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ArtLex Art Dictionary




ggender issues - The word "gender" refers to sexual identity. Nearly all of us are either male or female a simple place to start. It gets more complicated when we realize that there are many ways to interpret what maleness and femaleness can mean to each of us. What it means to be, perceive, and interact with other people depends, at least in part, on how each of us understands one another's maleness or femaleness. Those meanings are invariably deeply important in every person's life socially (economically, educationally, politically, sexually, etc.), and of course artistically. Because the implications can range from those at superficial levels to those of tremendous consequence, gender issues have always carried great potential for controversy, often resulting from unfortunate stereotypes.

Xenophobia has been a virulent evil across many cultures, across time and around the world. Its subcategories include racism, sexism, homophobia, and religious intolerance.

Gender issues might pose or address such questions as:

  1. What are historical and current gender stereotypes? Which are formed genetically and which are formed socially? How do these function in society? In art?
  2. What constitutes erotica, obscenity, and pornography? Where do they come from? What are their effects? Are some legitimate and some not? How? When? Why? What place do they have in art?

Feminism and feminist art might be understood as dealing with a certain set of gender issues.


Examples of art concerned with gender issues:


Martin Wong (American, contemporary), Big Heat, 1988, synthetic polymer on canvas, 60 1/8 x 48 inches (152.7 x 121.9 cm), Whitney Museum of American Art, NY.




see thumbnail to rightAmerican, Northern Sun Merchandising, Minneapolis, MN, Oh, So That Explains the Difference in Our Salaries!, 1988, offset lithograph.




see thumbnail to leftNan Goldin (American, 1953-), Jimmy Paulette and Tabboo! undressing, NYC, 1991, photograph on paper, 101.5 x 69.5 cm, Tate Gallery, London. Attracted to the glamor of the world of drag-queens and transvestites, Golden's photographs show candor and empathy for the lives of her close friends. Here are two men in the midst of their gender transformation.


see thumbnail to rightNan Goldin, Misty and Jimmy Paulette in a taxi, NYC, 1991, photograph on paper, 69.5 x 101.5 cm, Tate Gallery, London.




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Also see androcentrism, censorship, degenerate, erotica and erotic art, fascist aesthetic, feminism and feminist art, fig leaf, First Amendment rights, lookism, love, nude, obscenity, patriarchy and patriarchal, political correctness, pornography, sex, straight, world-view, xenophilia, xenophobia, and zeitgeist.





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