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4. The “Others” in History


Conceived as a pantheon of “great men”, official history has traditionally conceded little importance to women (or to other sexual minorities assimilated into “the feminine”). As the works in this room reflect, women’s contribution to great historical events has been silenced; their names are absent from commemorative monuments, and their access to public speech is constantly interrupted.

Associated with the domestic environment, women have had to struggle to make themselves visible in the public sphere. Moreover, patriarchy has defined the female as “other” over whom to be able to assert masculine supremacy: in psychoanalytic discourse, women are defined as lack, the absence of phallus; in the artistic and literary tradition, the monsters, mad women, and witches remind us that any deviation from the heterosexist norm is catalogued ipso facto as anomaly or perversion.

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