I recently signed a petition to end sexism in media via the Miss Representation website. They followed up with me – providing a list of action items. Below, I have adapted their list – translating it for the visual arts… I think I like #4 the most.
1. Tell people about exhibits of women’s art work.
2. Parents- attend exhibits with your children. Take note of who it is that made the work, and raise the question with your kids if you don’t see any female names. Also note how women are depicted.
3. Remember your actions influence others. Mothers, aunts and loved ones- don’t downgrade or judge yourself by your looks. Fathers, uncles and loved ones—treat women around you with respect. Remember children in your life are watching and learning from you.
4. Use your consumer power. Stop buying tabloid magazines and watching shows that degrade women. Go see movies that are written and directed by women (especially on opening weekend to boost the box office ratings). When possible, buy art directly from young female artists. Avoid products that resort to sexism in their advertising.
5. Mentor others! It’s as easy as taking a young woman to lunch. Start by having open and honest conversations with a young person in your life.