Friday, December 16, 2011

A strange homage to policewomen

A Melbourne artist has paid homage to policewomen by creating three sculptures depicting them as prostitutes.

Frank Malerba claimed he was inspired by the,

"contemporary identity of women, emanating the strong, cool, authoritarian characteristics empowering women of today"

And then, inevitably, he argued that provoking the public is what art is really for:

"I wanted something that was different and edgy, something that will make people react. That's exactly what art is supposed to do," Mr Fagan said.

That's not exactly a profound reason for the existence of art: making people react. Communicating the more difficult and higher truths of being would be a deeper and more challenging mission for the high arts.

Anyway, Frank Malerba got his wish and provoked a reaction - a strong enough reaction for his artwork to be shelved. But it's interesting how moderns choose to express their moral opposition. The culture and leisure officer of the local council said that public feedback was opposed to the sculpture for being:

demeaning to women, including policewomen and sex workers

I found that funny - we're supposed to accept that a sculpture of women dressed as prostitutes is objectionable because it is demeaning to prostitutes.

The Chief Police Commissioner also expressed disapproval:

"I believe the proposed sculptures are disrespectful to all women, not just policewomen," he said.

You do still hear liberal moderns talk about the need for respect. And I don't disagree that the statues are disrespectful. But I'd love to hear the Chief Police Commissioner explain exactly why they are disrespectful. Because that then begins to reveal more about the real moral reasoning involved.

And some did try to explain:

Cyber expert Susan McLean said the council should not have got to the stage of asking for opinions.

“As a former policewoman I am offended because it reinforces all the stereotypes of women,” Ms McLean said.

“It’s male fantasy stuff and it’s from the porn shops. It’s not empowering females.

So the dispute then hinges on whether women are empowered by the sculptures: the artist says they are, Susan Mclean says they're not. Why doesn't she see women as being empowered by the sculptures? Because she believes what is being depicted is coming not from women, but from outside forces: from men or from social stereotypes.

But what if some women are happy with more brazen expressions of female sexuality? Ruth Parkinson wrote into the paper to support the sculptures on the grounds that:

Some people will always see forms of nudity as denigrating but there are many of us who see these images as empowering.

And that's what the moral debate seems to have come to. Something is moral if it empowers women; immoral if it doesn't. And empowerment depends on it being something self-chosen or self-asserted rather than imposed from without.

It all seems to me to be a weak basis for holding to moral standards. If we really followed through it would mean that whatever women thought empowered themselves would be morally justified. If that's what women are told, and if women then really do sincerely want to act up, then good luck trying to convince them otherwise.

11 comments:

  1. Why bother about what women want? If you start worrying about it, you will soon find yourself in a battle with them to the bottom of the immorality pit. Just keep on telling them you have a freedom for self-expression, if they don't like it they can go cry in a corner. If enough people did that, the PC political force would soon find themselves having to ban "freedom of expression" in an open manner, rather than the disguised manner that is being abused now.

    It would force people out of their comfort zones, force changes to take place. Don't play by their rules as it plays straight into their hands.

    If women have a right to express themselves freely, so do men and how DARE these women tell the artist anything but that! They should be ashamed! He must be able to express himself anyway he sees fit.

    That's the game you have to play, never be apologetic, attack, attack, attack!

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  2. Not playing by their rules means not accepting empowerment - either male or female - as a basis for deciding moral issues.

    The basis for deciding moral issues has to be in a recognition of a good existing outside of personal desires and outside of the assertion of will.

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  3. Ah, but that's the key Mark. If you put a spanner in the works of their argument you suddenly have the opportunity to voice your idea of morality, which is a decent society that expects both men and women to be willing to sacrifice their personal wants for the greater good of society, onto a more accepting audience. Any good society at its foundation accepts that what makes it good is the balancing of wants versus needs. You need to turn that on its head and bring the spotlight back to where it belongs. The spotlight needs to be on both men and women upholding their duties to society. If you show how utterly selfish women are currently being by using the actions of men in similar scenarios, suddenly people might be willing to accept that things need to change. At the moment, all you have is "men must be moral" and women "must be free to do anything they please".

    Turn the feminist's game on its head, turn those feminazis into a laughing stock and then come through with a winning strategy. You ain't going to be able to convince women by using logic and "moral" arguments, not until the stage that you have shown them how utterly stupid their emotional outbursts are. My previous comment is just one way to go about that.

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  4. And that's what the moral debate seems to have come to. Something is moral if it empowers women; immoral if it doesn't. And empowerment depends on it being something self-chosen or self-asserted rather than imposed from without.

    The whole feminist charade between "Women should have complete sexual freedom and autonomy" and "Women should not be objectified and repressed" makes much more sense when viewed in light of this passage.

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  5. Clearly women are desperately nagged in insecurities and are anxiously to prove if ever they are strong and capable as men.

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  6. Well said Mark.

    The changing focus of right and wrong is a little worrying to say the least.

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  7. You might find this interesting Mark.
    I heard on abc radio yesterday, an abc interviewer refer to women who want to be mothers and raise children as being of very low IQ. Implying they can not be allowed to exist in a "high IQ" liberal autonomous society or they don't belong. Scary stuff.

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  8. It's nonsense of course, I have an above average IQ and I want to be a mother and raise my children- intelligence is more than channeling it into a career.

    You can survey and collectively sample working mothers, women with intellectual disabilities and no one in between and call it proof of your theorem which I suppose is what this ABC interviewer did.

    I've been researching online and finding while most reasonable men lose custody of their children- the abusive men don't. This is to reinforce a broken system, using children as pawns and as long as they can point to their engineered society and say that men don't deserve custody because of their examples, it won't change.

    The liberals stack their deck with all the right cards near the top because otherwise they would lose.
    One day, the world will catch them cheating and hopefully it won't be too late.

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  9. If you want to listen to the radio segment
    "http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/philosopherszone/on-authenticity---beate-roessler/3728920#comments"

    Notice the typical ABC listern response to it.

    "brilton :

    17 Dec 2011 4:50:51pm

    Listened to Beate Roessler. Have come to the considered opinion that she is full of ****."

    Its funny you get similar leftist reactions on SBS and ABC comment sections all the time.

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  10. "You can survey and collectively sample working mothers, women with intellectual disabilities and no one in between and call it proof of your theorem which I suppose is what this ABC interviewer did."

    Well the point that was alarming was that he as the interviewer didn't cite anything he simply said his opinion.

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  11. Anon,

    Thanks for the radio link. I've listened to most of it. There's a post in there.

    ReplyDelete

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