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A Female Focus: Great Women Photographers: 08/29/16
A Female Focus: Great Women Photographers by Margot F. Horwitz is at first glance a history of women who advanced the art and science of photography. Certainly there are some short biographies in there but they are presented in a problematic fashion.
The title itself says it will be about "great women photographers" and yet every time a photographer is mentioned, her gender is used as a qualifier. Do we really need to be reminded each page, nay, sometimes, each paragraph, that these profiled photographers were also women?
Unfortunately when technology is involved there is a subset of men who insist that women can't be good at whatever the skill, job, art, etc, is because technology is strictly a male skill. Photography apparently is no different, though this misogynistic argument is new to me as my main mentor was a woman (my grandmother). What's more disturbing about it in the context of this book, is the book is written by a woman. So this is an internalized misogyny.
Another example of this book's internalized misogyny is the framing of each woman's accomplishments against the men (especially those who were also photographers) in her life. More pages are spent on outlining their work and their influence on her work, than are spent on her life and work.
Of course men and women don't live separately, even those in same gender relationships still know people of other genders. I'm not expecting this to be a women-only volume, but they should be the dominate topic. The book is supposed to be about "great women photographers" for goodness sake!