Review of Women's Studies, Vol 11, No 1-2 (2001)

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Distance: Critique on Who Owns Women's Bodies? (Sino ang Nagmamay-Ari sa Katawan ng Babae?), A Visual Art Exhibit of New Works on Sexual and Reproductive Health Issues

Michiyo Yoneno Reyes

Abstract


The study is the offshoot of a Japanese woman's perception of a discrepancy that exists between a perceived high status of women in the Philippines and their portrayal in the arts as nothing more than just victims of oppression. An anthropologist, not a trained art critic, and one who is guided by the idea that art is mimesis, she uses her discipline's concept of distance created by ethnicity and gender. To prove her point that distance breeds distortion, she subjected to her own gaze the works of art producers who because of differing subject construction as a consequence of gender and ethnicity, have differing representations of women's bodies. In general, the male artists tend to show women as victims without hope. On the other hand, the women, especially the feminists among them, represent women not just as victims but survivors with dreams of a better form of life.

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