Last night, after the heated discussion on the Nick Cave essay by Crawford, I thought I’d post some of my reflections on the debate which have left me a little confused about my own beliefs as an artist. Is art allowed to be sexist? Is art allowed to cross the line? It seems everywhere you look these days everyone is being careful to be politically correct for fear of being sued or being labeled sexist. I can understand journalism is reporting fact but what about art? Is all art considered fictional? Is music fictional? I’m a little confused about all this myself. Is fiction allowed to be sexist if we are just reflecting on the human condition and the world we live in which is, in fact, sexist?
A few people have told me that ‘The Slap’ is misogynistic. I agree that some aspects of the female characters, especially the breastfeeding mother, could be seen that way. But is there anything wrong with that? If a writer creates fictional characters that are sexist if people like that do exist in our society is that okay? As a writer I want to challenge and confront my reader, have them question their own beliefs. But as artists if we write or sing whatever we want are we not just contributing to the problems in our society? Are we glorifying the wrong and therefore hindering change for the better? But it’s strange because I thrive on art that doesn’t conform – it inspires me but I’m not sexist. And art is supposed to be limitlessness and without boundaries. I was once a breastfeeding mother and when I read ‘The Slap’ I wasn’t offended, rather I asked myself ‘why is our society like this? Why does society view breastfeeding in this way?’ Because society does do that.
Any thoughts out there?