a sexual sideshow while the rich get richer. The more you care about actual social justice, the more contempt you should have for this kind of gestural politics.


In all the years we've viewed and admired your pictures of women, we can't recall a single one where you left their head out of frame.
Whatever else you make of them, I don't think I've ever shown indifference to my characters' inner lives. The doctrine of "sexual objectification" is a feminist snarl word that describes a hostile caricature of the inner lives of heterosexual men. Check your privilege, sister. (lol)
Hah! - anyway it was I (not one of the gals here) who wrote that, but onward.

That's just it, your women characters are people. You can see it in their faces, their expressions, which you always delineate compellingly.

Maybe we're old or something, but we understand the term "sexual objectification" as applying to men as well as women. Pictures of either male or female bodies where their head is left out of frame (except if it's for something like a medical or anatomical drawing) encourages the viewer to see them more like objects than people. You never do that.

So my point is that in spite of your anti-feminist rhetoric, you have an amazing track record for doing female-empowering art.
Was meant more at a hypothetical Everywoman. But it strikes me as one of the quintessentially valid feminist grievances that women have their inner lives interpreted to them by strangers. She's hysterical. She's on the rag. You know this better than I do. It isn't right to do this to men, either.

Then again, my problem has never been so much with feminist politics, but with academic feminist rhetoric.