Hyena in Petticoats 2023

Art portfolio- my work
Hyena in Petticoats 2023 Photographic print on board, thread and rubber 84 x 59.5 cm Hannalie Taute

“Mary Wollstonecraft, in her groundbreaking polemic, ‘A Vindication of the rights of woman (1792), fought with the French Republic founding philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau over his irrational refusal to accept that women were also creatures of Nurture, shaped, or rather misshapen, by their upbringing as lesser beings, and denied an education- indeed, denied any rights at all.


Women, said Wollstonecraft, were not born frivolous; they were made frivolous,  and frivolity thrust upon them. Rousseau really wasn’t interested.  Liberty and equality were for the fraternity,  not the sisterhood. Women,  said Rousseau, didn’t deserve equality.  His reason? Men desire Women but don’t need them. Women desire men and need them.


Wollstonecraft pointed out that being unable to earn a living wage or have any rights over her person or her property is what makes a woman need a man…and in such circumstances how can he possibly be sure whether she desires him or not?


 In England,  Mary’s reward for pointing out the obvious was to be called ‘a hyena in petticoats’. 

*The above words- which is the inspiration behind this work- as quoted from the book: 12 Bytes by Jeanette Winterson

*Happy Freedom day South Africa

*To register interest in this work please contact: louise@mcontemp.com

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