Why is Rape in Art ‘Exquisite’?

Content note: discussion (and non-explicit visuals) of sexual violence, rape apology.

The internet has been somewhat crazy of late because a man wore a sexist shirt while being interviewed on TV, was called out on it, and subsequently apologised. It all wouldn’t have been such a big deal, really, except that all of a sudden feminism was being charged with obliterating a man’s scientific achievements and censoring artistic expression. Or so the media circus went.

I have been travelling lately, around Italy, and as such I have been in a lot of museums and galleries. I mainly went to these places to see the Roman collections, as I don’t pretend to be very interested or knowledgeable about art in general. But I also dropped in on a few other exhibitions, to see the sort of things generally seen as part of the canon of the Western artistic tradition, the masters, if you will.

Turns out, the masters seemed to be fascinated with rape, especially scenes of rape from Classical myth. Proserpina, the Sabines, Lucretia. On more than one occasion, I wished I’d brought along a pen and paper so I could make little placards to stick next to the paintings and sculptures. ‘Warning,’ they would have said, ‘this piece contains scenes of violence against women.’ I wonder if that would have caused a similar media circus to shirtgate. … More Why is Rape in Art ‘Exquisite’?

When will women stop being told to be more careful?

Please note that this post discusses sexual violence, victim blaming and rape culture, and may be triggering. Recently there has been a lot of talk about rape culture on the internet and in the media, especially in regards to the Steubenville rape case. You don’t have to look far to see some of the responses … More When will women stop being told to be more careful?

Exams and Linkspams

See what I did there? It rhymes! I’ve been reading some really great posts lately, in between exam revision, so I thought I’d share some of the ones that stood out for me. I really empathised with this post by Unladylike Musings on rude men and rape culture. I do almost everything to avoid drawing … More Exams and Linkspams

50th Edition of the Down Under Feminists’ Carnival

Welcome to the 50th Edition of the Down Under Feminists’ Carnival! Fifty editions is quite a milestone, though with the unclear status of the last few months, I’m not really sure if it is the fiftieth edition after all. But that does not matter, because I have a wonderful collection of submissions for the month … More 50th Edition of the Down Under Feminists’ Carnival


Last weekend I marched in Brisbane’s SlutWalk – a rally and march aimed at stopping sexual violence and victim blaming. I’ll have to admit that it was the first rally I’ve actually been able to make since moving to the city, so it was a very exciting thing to be part of. There weren’t as … More Slutwalking