Artworks by Rineke Dijkstra (b. 1959, Netherlands)
Dijkstra decided to make these portraits after witnessing the birth of a friend’s baby. She photographed three women, one hour (Julie), one day (Tecia) and one week (Saskia) after giving birth. The raw immediacy of the images captures the physical and emotional intensity of the women’s experiences.
Quote: Tate Modern.
Photo: Zuleyka Zevallos
The Young Archie Prize is a prestigious national award for portraits by Australian children and other youth. Most of the sitters are mothers, chosen because “she cares for me;” they are visually praised for their patience and generally depicted as smiling and exceptional figures in the eyes of their children (“wonderful”). Sisters are the next most common sitters, and generally chosen because they are creative, inspiring and fun. One young male artist describes his sister/subject as a protective figure although they are only a couple of years apart. Third most common are brothers, with similar sibling traits of energetic inspiration. Other children painted grandmothers (one was described as “sad” and rendered enigmatic, missing her birthplace of India). A couple of artists painted girls who are friends.
Few children painted men. A couple of artists painted their uncles (one is a lawyer), one painted their grandfather, but no one painted their fathers. Continue reading Young Archie Prize 2015
Tauriq Moosa has looked at the bizarre stigma around people – especially women – who voluntarily decide not to procreate. This includes:
- Not having children is a ‘bad decision’
- Life is meaningless without children
- ‘You’re a “crazy” cat lady in training.’ (This is ableist and so doubly awful)
- The decision is selfish and you’ll eventually regret it
- ‘You’ll change your mind when you meet the right man’
- ‘What are you waiting for?’
- ‘Your biological clock is ticking’
- ‘You’d be a great mum’
- ‘You think you don’t want kids but when you have them you’ll change your mind’
- Your partner will eventually leave you unless you have kids
- ‘You don’t know what real love is’
- No one will be around to look after you when you’re old.
There’s some excellent sociology on this topic of why people choose to remain child-free. For example, Janet Wheeler notes that in Australia, 24% of women are child-free, and only 7% of this is due to infertility. The rest are a mixture of circumstance (e.g. break-up of a relationship) or a conscious decision not to have children.
Continue reading Why Women Choose to Remain Child-Free