While I shun most media outlets these days, even I have come to hear of the Me Too## phenomenon. There seems to be a lot of sharing about sexual assault and sexual harassment at work by folks who didn’t speak of it before. I know I have my story (and it had nothing to do with travel). But being a longtime loudmouth, I found it odd that so many had been silent. Then this phenomenon reminded me of the many people who thought Anita Hill’s accusations against Clarence Thomas were preposterous. This silence on the topic may help explain that disbelief.
That got me thinking that perhaps art museums around the world could talk about sexual assault more. The tapestries and paintings and sculptures depicting The Rape of the Sabine Women come to mind. How have incidents like that been glossed over as unemotional history? I know that those in power decide how history is told. But as more women have power these days, perhaps it is time for a change in presentation.
In the case of The Rape of the Sabine Women, why not partner such artwork with essays about group rape and gang rape? There could be victims’ essays, perpetrators’ essays and some sort of social science commentary on the consequences for society as a whole. (I like Baltimore’s Visionary Art Museum’s posting of artist biographies next to the exhibits of folk art. So the additional dimension could make the art resonate for more people.) Or we could continue to view these masterpieces depicting violence in the vacuum of artistic appreciation.
What is happening above? Is the goat having a Me Too## Moment?
Buy it. Read it. Let me know what you think. –TMLL