#MeToo movement empowers women


Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.

Emily Toro

Oppressed by numerous condescending figures in the art world, #MeToo started conversation. Internationally used, #MeToo is as a way for women to receive justice for sexual harassment over the use of social media. 2,000 women from Swedish Music Industry created an open letter concluding this online campaign entitled, #MeToo.

Recently, women in the art industry were able to stop the continued silence of sexual harassment with a letter, emphasizing this hashtag. The letter stemmed from allegations denouncing co-editor of Artforum, Knight Landesman, according to The Guardian. He resigned from receiving accusations of abuse dating back for about ten years, according to the New York Times.

The letter was written by over 150 artists and signed by over 2,000 others. American photographer Cindy Sherman and Turner prize winner Helen Marten were just two of the many active members, according to The Guardian.Valerie Werder, an art writer for Lévy Gorvy, was one of the women involved in the Landesman lawsuit and wanted to help contribute to the letter as well. She added that choosing to speak out was hard but the group of women have helped.

“Suddenly we were over 100 strong and I felt this incredible amount of support from an international and very diverse community of women and gender non-conforming people,” Werder said.

These artists claim they were threatened to keep quiet but could not handle the impending silence any longer. Nine stories were submitted anonymously in the creation of the letter confessing incidents of rape and abuse, according to WNYC radio.

This letter sums of years of struggle for women in art fields. In an article written by the National Museum of Art, painter Georgia O’Keeffe comments on her abilities.

“The men liked to put me down as the best woman painter. I think I’m one of the best painters.”—Georgia O’Keeffe.”

In the eyes of male artist, women are considered amateurs and can not compare to the talents of themselves. Communications High School’s design teacher, Laura Fallon commented on women in the art world and how action is being taken to broaden their acceptance.

“At the MOMA trip there was a print artist and it was nice to see a lot more female artists in a modern art museum . . . In graphic design it was an all boys club in the beginning but I do think when I look now it is much more balanced.”

#Metoo allowed women to not only settle injustices given in the art world but ensure their position in this field. Women are being deemed equal to the males in this respect.