What Art tells us about Gender


When we consider how gender is defined and
discussed today, it’s tempting to think of the present moment as somehow aberrant—a
dramatic break from a past where the roles and characteristics of men and women have
been fixed and clearly definable. But in looking back through art history, we
can find a huge range of ways that gender has been understood and represented, at different
times and around the world. Today we’re going to think about gender
not so much biologically, but in terms of how we differentiate men and women socially
and culturally. The art and objects humans have made give
us a lens through which we can see how concepts of gender have been reinforced, and also questioned,
by individual artists and communities. And sure, there is a way to view all art ever
made through this lens, and from the oldest traces of human activity we’ve found. Like this tiny and very busty Ice Age figure
carved from mammoth ivory and found in a German cave. Or a recent study analyzing relative finger
lengths in the hand stencils of prehistoric cave art sites in France and Spain, which
found that about three-quarters of the handprints were female. And in recent history and today, artists offer
us a multitude of ways to think about gender and its fluidity. Like Greer Lankton’s disquieting doll sculptures
and environments from the 1980s and 90s, and Ma Liuming’s performances as his feminine
alter-ego Fen-Ma Liuming in Beijing’s East Village in the 1990s. And there’s also Kehinde Wiley’s monumental
portraits of young black and brown men–paintings that provoke us to think about what it means
to be masculine and powerful in the world today. And Wu Tsang’s 2012 film Wildness, which
tells a story about intersecting Latinx and LGBTQ communities in one Los Angeles bar. Gender is an impossible and sprawling topic,
but one we’re going to dive into anyway, stepping our way through a handful of works
that address just a few of the many ways we humans have negotiated this ever-changing
idea. This is the second of five videos focusing
on a much-discussed aspect of life today, and looking back to see how people from the
past have made objects and artworks that speak to it in some way. This is Art about Gender The tradition of the reclining nude runs deep
in the history of European art. This sculpture is a 2nd century Roman copy
of an even older Greek original, and it was designed to be seen in two stages. First from the rear, like you’re seeing
it now, and second from the front, which reveals the subject to be the Greek deity Hermaphroditos,
son of Hermes and Aphrodite, whose body was merged with that of the nymph Salmacis. Hermaphroditos thus has the physical characteristics
you might associate with a woman, like curves and breasts, along with male genitalia. This kind of surprise move is typical of art
from the Hellenistic period. The wealthy of Rome would have sculptures
like this in their homes and gardens, with these kinds of theatrical effects intended
as titillating amusement. But while the intersexuality of this figure
was readily accepted in mythology and art, in actual ancient Rome the birth of an intersex
person was regarded as a bad omen, and those who were born that way were often killed. So you can see sculptures such as this, of
which there are a number of versions surviving, as being a site where Romans could safely
explore a heavily stigmatized human condition, while also tricking their friends into falling
for this beautiful and surprising being. This image of the reclining nude began to
really catch fire during the Italian Renaissance, when these ancient Greek and Roman sculptures
displaying idealized human bodies—both female and male—began to be unearthed and studied. You can see echoes of our Sleeping Hermaphroditos
in this awake, unidentified woman in Venetian artist Titian’s 1538 painting Venus of Urbino,
as he didn’t title it, but it came to be called. The moniker of “Venus” was often attached
to nude figures as a way of making the subject acceptable for admiration and contemplation. Taking in such a painting as this wouldn’t
be crassly ogling a naked lady, but appreciating a platonic ideal of beauty. Her torso is unnaturally long and her feet
impossibly small, but no matter. Titian’s masterful handling of paint, building
up layer after translucent layer, gives her a soft and sensuous glow. This Ur-woman, nestled within a composition
so strong and successful, served as inspiration for numerous artists to follow. That is, until Édouard Manet abruptly removed
the soft focus with his 1863 Olympia, which offended audiences with its sexual frankness. Instead of an anonymous possible goddess,
Manet gives us a Parisian prostitute with a name and a direct gaze. In contrast to the subtle gradations of Titian’s
expertly modeled flesh, Olympia is flatly painted, overexposed almost, and much more
realistically proportioned. In the background of the Titian, servants
are pulling her clothes from a wedding chest–she’s taken. But in Manet’s we have a black woman, a
servant named Laure, offering her flowers, presumably a gift from a recently arrived
guest, who might even be you! These differences may seem small now, but
they had a huge impact on the way the two works were read. In Manet’s time, the industrial revolution
in Europe had produced a new middle class, and also an increased codification of gender
roles. Women who weren’t working in the factories
were assigned more fully to the private or interior realm, and men to the public or exterior. Painters including Mary Cassatt offered a
challenge to those expectations, showing Parisian women out and about, not just being looked
at, but also doing the looking. Manet’s reclining nude was seen unacceptable,
because he had broken the code for how women were supposed to be portrayed. He, and Cassatt, and many others to follow
steadily chipped away at that code, challenging audiences to consider the realities of life,
gender expectations, and the implications of the very act of looking. How an idealized woman should look and act
was explored through different materials and means in the Baule village of Kami in Côte
d’Ivoire in the early 1900s. This is a type of mask the Baule call a Mblo
that was part of performances called Gbagba. It was not an object made to be seen on it’s
own like this or admired on a wall or pedestal, but rather worn along with a costume and danced
by a male performer, as part of a series of skits involving singing, dancing, drumming,
and oration. It’s a portrait mask, carved by artist Owie
Kimou around 1913 to represent a woman named Moya Yanso, who was much admired for her beauty. It was commissioned by Yanso’s husband,
a well-known dancer and first performer of the mask. It’s an idealized depiction of Yanso, with
a high forehead communicating her intellectual enlightenment. Her look is introspective, with large downcast
eyes—a signal of modesty and respect to others. The smooth surface of the carved, painted
wood connotes cleanliness and health, with the triangular brass ornaments reflecting
light and adding to its radiance when danced. The mask communicates Yanso’s inner as well
as outer beauty, with more realistic details such as her hairstyle joined with more imaginative
ones like the elaborate, abstracted headdress. Yanso accompanied the mask when it was performed,
and we can see her here, later in life, with her stepson, who holds the mask. It was eventually sold, after the tradition
mostly came to an end in the 1980s. But while it was still alive, the intention
of the mblo was to honor a member of Baule society, and convey ideals of womanhood and
beauty to other members of the community. Women would never wear the mask—it was men
who did the commissioning, carving, and performing—but they attended and critiqued the performances. The male dancer would imitate the movements
and dancing of a woman, and the audience would assess the accuracy of the representation. It’s in this communal setting where gender
expectations were actively negotiated. Ideals proposed by men, but requiring the
acceptance of the community’s women. The mask served, then, as an active agent
through which the Baule deciphered their values together. During the same time Moya Yanso’s mask was
being performed in Cote D’Ivoire, artists Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore were exploring
their own gender expression some three thousand miles north in France. In a series of self-portrait photographs taken
throughout her life, beginning when she was a teenager, Cahun assumed a wide array of
guises. A dapper gentleman. A little girl in a cupboard. A yogi. A sailor. Some of the identities were clearly masculine. And some clearly feminine. And there was plenty of in between, like this
coy bodybuilder, whose shirt reads: I AM IN TRAINING. DON’T KISS ME. Using makeup, costumes, and props, changing
backgrounds, and a variety of experimental darkroom techniques, these images offer up
a panoply of personas that subvert and challenge the gender norms of the day, and also question
the premise that an identity is something stable or fixed. Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore were the gender-neutral
pseudonyms adopted by Lucy Schwob and Suzanne Malherbe around 1917. They were step-sisters and became life-long
collaborators and romantic partners. Moore was an illustrator and designer, and
Cahun a poet, essayist, and photographer. It’s widely thought that Moore had a hand
in the creation of all of these images, but the two officially worked together on the
photomontages that accompany Cahun’s 1930 essay Disavowels. Cahun translated into French Havelock Ellis’s
1912 theorization on the possibility of a third sex, one that joins masculine and feminine
traits but exists as neither. And Cahun wrote on the subject, explaining
in Disavowels: “Shuffle the cards. Masculine? Feminine? It depends on the situation. Neuter is the only gender that always suits
me.” The photographs were seen by few other than
Cahun and Moore during their lifetimes. And they only began to come to light through
the work of researchers and curators in the late 1980s and early 90s. The way that we frame and discuss their work
today relies on terminology that didn’t exist when the images were created. It’s only viewing it, now, from the present
that we can see it as the pioneering work that it is, as predecessor to the numerous
works since the 1970s that explore gender, sexuality, race, and identity. Oh, and uh… selfies. Analyzing the past from the present has many
pitfalls, of course. When we observe and interpret the art or material
output of any culture, we often unwittingly impose our own assumptions and biases from
the present. Archeologists and historians studying the
ancient Maya have been especially sensitive to this, examining and reexamining material
remains to gain a more holistic understanding of Maya culture, including their conceptions
of gender. Particularly revealing are a series limestone
relief-carvings found in a palace building in Yaxchilán, located in what is now southern
Mexico close to the Guatemala border. These are lintels, or the beams at the top
of doorways that you would view from below. And they depict moments in the life of Lady
K’abal Xook, the principal wife of Shield Jaguar II, who ruled Yaxchilán beginning
in the year 681 CE. He commissioned a number of buildings and
sculptural works during his reign, some of which give us a sense of the prominent role
women played in Maya society. In this lintel, which was originally painted,
you can see Lady Xook as a key protagonist in Shield Jaguar’s story, shown next to
him at nearly equal size. She helps him dress for battle, holding his
jaguar war helmet and donning plenty royal regalia of her own. Two lintels depict Lady Xook engaging in bloodletting
ceremonies, a common ritual among rulers and elites. Here she pulls a thorned cord through her
tongue to bleed onto paper in a basket below. Letting blood was a way to honor and feed
the gods, carried out to commemorate important events like the dedication of a building or
birth of a child. Rulers were believed to be descendants of
the gods, and bloodletting a way to maintain order in the cosmos as well as the community. Here we see Lady Xook, adorned with a headdress,
Sun God pectoral, and elaborate jewelry likely made of jade, kneeling with an offering off
blood-stained paper. The ritual has achieved its sought-after effect,
hallucinations that allow her access to other realms, in this case the appearance of a vision
serpent from whose mouth a powerful figure emerges. This act would have demonstrated Lady Xook’s
considerable strength, and also her suitability as a royal figure, signaling both her importance
and reinforcing the legitimacy of her husband’s rule. While the vast majority of figures from Classic
Maya art are male, the central role of women can be gleaned not only from their exceptional
appearances as ruling or warrior women, but also through hieroglyphic inscriptions on
the carvings. The Maya’s advanced writing system
names individuals using strings of syllabic glyphs. And studies have revealed that those holding
positions of power were described using a combination of traditionally masculine and
traditionally feminine glyphs. Showing that leaders, regardless of gender,
exhibited a balance of gender traits. It’s through these naming conventions, as
well as depictions like those of Lady Xook, that we begin to glimpse a Maya approach to
gender construction that rests less on a strict polarity and more on a complementary, reciprocal
approach to personhood and power. /// There is a tremendous amount of relevant art
that we’re leaving out of this discussion. Including several videos worth of material
depicting gender-bending deities, like the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, a Buddhist deity
that originated in India as a male figure, and went on to take a number of forms, some
female, when it migrated to China and was called Guanyin. But while we’ve barely scratched the surface
of this topic, I hope the artworks and objects we’ve discussed spur you to begin your own
investigations into gender ideas of the past and present. How we read these objects can often say
as much about us as it does about the people who made them. And as we do the important but delicate work
of interpretation, it’s critical to be aware of our own biases, as well as those that inevitably
informed research and histories of the past. We humans love a clear binary, but unfortunately
art history can’t provide the evidence to support one. As these works show us, gender complexity
is nothing new. What are the works that for you open up productive
discussions about the way gender has been expressed and performed and represented? Let’s talk about them in the comments, and
also discuss how and whether these objects from art history shed light on the issues
that surround us today. This episode was made in partnership with
Smarthistory, an outstanding resource for anyone curious about art and cultural objects
from around the world. Their videos and website bring together the
expertise of more than 300 art historians, archaeologists, and curators, and cover a
huge range of topics and cultures from prehistory to today. Subscribe to their YouTube channel, and visit
Smarthistory.org to learn about some of the artworks and histories discussed in this video,
and many, many more.

100 comments

  • Steven Santos

    Yours is my favorite YouTube Channel.

    Reply
  • Isabel Vidal

    3:19
    Ooooh girl, we're only in the first art piece and we're already getting transphobic.
    I hope that looking back you can see how using attraction to a trans woman as a "trick" or a joke feeds the "trap" narrative that is a slur that resonates with violence and struggles faced by those women.
    I can understand (and hope) that you personally wouldn't play this as a joke, but you do bring it up in a light-hearted way and don't weigh in on how problematic and violent this is, specially by today's standards.
    I don't have much data on the subject in the US, but there are numerous cases of trans women in Brazil, where I'm from, that were murdered by men once they discovered the girl wasn't cisgender. I mean NUMEROUS. Last year a girl had her breasts cut off and was drowned in a river, early in the year Kelly got her heart ripped out, this past week another girl was beaten to death. Those are just some examples, there are so many more cases.
    So, yeah, if you put yourself out to talk about gender from a social perspective, you have to be mindful about what and how you are saying.

    Reply
  • Silver

    I love how looking and thinking about those pieces helps me "cleaning away" the tensions that our time forces upon us. Putting things into perspective, opening ourselves to other cultures is always so appeasing.

    Great video as always guys !

    Reply
  • juliette zavala

    nonbinary human here: i loved this video!!!!

    Reply
  • Alon Cohen

    On the subject of gender I very much like the early works of Nan Goldin and Cindy Sherman

    Also Diane Arbus

    Reply
  • Jonas Kra

    Now, I rarely comment on anything on YouTube. But thank you so much for making me aware of the works of Claude Cahun. I actually had to stop at 8:37 – good gracious.

    This reminded me so much of a Mapplethorpe exhibition in Düsseldorf 2010. He too did some amazing self portraits. I went there with my mother, me at age 18, and they curated a section called "C**ks and Flowers" – yeah. BTW If you've got the chance to visit the Guggenheim in NYC: his works are on display till January 5, 2020. If anyone want's to meet there this year at World Pride, I'll be there too 😀

    Reply
  • Mattuiop

    In the medical field, gender dysphoria is a mental illness

    Reply
  • Meli Penfold

    I only see one gender. The human gender.

    Reply
  • Mark Payne

    Loved this episode! ..
    One of my favourite works around gender for me has been Alison Bennett's INVERTO https://vimeo.com/135924096 It documents gender transition through beautiful photographs. There was also a small documentary on it for Australian TV https://www.abc.net.au/austory/from-daddys-tummy/6684254

    Reply
  • Allie Lown

    I really appreciate the efforts to bring a more globally-minded conversation of art history. A lot of art education centers around European involvement in art movements, and art from other corners of the world (if taught at all) gets lost in time.
    I was wondering though, if both Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore identify as a gender other than male or female (and both changed their names to gender neutral names), shouldn't we use the pronouns they/them to describe the duo? I've seen lots of larger institutions use she/her and still refer to them by their former female names. Although they may not have outwardly identified as the word trans, can we as art folk of the present borrow this more modern approach of mindful pronouns? Just a thought! Thanks for the amazing video as always!

    Reply
  • Sofie Callow

    Ladu Shjuk making the mayans Shook

    Reply
  • SB

    some commentary:
    the female gaze in paintings – the reason why audience directed gazes were seen as taboo during Victorian times was for religious reasons. Adultery and 'lust' were seen as much bigger issues back then, and there was an underlying culture of sexual appreciation from nude paintings, under the guise of 'beauty' 'classical cultural figures' (hence all the Greek goddesses) 'Innocence' or 'realistic form'. Paintings such as these would be hidden under curtains in the drawing room (the modern equivalent of the man cave) for propriety, and revealed to select guests. This guise of 'beauty' could only go so far, especially with the wives of these gentlemen, and as such a direct or inquisitive look was seen as 'longing', lustful, sinful and bad, as if these figures are tempting these men into being unfaithful.

    Reply
  • Alejandro Gangotena

    4:18 the torso is not impossibly long, I just saw the proportions, it´s somewhat standard proportions, I ve seen many women in real life with similar proportions. By the same token, the feet are not impossibly small. They seem about standard. (that means, about the length of her face)

    Reply
  • omk573

    Wow only 74 dislikes so far! I just saw something about a Kkk rally in Ohio so its happy to see somethimg positive

    Reply
  • Natalie Pate

    I am really enjoying Blinkpopshift's current journey on Youtube.

    Reply
  • Alphae Marfa

    Love this topic and thank you Art Assignment for diving right into it. May i know what was the first video? Thanks ♡

    Reply
  • Alëna Ong

    it's so important when looking at gender to look at the related facets such as identity and portraiture, as like many things in life, they are not isolated realms of study. One artists who i think explores these quite well is Cindy Sherman. Her works do show many similarities with Claude Cahun, and it is interesting to see how time has changed these ideas of investigation.

    Reply
  • Mister Turk Turkle

    So, theres only two kinds of art?

    Reply
  • Sandra Turk

    Thank you for this. I come from a very traditional family that believes men and women have strictly defined gender roles because "that's how nature works. It's been that way for hundreds of years, you can't fight nature" etc. This video offers evidence of what I believed but couldn't prove: nature has never been black and white and strictly defined gender roles have not existed in this form since the dawn of humanity at all. Thank you. 🙂

    Reply
  • gaby

    just took the ap art history test last week!! so cool to see some of the artworks in this video

    Reply
  • Ahmad Wattoo

    never knew about that greek reclining nude sculpture. Oddly ingenious and profound in it's own tongue in cheek way

    Reply
  • Timothy B

    gender and art? what better example is there than contrapoints

    Reply
  • PogieJoe

    Wow! Claude Cahun's work is incredible! Thank you for introducing me to their work. 🙂

    Reply
  • Anna McCue

    Definitely thought you might mention Gerda Wegener's paintings of her partner Lili Elbe. The move "The Danish Girl" is interesting but doesn't capture all the intricacies of Lili and Gerda's life. Gerda was a famous erotica painter, often painting women having sex together, and she asked her husband to model for one of her paintings. Lili became the dual persona of Einar Wegener, and it started through Gerda's art. "Mosaiques" by Helene Allatini is a memoir about her own experience as friend of Gerda and Lili. I highly recommend it!

    Reply
  • Rashelle Dawkins

    Art Assignment is absolutely one of my favourite channels and I feel like it’s the only I’ve seen so far where I can genuinely learn, and art isn’t discussed in a convoluted manner. You guys are always well researched and give more than one argument to a case. Keep doing what you’re doing ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Reply
  • Guest Informant

    3:45 The girl in the background is throwing up into her toy chest. Ew.

    Reply
  • Jessie Potts Schwark

    It's amazing how all of this is not something new. Loved to know that in the past there is a lot of fusion between men and women! I think that also in the hindu culture with all of the different gods and goddesses, men and women are a representation of great power, in different ways, but equally important.

    Reply
  • Vinnie DeVore

    I love this video because it shines a light on something we usually argue or ignore. Gender is only a touchy subject to those who don’t understand it. I view myself as non-binary and Im exploring ways on how to include gender in my art, after seeing this, gender needs to be shown in a modern way so that it’ll make it into art history, it’s never to late.

    Reply
  • dork xx

    my favourite channel strikes again

    Reply
  • Emily

    I came here from Vlogbrothers….Mrs. Green, you're awesome! Thanks for doing what you do 🙂

    Reply
  • katacarbix

    "he or she"

    Great video, but that kinda rubbed me the wrong way.

    Reply
  • Nicolás Paul Moreale

    If you could make a video about Bauhaus I'd be so happy to watch it 🙂

    Reply
  • monowavy

    amazing!

    Reply
  • Lucas Meyer-Lee

    This video very strangely paralleled a piece I made just last year; it was an homage to Claude Cahun, incorporating some elements of a ngaady a mwaash, which holds a similar relationship for the Kuba people as the mblo for the baule (idealized woman, male dancers). Thanks for this fascinating expansion of those ideas! Here's the work I did: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PTSQA9MkrGlZHDzUGowhS1OnOCPh9NAj/view?usp=sharing

    Reply
  • Camila Stefanie

    I always love your videos so much. I wish you did a special episode for Claude Cahun, something like the Better Know series. A great queer icon but also, in my opinion, a hell of a trend setter of the 20th century

    Reply
  • Rabah El Aawar

    I think that the works of Robert Mapplethorpe and Nan Goldin prove an interesting gender 'shuffle' as Claude Cahun stated, and they reveal an aesthetic into how the anatomy whether it is masculine or feminine is challenged in its generally-accepted role by society, albeit they did photograph their subjects too while adhering to the gender norms at times. Another artist to highlight would be Wolfgang Tillmans in how he equates gender roles in his dual portraits of both male and female subjects, reflecting a slowly emerging genderless revolution towards the end of the 20th century that has become evidently more outspoken in our current one. These works will be a staple of how we view gender in our contemporary age, and will speak volumes about our gender lifestyles to the future generations.

    Reply
  • Rabah El Aawar

    Many, many thanks for this lovely and enlightening video. I found it very educational and on point! 👏👏👏👏👏

    Reply
  • X Marks

    I have a crush on the presenter.

    Reply
  • Cenit Magnitud

    dude. there are no buddhist deities

    Reply
  • LuckyLifeguard

    lovely video!!!! didn't want it to end!!!!!!! thank you for creating!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  • Jackson Elmore

    Art that reinforces gender norms > art that questions gender norms

    Reply
  • F Document

    I think art should be art and nothing more – if we start thinking of specific genders and incorporation – it effects the creative process – I don't care what you are but it will not effect my art either way

    Reply
  • Rayshonda Hedgeh

    Thumbnail b like “ok which part of he binary are you left head or right head)

    Reply
  • Liza Villalta

    I don't even know where to begin researching

    Reply
  • PhoenixPaw

    @14 minutes and 14 seconds I spotted a … lack of clarity. It's not so much "we humans" as "we so called westerners, that is, people raised with European values". Not all cultures believe in a strict binary.

    Reply
  • FRAGA

    Once again showing many cultures and times in the same respectful light!!! Love this series!!!

    Reply
  • Hugo Limarque

    Please, insert captions in the videos other than automatic ones. It gives an option to people who want to see it subtitled (like me) and presents better certain names, like the african ones. Thanks a lot, your content is amazing!

    Reply
  • Cana Dey

    Claude Cahun💛💛

    Reply
  • Oliver Bollmann

    Ah, so good! I'm fascinated by the degree to which we gender things and ourselves — aptitudes, ways of being, behaviour, dress, roles — and seeing it explored through time and cultures via art is brilliant. Yet another way art is a great vehicle for so many things! I've personally not (yet!) used art as a lens for issues of gender, but that's going to change now, thank you for pointing me toward a new way to engage, doubly so for the foray into Maya artwork! I've long been interested in them and even did a thesis on their architecture and art; makes me want to dive back in and see what's newly emerged in the field. 🙂

    Reply
  • Metamorphosis

    There are not very many videos of quality art and you have done a very thorough job at educating us… very informative.

    Reply
  • Cooper M

    Neat video 🙂

    Reply
  • Tesseracttoo

    This is really interesting, thanks. When I took fine arts in the '90's, gender wasn't a thing that was discussed much, except in the context of feminist art like Miriam Shapiro and Georgia O'Keefe.

    Some of the work I do is scientific illustration commissions and I learned that if I disguise my gender and let them assume I'm male (I'm not), that I will be second guessed to my accuracy and knowledge and paid more in commissions, almost as if gender itself lends credibility. Of course that's nonsense, but it is the reality.

    Reply
  • kittyand fox

    Americans need to realise that biology is sex and gender is cultural. Stop calling both gender!

    Reply
  • Dwight Wiltz

    I can appreciate your honesty and your views it seems to from experience of life and it sort comings and goings so much more could be said but think you have done a great job

    Reply
  • pipopanama

    awesome!! really enjoyed, you kept me interested and engaged all along

    Reply
  • Javier Üskára

    Also in southern Mexico there’s a place where there was no king, there the Red Queen ruled all her life. Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico

    Reply
  • Ana Wieder

    Olympia was also controversial because it openly depicted a prostitute. This was exacerbated even more by La Demoiselles D Avignon

    Reply
  • Gabriel Garcia

    beautifully made. really appreciate your videos as an educator and as a grad student. they are really helpful. thank you.

    Reply
  • Intrusive Shadows

    For me as a gender bon binary person this art is first and foremost validation. We are not new. We are as old as humanity.

    Reply
  • Manticore Wizard

    Was anyone else's mind blown when she was describing the features of the African masks and its meanings? Fucking awesome

    Reply
  • Toastwig

    Mary Cassatt is one of my favourite painters 🙂

    Reply
  • Abigail Ginzburg

    Another thing that my art history teacher pointed out to me about the "Venus" paintings is that they always had a dog in them. She called the dog "Fido" because that means loyalty, which is what the dogs were supposed to represent. So, not only is the first Venus taken because servants are getting her things out of a wedding chest, but dear Fido reassures the viewer that this is all within the commitment of marriage, so it is okay. Fido shows up in a few other iterations of this theme.

    By contrast, the Manet has a cat in it. No loyalty here, only the inconsistent affections of a cat, and a black cat at that. There has got to be something here connected to the thread of witches and black cats, but I do not know. One last detail is that Manet is also calling out society's racism because as low on the hierarchy as a sex worker is, even she is above her black servant.

    Reply
  • Yesid Antonio

    Amazing video thank you so so so much

    Reply
  • Chuck Jones

    I am upset with myself for thinking "So shiny" when this video opened.

    Reply
  • Vitoria Souza

    Amazing work!

    Reply
  • Marco Queme

    I am literally crying, cause even tho we barely see an introduction of how we play and conceive the idea of gender is the openness to discuss and understand the social and historical expression of it. And it is so uplifting and validating to have such a conversation through respect and genuine interest.

    Reply
  • Or Carmon

    9:12 sweet home Alabama

    Reply
  • FoiledFeline

    I would love more videos going through various expressions of and reactions to gender in art throughout the world and throughout history. This video made me hungry for more oh my god I love it. I especially love that this video gave the context of how this art was a depiction of the artists’ and their society’s relationship to gender.

    Reply
  • Laurel SB

    Nonbinary artist here! Cahun's words truly hit me :')

    Reply
  • akaPABLO

    Saying “LatinX” is really rude and disrespectful to the Hispanic grammar and culture.

    Reply
  • Sinaí S

    Amazing. Thank you.

    Reply
  • LifeLostSoul

    When I was a student at SAIC I saw Claude Cahun's photos on display and I contacted with them so greatly. When I saw them I didn't know words like gender queer, non-binary or Agender but seeing them helped me discover that about myself.

    Reply
  • Jimmy Jimmy

    Great video. But the audio is the background is annoying. It's too loud.

    Reply
  • Santi Martos

    Amazing, thank you!

    Reply
  • el dude

    This was wonderful and important to chellenge notions of gender binaries. It opens up a vein of creativity and self-expression. In particular I like how you referenced the feminine aspects of bodhisattvas.

    Reply
  • santiagop23

    It's ok to be wrong and liberal

    Reply
  • Anne Whitehouse

    0:58 – so you’re telling me that one of the most famous art pieces to exists was predominantly made by women!!!!
    I want that on a t shirt because I will spread this news like butter!

    Reply
  • Chante Moody

    Why did the narrator say Claude and Marcel are "gender-neutral names," when they are now, and have always been male names. The feminine version of Claude is Claudette. The feminine version of Marcel is Marcella.

    Also, from a biological standpoint, it seems obvious to me, that Claude was a man. If she was not a biological male, she was intersexed. If she was biologically a female she wouldn't have had such a proportionately large browbone, long jawbone, big ears, massive head, or long nose with extremely flared nostrils. She also clearly had a prominent Adam's apple.

    Marcel appears to biologically female to me.

    I am NOT trying to pick on transgender people. However, if the Art Assignment is going to make a video about What Art Tells us about Gender, it should try to be accurate. I am guessing that Claude Cahun never admitted to being biologically male, and maybe this is the reason why Art Assignment didn't mention that Claude was a biological male living a gender non-specific lifestyle. If that's the case (which I think it likely is), it seems like Cahun's art regarding gender roles seems less authentic and it looses power. There is a level of insincerity in the art, which makes it evoke weaker emotions, and makes the art seem more like random selfies of a cross-dresser than bold statements of someone espousing the benefits of openly living a life free of gender-conforming stereotypes.

    To me, this would be similar to a person promoting the idea that loving your body and believing you are beautiful at any size is ideal and dieting and weight loss surgery is wrong, but then secretly being an anorexic to avoid getting fat. It seems sort of hypocritical, insincere, and even somewhat cowardly.

    Reply
  • Aleksander

    God I love genetics so much. They just stay the same.

    Reply
  • AbstractScope

    As an individual who is nonbinary, the topics discussed within this video were superb. The inclusion of different cultures, especially throughout history, is very empowering.

    Reply
  • Anthony Rodney Alvior

    Art is a sanctuary where we can be anyone we like regardless of gender…

    Reply
  • lastpirateslife

    lame…why are you so offended by who i am?

    Reply
  • Gwyndale Anghag

    I'm scared of the thumbnail 😭😭 😭😭 😭😭 😭

    Reply
  • Sassy Gal

    I love the researchers voice

    Reply
  • Mark Dodd

    It makes me so happy to see all the comments from open-minded people. I expected to find negative comments and I'm very happy to see they're not here. Great job on the video and drawing the best viewers

    Reply
  • William1942

    Wonderful presentation, excellent information and insight, and beautiful pronunciation. Thank you. This gave me new understandings.

    Reply
  • Conner Fields

    It's "latinx" with an American accent. That sounds easier on the ears than the accented one (at least to my Anglo/American ears).

    Reply
  • Conner Fields

    The long o on "oggling" (ogling)?

    Reply
  • Mango T

    You say this is part two of five. Where are the rest?🤷‍♀️. I’d love to see the whole series. On an aside, my feet are that small. It’s not impossible.

    Reply
  • alex nijssen

    there Must be more to that hermaphrodite statue than just intention to surprise the audience.. at least pornhub thinks so LOL

    Reply
  • An alias

    Gender is a social construct. One that does not make sense or has any useful purpose in today's technological world imo. We still need at least 2 people to run a household in today's capitalistic world (i would argue more than that as soon as there are children involved) but as we transition into whatever new paradigm is coming as we speak, who know ? My honest opinion is that if we were all balanced being between feminine and masculine traits, the world would be a better place.

    Reply
  • EnigmaticPsyche

    THANK YOU for naming Laure! Conversations about Olympia has erased her presence for so many years.

    Reply
  • RenegadeTimes

    I can clearly understand the concepts of gender-less or combined genders through art expression but I do not want biological men urinating next to my daughter.
    PC is not in my vocab as I am not railroaded by group think. An individual has the right to privacy. Blurring these lines for all out acceptance publicly is unjust and absurd. Respect of our differences does not exclude those who disagree with current trends.

    Reply
  • Mona K

    This is a tremendous series. I love it!!

    Reply
  • Susumations 1000

    Lady shoook

    Reply
  • M. E.

    The art assignment are libtards

    Reply
  • Aurelia

    I really like your videos, I get to learn so many things!

    Reply
  • Andros The Conqueror

    Futanari is already known by the Greeks and Romans?

    Reply
  • Amin Yashed

    t h e r e a r e t w o g e n d e r s

    Reply
  • Laura Hines

    i loveeeee this. please do more of these 😊😊

    Reply

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