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Category Archives: Gender Issues

“Bodies in Question,” After Photography in French

I have just curated the New York Photo Festival exhibition “Bodies in Question,” concerning human and virtual bodies, the ailing planet, and the troubled body politic, with fourteen artists represented. An excellent analysis of the exhibition by Leo Hsu appears on, focusing on Marc Garanger’s 1960 identity photographs of Algerian women made for the [...]

Actresses vs. Models

At a moment when the Metropolitan Museum is exhibiting fifty years of models on magazine covers, and the International Center of Photography is devoting itself to “A Year of Fashion,” the New York Times published an article today, “Actresses Are Edging Out Models on Magazine Covers.” Reporter Suzy Menkes quotes fashion designer Marc Jacobs: “It’s [...]


For those who have never seen this interactive site Girlpower, I think it best exposes the fraud perpetuated upon all of us by these repetitive covers of young women made to look unnatural - often by Photoshop - the way that the arbiters of mass culture think that they should appear. I wonder as to [...]

No Makeup? No Photoshop?

It is quite amazing that in April 2009 we are celebrating French Elle for its issue in which female European celebrities appear with neither makeup nor Photoshop. (It is the latter omission that is attracting much of the attention.) After the recent presidential election where FOX television could assert that NOT retouching Sarah Palin’s face [...]

Women Abused in Pictures, and Out of Pictures

The abuse of women: to be erased from a photo of the new Israeli cabinet in ultra-orthodox newspapers, flogged in Pakistan, and kept under virtual house arrest by their husbands in Afghanistan. (See the New York Times piece on it all.) The irony of it while Carla Bruni and Michelle Obama are simultaneously vying for [...]

American Law: The “Right” to View a Fetus

This week’s Associated Press brings a little noticed new law, signed by Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius:

March 28, 2009 Topeka, Kan. — Gov. Kathleen Sebelius signed a bill Friday to ensure that women and girls seeking abortions in Kansas are allowed to see ultrasound images or hear their fetus’ heartbeat before the procedure. The bill, which [...]