Facebook Prude-Patrol Nixes Another Work Of Art By A Feminist, Entirely Proving Her Decades-Old Point
from the get-licked dept
We’re still fresh on the heels of Facebook’s overly broad and prudish decency rules resulting in the takedown of a bronze piece of artwork in the form of a mermaid statue that features bare metal breasts. Womens’ breasts, as we all know, are shameful things to be hidden from view, lest they corrupt the minds of the young children that were so nourished by them in their youth. Sigh.
Still, as dumb as that story was, and as indicative as it was of the problem of overly broad censorship guidelines employed in the name of decency, at least there were breasts. Metallic breasts, but breasts nonetheless. I have no idea how Facebook keeps this recent story from looking even more silly, in which it takes down a piece of artwork shared by Philidelphia Museum of Art that was constructed specifically to show how objectified women were in the 1960s.
The piece was created in 1964 by artist Evelyne Axell and is entitled “Ice Cream,” because it is a stylized painting of a woman enjoying an ice cream cone. The entire point of the piece was to challenge society on how it views women as sexual objects before anything else, such that this image of an everyday occurrence appears tantalizing when it should not.
The museum’s new post includes more details on the artwork: ” ‘Ice Cream’ (1964) was painted by Evelyne Axell, one of the first female Pop artists. Her work can be understood as a critique of mainstream Pop Art, in which women were often depicted as passive, decorative objects. In contrast, Axell sought to depict active, confident women who pursue satisfaction on their own terms—such as the protagonist of “Ice Cream,” who unabashedly enjoys her dessert. Axell’s provocative paintings challenge artistic conventions while also exhibiting a liberated, playful spirit characteristic of the sexual revolution of the 1960s.”
Ironically, Facebook’s removal of the original post with the image of the painting, due to it “containing excessive amounts of skin or suggestive content”, exemplifies the entire point of the painting. Not only is there nothing in terms of skin to view in the painting, the “suggestive content” that Facebook is reacting to is only suggestive by way of society’s myopic view on women as sexual objects. It’s a woman enjoying an ice cream, not a woman performing the sex act that immediately leaps to mind. I’ll admit I had the same reaction as Facebook at first, because I’m part of the exact society upon which the piece is commenting. That’s the point.
For Facebook to take that down says nothing about its view on decency, but everything about how prudish censorship programs are too often employed to the detriment of much-needed culture.