A Twitter firestorm erupted, however briefly, a few days ago when a Cathy de la Cruz posted a photo of a chauvinist “mansplaining” statue located at University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas.
You see, this statue is such because of the “body language” it confers.
Let de la Cruz explain in her own words:
Regarding the sculpture in question carrying any sexist undertones or symbolism — it doesn’t take a sociologist to know that body language can say just as much as words do. Body language can reinforce gender roles and stereotypes and assert dominance just as much as it can passivity. Likewise, artistic composition carries forth those same principals, whether they be conscious or unconscious in the artist/author’s intent.
Her original tweet about it includes the “offensive” statue:
— Cathy de la Cruz (@SadDiego) May 22, 2015
And what exactly is “mansplaining”? According to the Washington Examiner, it is the act of a man condescendingly explaining something to a woman. For some, this statue is a representation of exactly that sexist act.
The sculptor, Paul Tadlock, has also commented on the statue and why he created it, according to the Washington Examiner:
“It was two students visiting, talking … implying nothing beyond that,” the sculptor, Paul Tadlock, told WITW. In fact, that’s Tadlock’s daughter in the sculpture. And the reason the male student has his foot up on the bench? It’s not because he’s talking down to the woman. It’s because Tadlock wanted “to add a little more character to the scene.”
Tadlock also said he wasn’t that upset over his sculpture being misinterpreted. He didn’t even know what mansplaining was until it was explained to him, in which case he agreed it happens.
“Because guys, young guys particularly, love to tell everything they know to impress the girls, and the truth is most of the girls know it already,” Tadlock said.
How ’bout that? The artist didn’t have a single sinister motivation while creating that statue! Who would have thought?
Not the perpetually aggrieved, that’s who.
IMAGE: Feminist Front/Facebook