One photographic theme I am interested in exploring is the objectification of wives by their husbands.
This theme isn’t so much about exploring the sexual objectification of women as it is about how women feel when they realise they are are treated as objects by men they once loved.
This theme has come about from my experience with divorce recently: after having helped two women it’s apparent that some men don’t seem to have any qualms about putting themselves before their wives (and children) to the extent of not worrying about their children being homeless. So how can husbands do this? For me, the answer has to be because they can objectify their wives. It seems by regarding their wives as objects, the husbands are able to act selfishly. So it must follow selfish acts can only come about when husbands are unemotionally involved and the best way to ensure this is to for husbands to regard their wives as objects.
So I am looking for middle-class women with children (middle class as I am interested in how mundane being homeless can be, not something out of a Smith Family Appeal) who are embroiled in the legal process (e.g. seeking exclusive occupation orders) of trying to keep a roof over their heads after realising their estranged husbands have no qualms about them becoming homeless. I want to photograph the women outside of the homes they are trying to keep.
I think this theme has worth if it can play a small part (however small) in changing our social values because we need to regard former family homes without children as being worthless and not as valuable real estate.
The theme also has worth if it also plays a small part in changing our society’s concept of justice. For all the platitudes from right wing political parties about the nuclear family being at the apex of our social value system, my experience of family law is that the Courts aren’t specifically geared to protecting women and children and if they aren’t, then in my view they are failing as instruments of justice: how can a single man’s rights be equal to those of a woman and multiple children when the children don’t want to live with their father?
A weakness of the theme is that it may discourage women from leaving their husbands since it will show how difficult life is for women once they have left their husbands.
I took this photo this morning of my wife. I think I need proof that I don’t objectify women and for me such photos provide evidence of this. This could be regarded as black armband view of me but I’d rather doubt myself than act thoughtlessly.