The Gilded Cage of Female Oppression
The normalization of female oppression has deep roots within most human cultures. The suppressed status of women is maintained by socialization of men and women with acceptance of defined sex- specific mores, sex role model behaviors and reinforcing belief systems.
The definition of women to be less than equal, merely an object of desire and male pleasure, is evident as early as the Paleolithic period (estimated 28,000 and 25,000 BCE) with the iconic Willendorf Woman, carved in oolitic limestone, where the female figure is objectified by depicting her without defined facial features, minimal limbs and no feet.
Religion is a strong tool to reinforce discriminatory beliefs and behavior in any culture. Ephesians 5:22-24 is such an example. These systematic tools of oppression are designed to control the masses and are the enforcers of what has been deemed “the natural order.” The Inquisition’s witch hunt was one such powerful tool. The Church was empowered to label women either saint or witch. This instituted fear as a means of control and sent a persuasive message of submission to women.
Materials: Holy Bible, bronze found object, sage smudge sticks, cast pure beeswax (Willendorf Woman hand-sculpted by artist), found rings, ribbon, clay, gold leaf and barbed wire.