They strip prisoners to disempower them

That Statue continues to rile the pesky women. This is a point I hadn’t thought of:

Livia Gershon at Smithsonian Magazine:

Hambling, for her part, tells the Evening Standard’s Robert Dex that the nude figure is not meant to depict Wollstonecraft, but women of all eras.

Really. If the naked figure is meant to depict women of all eras, why is it so extremely young, thin, fit, muscular, Aryan, tiny-breasted, and deformed in the genital region? Why is it a Hitleresque flawless specimen with a basketball where the crotch should be?

But also…why in hell would an artist commissioned to honor Mary Wollstonecraft decide to leave Mary Wollstonecraft out of it? It’s so…how we still think of women if we’re unwary. “Women must not seek the limelight, women must not stand out, women must serve everyone else, women must Be Kind, a good woman never appears in public.” Even when it’s a statue to honor a particular woman!

“She’s [an] everywoman and clothes would have restricted her,” the artist says. “Statues in historic costume look like they belong to history because of their clothes.”

Sure, and that’s why there are all these statues of naked Lincoln, naked Churchill, naked Einstein, naked Marx.

Regarding the slim, muscular body of the woman depicted in the statue, Hambling says, “As far as I know, she’s more or less the shape we’d all like to be.”

Well we wouldn’t all like to have a fat protruding blob between our legs instead of the normal pubic hair. (It occurred to me to wonder if waxing has become so universal that Hambling has never actually seen a woman with pubic hair. There’s some deep misogyny right there, I tell you what.)

“Mary Wollstonecraft was a rebel and a pioneer, and she deserves a pioneering work of art,” Mary on the Green campaign chair Bee Rowlatt tells BBC News. “This work is an attempt to celebrate her contribution to society with something that goes beyond the Victorian traditions of putting people on pedestals.”

In an interview with the Guardian, Rowlatt adds, “We could have done something really, really boring and ordinary, and, and very Victorian and old fashioned. And, you know, I would be having a slightly easier day today.”

Oh please. Fine, don’t put her on a pedestal; put her at a desk, or in a chair, or on a bridge over the Thames. Portray her in action, doing her work, by all means. But don’t ignore her altogether and swap in a tiny naked athlete with deformed genitalia.

Many people on social media pointed to the contrast between the Wollstonecraft statue and those honoring significant male historical figures.

“Imagine if there was a statue of a hot young naked guy ‘in tribute’ to eg Churchill,” wrote columnist and author Caitlin Moran on Twitter. “It would look mad. This, also, looks mad.”

Well you see it’s like this: men are real people, and stand for themselves. Women are general peopleish types, and they can all be swapped for each other, and summed up by One Perfect Hotty (with bizarro pubic hair).

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