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Thu Jun 23, 2016, 12:38 PM

Owners of Seattle’s vandalized Bettie Page house say ‘some feminists’ missed the point

I drive by this a lot. And I admit--it, the first time I saw it, the feminist in me sniffed and rolled her eyes and thought--"great, that's just great, a pin-up on the side of a house" but over the years, I've come to love it--First, I am a fan of street art in all its forms, second, there was something powerful about the image--it covers the side of a house, so it's huge, the sexuality of the image seems larger than the forces that would exploit it, it's a in-your-face image that screams "woman" and "I own this--you don't" --it's hard to explain. I am very glad the owner is replacing it and I'm glad she sent a feminist message of her own. While I don't think women are anywhere near "autonomous sexuality"--I could go off on a huge tangent here--feminists everywhere are working toward it.

The gray paint splattered on the side of Jessica Baxter’s house already had dried by the time she learned of the vandalism to her family’s mural of Bettie Page.

She had seen the same paint on her car days earlier but didn’t think much of it. It wasn’t until her husband, Chris Brugos, saw it on their home in Seattle from the bus last Friday that they discovered paint over the 10-year-old mural of the 1950s pinup model Bettie Page, visible to drivers on I-5 as they approach the Ravenna neighborhood.

“Stop exploiting women’s bodies,” the vandals wrote, signing their work, “some feminists.”

The first thing Baxter, a 37-year-old mother of two, did was cover their message with one of her own, reading “autonomous sexuality is empowerment. Telling a woman to cover up is oppression.”

“I knew it was going to be a while before we could actually do anything about it and I didn’t want to leave the message up there,” Baxter said. “I felt so strongly that they misinterpreted Bettie or possibly didn’t know who she was, so I wanted to put a counter statement over their message.”

The couple saw Page as in charge of her own image, and as Baxter put it, a pioneer “well ahead of her time.”

To restore the mural, Baxter said they plan to strip the entire side of the house of its siding, replace it and go through the process of projecting the image onto the side of the house at night and hiring a friend to paint over the projection.

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Reply Owners of Seattle’s vandalized Bettie Page house say ‘some feminists’ missed the point (Original post)
ismnotwasm Jun 2016 OP
Buzz cook Jun 2016 #1
ismnotwasm Jun 2016 #2

Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Thu Jun 23, 2016, 01:56 PM

1. I've also driven by Bettie on I-5

Pretty much ignored it after the first couple of time.

It never occurred to me tha it was intended to be sexist. The amount of effort involve indicated that it had to be someone that felt a connection to Page for some reason of their own.

Considering the number of billboards featuring images that obviously exploit women, I think the vandals picked a poor target.

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Response to Buzz cook (Reply #1)

Thu Jun 23, 2016, 04:22 PM

2. I completely agree

I take pictures of Seattle street art as I can, and this house is a gorgeous addition. I wouldn't mind having it enlarged and framed.

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