Friday, October 26, 2012

A Little Political Bias

Our recent experiences can bias our interpretations. I had the feeling I was misunderstanding this painting in Santa Marina Trastavere, a church in Rome.

A painting with a very large number of men clearly having an important meeting. And the women outside the meeting doing other stuff. My bias from recent events in the United States caused me to think that perhaps this was an early feminist statement about men making decisions about women. Somehow a way ahead of its time painting commenting on how men were excluding women. Alas my understanding of early 16th Century allegory imagery is a bit lacking. The painting is an image of the Council of Trent and the central female figure is an image of the Roman Catholic Church along with lots of other female figures representing other topics and places.

My bias about the image was perhaps seeded by Congressional Hearings earlier this year:

And even the sillier and then nastier stuff that followed.

I have to wonder what the all male Council of Trent would think of the dispenser next to the informational sign in the square in front of the church?

And for that matter what some of our own leades are thinking?


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