Title IX Opening
Updated: Mar 23
After a very intensive installation, "50th Anniversary of Title IX" is now open in the IUPUI Cultural Arts Gallery. I have to say, Emily Wilkes absolutely crushed it - the exhibition that she designed is comprehensive, colorful, and easy to navigate. The matterport tour can be found here.
There are tons of visual representations of the ways in which Title IX has gotten more women into sports and medicine, and it celebrates the trailblazing women who made so much of this possible. There's a display of books for further reading, and two interactives, as well as scheduled panel discussions and presentations. One of the interactives is a box where visitors can submit their questions to be answered at one of the panel discussions, and the other poses the question, "How has Title IX impacted your time at IUPUI?" and provides notecards for responses that can be hung from some string.
Recently there was an issue with the latter interactive element - someone wrote a response that implied students from India had a difficult time understanding consent. I reached out to Emily to decide how to respond, and we both agreed that the obviously xenophobic comment should be removed. I placed it in the closed box, so that perhaps a panel discussion question might be taken from the offending notecard.
Some museum professionals might disagree with the decision to "censor" the responses. While any form of censorship should not be taken lightly, I stand by the decision that we jointly made because of the harm that would be done by leaving it up. No one should be subjected to bigotry, and any conversation rooted in the ostracization of a certain ethnicity or nationality is a non-starter. Perhaps there is a conversation to be had about how different cultures respond to feminism, but not before American universities clean up their predominantly white fraternity houses.