The women museum was founded one year ago and has explored the extreme change that had happened in the last 100 years since the first female president was elected in the United States.
The museum is circular and has 4 rooms, each room represented a different direction – west, north, east and south.
The tour starts with showing a lot of facts regarding inequality from a society perspective. The first thing you notice when you enter the room is a black marble wall on which white numbers are carved in. Touching one of the numbers reveals a fact represented by the pressed number. Some facts are related to women inequality in society or represent a date that relates to a significant historical event in women’s status. For example, one freeze that caught my eye was “until 2071 female full-time workers made only 80 cents for every dollar earned by men, a gender wage gap of 20 percent.” Even though today it seems absurd, 100 years ago women were part of a minority group, as opposed to the fact that they outnumbered the male population.
The exhibition in the next room was called “Partner in crime”. This room tells the story of 5 different women who participated or helped maintain the inequality of women. The exhibit contained 3d scanned of women figures who lived 100 years ago. At first, their figures looked as if they were frozen in time, but if one was to stand in front of one of the sculpture figures she would ״come back to life״ and tell her story to the spectator.
One story I can recall was about a woman who used to get subscribed hormones from her doctor and consume them on a daily basis. At that time, they were unaware of the devastating side effects those hormones had. It was striking to me seeing a women sacrificing her body as part of a social convention while her partner was not required to do so. The fact it was an acceptable matter that was encouraged by doctors that lead to harming one’s health to enable the pleasure of the other, shocked me.
Walking through the room I ran across another figure of a woman who was sharing her addiction to “plastic surgeries”. Plastic surgery is a surgical specialty involving the restoration, reconstruction, or alteration of the human body that were very popular back at the time. Her addiction started after her participants in the television show Swan, in which women who were judged to be ugly were given “extreme makeovers” that included several forms of plastic surgery.
The following video shows the episode in which she did her makeover that firstly introduced her to the new world of plastic surgeries.
After hearing all the different life stories of these figures I moved to the third room, which I found very interesting. The space was divided into two, on one side there were sexist ads and magazines that amplified the stereotypic perception of women at that time and on the other side lived commercials that were explicitly discussing the absurdity of the social conventions at that time.
For example, on one side of the wall, a commercial for Bud light beer was playing while at the same time on the wall across from it a Guinness commercial was playing.
The building architecture dictates the visitors’ course. Therefore, only after going through all the other rooms one can get to the final exhibition space — room number 4.
The last room was depicting the most extreme change that enabled women equality that was not truly possible until then. The room was very sterile, almost lab-like looking and in the middle of it an old WomBile was exhibited. The WomBile was invented by the Nobel-winning in medicine Mulier Prima who changed humanity and enabled the world as we know it. In the 21st century, women were still required to carry their offspring in their own wombs. There was mostly internal fertilization which is the union of an egg cell with a sperm during sexual reproduction inside the body of a parent. For this to happen there needs to be a method for the male to introduce the sperm into the female’s reproductive tract.
Thanks to Mulier Prima’s invention, women nowadays are free to use an external womb. It was the invention that had the largest effect on women status since the laundry machine.
The WomBile freed women’s wombs all over the world from the burden of caring and feeding an embryo. Suffering from irreversible changes in their bodies and risking in getting behind in their career path. During that time they had to maintain their diet and prevent themselves from certain activity that would have limit them. That allowed a real women and men equality for the first time.
Categories: Cabinets of Wonder