“The advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.”
Inception of feminism lies within Genesis’ story of creation (Adam & Eve). In which over the last thousands of years has been misinterpreted into this common idea of women being seen as ‘evil’. Adam, being a representation of all man and Eve said to be a representation of the fundamental character, and identity of ‘all women’. In both form and symbol, Eve is woman, and because of her, the prevalent belief in the West has been that all women are by nature disobedient, weak-willed, prone to temptation/evil, deceitful, seductive, and motivated in their thought and behaviour purely by self-interest. And that she used her sex to tempt, or seduce, Adam into disobedience. Such damning commentary has long supported the wide-spread conviction that Eve tempted Adam to sin and was therefore responsible for Adam’s fall.
So no matter what women may achieve in the world, the message of Genesis warns men not to trust them. Whoever she might be and whatever her accomplishments, no woman can escape being identified with Eve, or being identified as her.
This myth has been spread and adopted by the Roman Catholics along with the rest of the bible across the world, which explains the many misinterpretations leading to this negative view of women.
This misinterpretation continued until the Industrial Revolution 1750 (before this women’s only ‘job’ was of a wife/motherly style only). The Industrial Revolution in part was fuelled by the economic necessity of many women, single and married, to find waged work outside their home. Women mostly found jobs in domestic service, textile factories, and piece work shops. They also worked in the coal mines. For some, the Industrial Revolution provided independent wages, mobility and a better standard of living.
Mary Wollstonecraft was the first philosopher and advocate of women’s rights. During her brief career Wollstonecraft wrote novels, and is best known for A Vindication of the Rights of Woman(1792), in which she argues that women are not naturally inferior to men, but appear to be only because they lack education. She suggests that both men and women should be treated as rational beings and imagines a social order founded on reason. From this time onwards, feminism and the argument of women’s rights exploded into the early 20th century, involving 1918 women over the age of 30 gained the right to vote, following 1928 the gained voting equality to all men.
From then on, women were treated more and more as equals to men, allowing to drive aswell as working in factories and smoking,equal pay,etc (things we don’t even give a second thought in doing these days). During 1960/70s women we were then introduced to women’s contraception, which stands for a larger idea of men not being the only ones in control of everything also the fact it gives women the right to chose to be mothers.
Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) one of the most well known American painters, is also considered by some to be the fore mother of the feminist art movement. She worked in a discipline dominated by male artists, critics, gallery owners, and curators, who were critical of women artists. Despite these obstacles, O’Keeffe launched a successful career, developing a distinctive painting style that employed organic vulvar forms and floral imagery. Her life experiences influenced her art; imagery from her time in New York and New Mexico reappears in her painting.
She is is mostly known for her flower paintings with which she sought to share the beauty she witnessed, through magnification. Some art historians believe that O’Keeffe moved away from abstract painting in order to distract the theorists who at the time were interpreting her work from a Freudian perspective. O’Keeffe never admitted to painting female genitalia, although her sensual art was often interpreted in this way. According to the artist she was revealing vital parallels between animate and highly sensual forces in nature and humans.