The Smithsonian is planning an ode to women on the National Mall, and it’s shaking off the shackles of America’s cisgender past.
The New York Times noted the massive amount that’s been pledged in support:
Without a building or even a determined site, leaders for the Smithsonian’s proposed American Women’s History Museum have spent the past two years drumming up anticipation and support from donors. On Monday, the institution announced more than $55 million in gifts that will help solidify its financial future…
The museum’s interim director, Lisa Sasaki, spoke in celebratory terms:
“Together, we will create a museum that celebrates the women who have helped build this country. These donations are pivotal in the realization of this vision.”
The museum’s contributed cash comes courtesy of famously deep coffers. Fashion designer Tory Burch, Bill Gates ex-wife Melinda French Gates, and Walmart billionaire Alice L. Walton are among the backers. The Alice L. Walton Foundation alone has gifted $10 million.
As for Melinda, she wants to see light shone into the shadows:
“The stories we tell about our country’s history so often overlook the contributions of the women in every generation whose efforts and ideas helped make us who we are today. By paying tribute to the women who shaped our past, the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum empowers and inspires the ones who will shape our future.”
Fourteen employees and an annual operating budget of nearly $2 million are waiting to fuel that inspiration. “Officials jostle for a permanent spot,” though the project has yet to receive final congressional approval.
As for objects to be placed in the female-flaunting gallery, there’s no shortage of choice — the Smithsonian oversees roughly 157 million items. Therefore, a major narrowing-down will have to be done. But the museum will be sure to make room for modernity. What Lisa calls “a rare opportunity to start a museum from scratch” will usher in a wealth of woke womanhood:
There is no monolithic experience of womanhood, and Sasaki emphasized that her museum would not attempt to create a singular narrative. The institution will include an oral history program for visitors to submit their own stories, for example. But Sasaki said that she plans to include transgender women, who have been subject to increasing harassment and violence at a time when there is a national discussion, and deep partisan divide, about the acceptance of transgender identities.
These days, variety is key:
Miss France Welcomes Biological Male Contestant, ‘a Candidate Like the Others’
New Victoria’s Secret Underwear Angel is Transgendered
Man Who Says Women Don’t Exist Wins ‘Woman of the Year’
The Emmys Nominates Its First Biological Male for Best ‘Lead Actress’
Seattle Man Transitioned to a Woman and Also a Wolf
Major News Outlet Reports on Nude Transgender Singer and ‘Her Penis’
Sociopolitics increasingly appears everywhere. Museums aren’t immune:
University Launches Graduate Program to Fight the ‘Rampant’ White Supremacy of Museums
George Floyd Gets His Own Exhibit — at a Holocaust Museum
Baltimore Will Have Bought-a-Less: The City’s Museum of Art Announces it Won’t Buy Any Works if They’re Made by Men
For International Women’s Day, a Vagina Museum Celebrates Biological Males and ‘Gay Vikings’
Back to the National Mall’s impending homage to ladies, potential subjects include “Mary Burnett Talbert, the ‘Shanghai Express’ actress Anna May Wong and the breast cancer researcher Shyamala Gopalan, who was Vice President Kamala Harris’s mother.”
Surely also a candidate: drag performer and sex worker Marsha P. Johnson. Cofounder of the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries, per CNN, Marsha “stood at the center of New York City’s gay liberation movement for nearly 25 years.”
According to interim director, Lisa Sasaki, the new museum is all about DNA:
“From the DNA of this museum, there has been a desire to be inclusive.”
See more content from me:
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