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L’équipe Imagining Ourselves a travaillé dur pour exprimer les valeurs fondamentales du International Museum of Women. Avec notre exposition en ligne et ses centaines d’histoires personnelles, nous avons essayé d’inspirer des gens à encourager le dialogue international et à promouvoir l’égalité sociale, culturelle et politique des femmes.

Si nous avons reçu notre part d’éloges, nous avons aussi eu quelques critiques. Nous avons décidé de les présenter ici et vous invitons à nous donner votre opinion, vos suggestions et vos conseils.

Nous pensons que les critiques ne doivent pas être écartées ni cachées, mais au contraire être utilisées comme une motivation pour penser, discuter et grandir.

Nous vous sommes reconnaissants pour vos réactions. S’il vous plaît, rejoignez la conversation!
Paula Goldman, Director of Imagining Ourselves
Etats Unis
I used to be afraid of criticism-- I used to aim to try to make things perfect, to have everyone love all of the work we did. Eventually I realized criticism is something to be grateful for. It stretches you. No matter how far you come, you always have farther to go.

On the surface, criticism is a sign you are doing something wrong. But just as often, I take criticism as a sign we are doing something right. You can't please everyone-- so if you choose a strong direction, you're bound to have people who disagree with you. And this disagreement can and should be a learning experience.

THANK YOU for your critiques, and please, join the conversation.
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angela simione
Etats Unis
Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 1:29 PM
Paula, thanks so much for responding. i don't find what you've said to be a digression in the least! the word 'feminist' does have alot of implications, for sure... most of which aren't very nice. history has taken it's toll and made the word a tag that is representative of things that are hard to contend with. i have trouble with it as well sometimes and i think aligning oneself with feminism is a very personal decision... one i don't want to force upon anyone else. It is up to those who chose to adopt feminism to work at redefining it (which i think is currently being done in a very inclusive, positive way).

to respond to whether or not the belief in human potential is a political outlook, i would say that it is... and an outlook that is much needed, especially now. i think people look at their own lives and don't see the signifigance within their actions and feel hopeless. I battle with this. promoting hope is hard work, and i thank you for taking on the task of it. i am thankful that this space exists and that the encouragment of dreams is recognized as a neccessary action.

alot of my personal perceptions about the nature of politics are fueled by studying art. in art, every gesture is somehow political... even if it's just a reminder that beauty exists in the world. sometimes the most personal gestures end up being the ones with the most universal impact.

it's funny that my responses are in the "criticisms" gallery. if anything, i wanted to take the time to express my appreciation and offer thanks for the creation of this space.

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Paula Goldman, Director of Imagining Ourselves
Etats Unis
Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 10:07 AM
Thanks, Angela. I agree with you!

Not to digress, but since this is the place where we are airing our dirty laundry, can I just say that I personally still have those same hangups you describe with the very word "feminism"? There is a reason you don't see the label splashed across this site-- and that is we wanted to cast a wide net, to create an encouraging and positively-toned dialogue that reached across people of different persuasions and inspire positive action. For better or worse, the word itself is extremely divisive.

My impetus for starting this project was-- at it's core-- to create inspiration, to encourage young women to take on those challenges in their lives that mean the most to them-- to be their biggest selves. And those issues are sometimes political ones but more often than not, they're personal ones-- taking on that art project you always wanted to do, finding the time to get involved in your community. It's in essence change at the personal level, hope at the personal level, that we're seeking to create en masse.

I find that whenever I meet people and tell them what I do, there is sometimes an unspoken assumption that I must have a certain political philosophy, that I must be very leftist, etc... most of which is probably not true. I'm not sure if it's political to say that I believe in human potential... and that holds equally true for me for men and women... and just wanted to create a space to encourage my contemporaries to dream big and fulfill that potential.

Big digression, I know, but somehow needed saying.
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angela simione
Etats Unis
Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 1:24 AM
in response to "Where are the Men?"

i absolutely loved this article. it is a subject i often think about as a feminist artist. i want men in my audience. exclusion and finger-pointing is something i conciously try to avoid. though i agree that girls and women need a safe space in which to discuss the issues relevant to our lives, i also believe that men need to be included in the conversation. a daughter needs a father asw nuch as a mother. the jewel of difference should be prized and celebrated as often as our commonalities; we cannot speak of our similarities without ackowledging our differences. we need the mirror of each other's eyes in order to see ourselves. there is no self without the other. Excluding men from participation in the feminist dialogue sends the message that what they have to offer is unneccessary and unwanted. It is a value judgemet that is catagorically untrue, unfair, and bigoted. telling a man that he is unable to understand women's issues is a reductive process by which we place a limit on his intelligence and abilities based soley on sex and gender. is this not what we are working to free ourselves from?
as a feminist, i have to come to terms with the fact that i am also an ambassador of feminism. it is my responsibility to explain feminism's neccessity and agency to those who don't know... and explain it in a way that they can understand, digest, and, hopefully, appreciate. i have a brother, a father, and a fiance. they had the same warped outlook on feminism that i had before i studied it... which is the point: creating an arena for learning. through extending the chance to pose questions and express perceptions, men become feminists too.

"What do you want? An engraved invitation!!"

"Actually... yes."
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Luz Sanchez
Posted on Sunday, November 25, 2007 9:52 PM
Well, technically, I fall out of the age range. But I've been participating, no problem. I think people should stop being so sensitive. Though I guess I understand.
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Paula Goldman, Director of Imagining Ourselves
Etats Unis
Posted on Sunday, November 25, 2007 9:27 PM
Probably the most common critique we got was about ageism. We got lots and lots of women writing in saying they were above 40 and wanted to participate, but couldn't. And we honestly knew that drawing the line at any age was arbitrary. But we also knew we wanted to keep a tight focus-- that we had to make the exhibit coherent. Would you guys have done it differently?
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winfridah chilyobwe mcekeni
Etats Unis
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 10:05 PM
Thanks Sonja for your humbling comments. Thanks Paula Goldman for opening up this dialogue, for it is from such conversations we get to learn of what our other sisters from all walks of life have been through. I have learnt a lot from the women here, their struggles and victories are all inspiring.
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Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 3:09 PM
I have to direct you all to an added story that Ms. Winfridah Chilyobwe Mcekeni has just added. It is to be found on the right-hand side of the story entitled "Are we painting a one-sided picture?" under the heading ADDED STORIES. http://imaginingourselves.imow.org/pb/Story.aspx?id=1548&lang=1&g=0

Ms. Chilyobwe Mcekeni is not only a talented writer, but an enviable thinker. I thank you for your strong opinions, your tact, your passion and your knowledge.

Please read her story because you will really learn something, feel a torrent of emotions and be inspired to do something about your opinions.
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Histoires à thème
"How Representational is the Exhibit?"
Imagining Ourselves Team, Etats Unis
"Is the Museum Ageist?"
Imagining Ourselves Team, Etats Unis
"Are We Silencing the Politics of War?"
Sadaf Siddique, Inde
"Are we painting a one-sided picture?"
Paula Goldman, Director of Imagining Ourselves, Etats Unis
"Where are the Men?"
Paula Goldman, Director of Imagining Ourselves, Etats Unis
©Copyright 2008 International Museum of Women / Politique de respect de la vie privée et démenti / Traduction : 101translations / Changer de langue