More Prahran Street Art

Support Single Mum'sAnother snap of street art in Prahran, but this one is incredibly offensive, I think. I nearly didn’t post it because I didn’t want to give it a platform.

I saw it on the way to my trapeze lesson. When I got to NICA, one of the girls in my class asked if I’d come from the station. “Oh my God, did you see that piece of graffiti?”

I realised I wasn’t the only person the piece had made an impact on, so maybe it is worth posting for discussion.

Obviously the implication that single mothers are pole dancers is in itself repugnant, but I  also think it is offensive to suggest that going to pole dancing clubs supports women. People come up with all sorts of excuses to justify it – by talking about emancipation of women and freedom to do what you want with your body – but the fact is that stripping and dancing for money only perpetuates the idea that a woman’s value is in appearing sexually attractive to men.

Oh yeah, and there’s an APOSTROPHE CATASTROPHE!!!

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6 thoughts on “More Prahran Street Art

  1. It’s only a surprise that you picked up on the subtext because so much of this backhanded stuff is about that a lot of women actually think it’s for them as opposed to for + against (emphasis on against). It does seem to be more prevalent in Australasia though. There are many examples I could give, supposedly legit too, not just graffiti (I think there’s a stance to be taken against vandalism towards women in graphic arts, for eg, but I digress). One that stands out is a trade van advertising flooring that was parked in our street. There was a pic of a roll of carpet being held by a scantily clad woman on the van side, with the tag line “We lay anything”. What your graffiti eg does well, I think, is shows the psychology of how these kinds of things work, and goes a tiny way to explaining how they go unchecked and un-contested by so many. And actually, it’s the same way a lot of the troll comments work on comments threads. One positive word to mask a whole load of insult and misogyny.

    • Hi Rachel
      I hadn’t thought about the psychology of how such messages work, I was really just going on my gut reaction, so it was interesting to read your analysis and I can see how the word “support” makes it look like it’s a positive message. I’m interested in hearing your views on how women are portrayed in graphic art. Maybe one day you’ll post about it?

  2. I wholeheartedly agree with most of your post Helen, but I want to question the last statement you made: “the fact is that stripping and dancing for money only perpetuates the idea that a woman’s value is in appearing sexually attractive to men”.

    I don’t agree that supporting stripping or erotic dance necessarily implies that sexual attractiveness is a woman’s sole or primary value, any more than supporting male stripping implies that for men. The fact that that attitude does exist to some extent is worth addressing, but I think that demonising the sex industry does very little to achieve that end, and in fact is more inclined to help to keep it in the shadows, which is where shame and unhealthy attitudes fester.

    Thanks for the cool blog, hope the trapeze class is going well. Hope I got the punctuation correct :). River

    • Hey River
      Thanks for your comment, and thanks for reading my blog. Your punctuation is excellent and I appreciate your insightful comment :) I don’t mean to demonise the sex industry, I just want to challenge the idea that patronising strip clubs supports women. In my personal experience I feel that I have been afforded less freedom than male counterparts to dress as I choose or groom as I choose because people (male and female) expect a certain standard of “sexiness”. This standard is set by images of women in advertising, the media and of course in erotic industries. My freedom is restricted rather than enhanced by strip clubs and pole dancing clubs, in their current form.

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