Music and GenderThe women’s liberation movement of the 1960s and ongoing feminist scholarship have given rise to the consideration of gender as a category of scholarly analysis. These movements...

Music and Gender

The women’s liberation movement of the 1960s and ongoing feminist scholarship have given rise to the consideration of gender as a category of scholarly analysis. These movements empowered women from various countries to become politically involved in various facets in the fight for women’s rights and equality.

Investigations addressing the importance of gender in music have revealed that women have been subjected to judgments regarding their capacity, legitimacy, and musicality to the point that their musical expressions have been hidden in undocumented oral histories. Scholars who have worked to shed light on the biographical narratives and works of musical women have reflected on the conditions in society that acted to obscure the musical contributions of women. These reflections encouraged further inquiries into the gendered nature of musical education, ethnographic reflexivity, and the choices women make regarding their artistic endeavors.

Cultural authorities in art make judgments about art in the interest of the culture—political judgments—that are not entirely based on taste or on the beauty—aesthetic judgment—of art. In this situation, political judgments tend to replace aesthetic judgments, limiting the mediation between taste and reason.

What are the lines of mediation that run between the different, yet related, spheres of philosophical aesthetics, politics, and gender?

Asked on by mujer

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

This was an interesting question. I do think that women have been stifled and typecast in the past. They are still limited in some ways. For example, women are not usually considers action stars or can do their own stunts.
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ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

Is what you're asking about the political influences that affect aesthetic expression of subjective issues like art? If that's what you're asking, the National Endowment for the Arts comes into mind. This federally funded program was threatened several years ago with a loss of funding by Senator Jesse Helms (I believe)because they were giving money to art presentations that he felt were pornographic.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Is there really a way to differentiate between judgements that are purely aesthetic and those that are political?  I can admit that there might be judgements where aesthetics do not enter in any way -- ones that are purely based on politics (Hitler and Jewish art, perhaps).

But is there really any aesthetic judgement that is not affected by our political prejudices?  Our whole lives are affected by the politics of the societies in which we live, so I see no way that our "aesthetic" tastes could be free of political bias.

What do you think?

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