Friday, December 4, 2015

"We All Need a Home and a Journey" - Gloria Steinem

Amy Schumer & Annie Leibovitz

A few years back, I got to see Anne Leibovitz give a talk at a book store in New York City about one of her last books, called Pilgrimage. This was truly the highlight of my trip to NYC, because I have always admired her work. She is a great speaker, a philosopher, an amazing photographer and I could listen to her for hours.

Today I learned that the Parelli Calendar has recently published a feminist depiction of numerous women that are clothed, a far departure from how this calendar portrayed women in the past, always glamorous, nude portraits.

Annie Leibovitz had free rein to create the kind of portrait photographs she wanted when she was asked to do this project. It broke with the Parelli stereotypical tradition of objectifying women. It will be interesting if this  project marks a permanent change in how the Parelli calendar will be presented in the future, but it certainly is a hopeful change from the mindless concept of a hyper-pornified culture to where we are "agents of our own bodies" and the conversation  about sexuality shifts, and is defined by our own terms.

Simultaneously it may be a sign of change when you see Playboy magazine no longer engaging in nude photos of women. More than an indication of Playboy developing a politically correct social conscience, I think perhaps this is more about having to compete with a pornographic material so readily available on the internet, and how this has made the Playboy rather redundant.

Pioneer feminist Gloria Steinem who in 1963 went undercover as a Playboy bunny, was interviewed today on CBC Radio. She has previously addressed this topic when she said, " For Playboy to stop publishing nude photos of women, (of course, it never published nude photos of men) is like the NRA saying that it's no longer pushing hand guns because machine guns and assault refiles are so easily available. "

 " Playboy would have to change it's little heart and brain cells in order to express the full humanity of men or women. "

When I heard what Gloria Steinem said about how we all need a home and a journey, it rung so true with me.  And like Annie Leibovitz and all the women she photographed, we all do need a home, that is found within ourselves, on that pilgrimage to find where it is we belong, and where  and how we reclaim our power and our strength.

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