Thinking About Womxn Today

Tara Sacerdote ‘18

Becoming A Woman in the Age of Enlightenment explores the status of women in France from c. 1675–1825. Thinking About Womxn Today considers representations of womxn globally from 1949 to the present. While the two projects both examine understandings of womanhood, they address the nuances of gender and its presentation in very different historical contexts.

Each of these seven works of art from the Smith College Museum of Art’s permanent collection takes a different approach to the construction of womanhood, and more broadly, presentations of gender. They each ask what “woman” as a concept might represent, and question the ways in which artists and subjects present that identity. Taken together, these works show the ways in which experiences of “womanhood” or gender variance may be impacted by a person’s race, class, family status, adherence to dominant beauty standards, and presentation. My hope is that the group of artworks presented here challenges us to rethink our own understandings of womxnhood, femininity, and gender, as well as the ways in which we project these patterns of thought onto strangers, loved ones, and ourselves.

Further Reading

Lampen, Claire. “Womyn, womxn, and women: What’s the real difference?” (retrieved April 19, 2018).