I grew up in a society, where both men and women are equal. In the news but also through other media we learn that this is not the case in many other countries and cultures. My grandmother was a member of the “Red Women Party” a feminist party (part of the Dutch Labour Party) that stood up for women’s rights in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s and that women should have the same rights as men. I’m also a great believer of equal rights and find it appalling how women today still are being belittled and humiliated.
To this day, women are disparaged, exploited, raped, humiliated, accused, stoned, married off, sold, have no freedom of speech and sometimes even sentenced to death for speaking out. I would like to give a voice to these women and let them be heard and be seen. So people know that not all women are treated equally, in many cases exactly the opposite.
By photos of screaming women in high fashion clothes winter 2015-2016 I would like to make this clear. At first you see a beautiful image, but with the story behind it you will be made aware of what kind of injustice, to this day, is being done to women.
One in ten people is homosexual. In many countries being homosexual is not tolerated and homosexual behaviour is not universally accepted. Various religious directions try to repulse homosexuality and view it as being sinful. In a lot of countries and cultures homosexuality is regarded as a crime, you can get a jail sentence of more than ten years or even life.
Car driving ban
In Saudi Arabia women are not allowed to drive a car. According to conservative spiritual circles women create risks with their ovaries. Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women are not allowed to drive. Women in Saudi Arabia are very limited in their freedom of movement. They are required to wear a headscarf and to cover their entire body. They are not allowed on the street or use public transportation unless accompanied by a male relative.
One child politics
Since 1975 the one child law is effective in China, this has been done because the country is overpopulated. With this law the Government wants to reduce population growth. Because of this law many unborn babies are killed in the womb. It has led to a lot of selective abortions if it turns out that it is going to be a girl. A girl costs more money, including a necessary dowry that poor people usually can’t afford. A boy carries on the family name and is considered to be in a better position to make money and to care for his parents.
Models have been the symbol for ultimate beauty. The “ordinary person” looks up to these women and men and sees them as an example of “how you should look like”. But is it reality? Aren’t we fooled by a maintained illusion of photos with women with an eating disorder and are edited with Photoshop? Because many models starting at a young age, they are easy to influence. In some cases they are developing an eating disorder like anorexia or bulimia. There are even models who eat cotton wool soaked with juice to feel full. Each person has his or her qualities. Is the perfect image a realistic one? And what actually is the perfect image?
Polygamy means that a man is married to several wives. Polygamy occurs worldwide, but this way of living is against the law in many countries, because one finds that you may be connected by marriage to one person only. One of the biggest polygamy communities is the FLDS; the leader is Warren Jeffs. In this community women are routinely physically and mentally suppressed. Incest also happens, because some women are forced to marry a relative. Teen girls are forced to marry an older man because these men see these women as very fertile. They are used to give birth to children and are seen as an “incubator”.
There are millions of cases of sex tourism. This occurs mainly in third world countries where there often is no or little money. Most sex tourists come from Western countries, for a small amount of money you have a sex slave. Child prostitution is also the order of the day. Paedophiles from Western countries can do whatever they want without being disturbed. If the victim files a complaint to the police because of rape or paedophilia, then a sex tourist just as easy buys out the witnesses and the police so that they go unpunished. Prostitution is often the only source of income for a family and they see no alternatives to get money.
Stoning to this day still occurs in the world. Stoning is a death penalty in which a man or a woman is buried to their waist or deeper. A woman is usually buried deeper to prevent the breasts from becoming visible. If that happens people from the whole village throw stones at the head of the condemned until the person is deceased. It often happens that women get this kind of death penalty if and when they are being accused of committing adultery, fornication or prostitution. Also if a woman complains about rape she can be punished for fornication and get the death penalty by stoning.
Many cultures still marry off. Often the parents choose a partner for their child. So it happens that the two barely know each other or not at all and parents put much pressure on these young people. The children mostly agree to prevent them from being disowned by the family or even getting killed. In some countries it still occurs that an underage girl is married off to an adult man, sometimes with an age difference up to twenty years. Because adult men have in many cases money and the family of the girl sees this as a source of income. There is no legal minimum age. So there are a lot of cases of paedophilia.
Women do not go to school
It still happens that women can or may not go to school. Currently 32 million girls are not attending school, mostly because of the simple fact that she is a girl. In a family often the boys go to school first and if the family has enough money the girls may also go to school. In countries whit a certain regime girls are often not allowed to go to school. They think a girl with training will start thinking and asking questions about her position in the society in which she lives. In some cases the girls are killed because they speak against this regime.
Worldwide, more than 135 million women are circumcised. In many cultures women are circumcised to make the transition from girl to woman. During the circumcision the health conditions are very poorly, and often performed without anaesthesia by women who usually have no medical training. The ailments the women often adhere to circumcision are: to be infected with the HIV virus, menstruation complaints, incontinence, grown together sex organ, and if a woman’s vagina is sewn up, her vagina must be cut open again to be able to give birth to the child. It also keeps the women in many cases for the rest of their lives in pain while sitting, walking and sexual intercourse.
Art Square 2015
The project Scream & Shout will be exhibited during the Art Square Event 2015. At the event several artists, photographers, goldsmiths, ceramic artist and sculptors will show their work. The exhibition is located in a large tent on the busy Museumplein in Amsterdam. Art Square 2015 opens the doors on thursday March 26th till monday March 30th, from 09:00 till 18:00 hrs. The entrance is free so be there and come see my work!!