A truly representative democracy cannot exist if women are socialized to be too nice to say anything. This thesis project identifies and questions some of the strategies by which women’s voices are quieted within public, social, and personal spheres of a society that often considers itself post-feminist. In my thesis paper I explore the explicit and implicit strategies of quieting, examine external and internalized censoring forces, and then contrast them with the state of contemporary American democracy. With my thesis project I expose and document, through ten self-portrait paintings, my personal struggles with quieting as part of a greater conversation about women and gender performativity. My thesis insists that recognizing the strategies of quieting leads to a clearer vision of the sexism that still affects American women, and a clearer envisioning of how to address it.
Winner of the 2014 General Fine Arts Department Award