Tutu protest over lack of female statues


Several Fremantle statues were dressed in pink tutus on International Women’s Day.
Tutu protest over lack of female statues
Several Fremantle statues were dressed in pink tutus on International Women’s Day.

A spokeswoman for the group said they had identified 11 men in statue form in the Fremantle area, such as those of John Curtin, Sir Hughie Edwards, Bon Scott and C.Y. O’Connor, but only two women.

She said there was little artistic records of female participation in Australian life and that the group were looking to highlight the disparity.

“A group of women friends from Fremantle have been bemoaning the lack of female representation in public art in our City,” she said.

“We noted how the statue of ‘Eliza’ at Crawley is often dressed up for different occasions and attracts a lot of attention and we thought Fremantle, with a rich artistic culture, would be open to self examination through humour.

“We decided to draw attention to all the male statues we could reach by dressing them in ribbon, sparkles and tutus – clothing usually associated with women – and in doing so we were basically saying, ‘look at all these men, where are the women’?”

Taking on the International Women’s Day #pledgeforparity, the group is calling on government and the philanthropic sector to fix the disparity.

“Not all female representation has to be of a particular identity,” the group’s spokeswoman said.

“Women were also immigrants, innovators, wives, mothers, educators, colonisers, artists and politicians and they are important in their own right, as well as supporting the famous men.

“We hoped it would make people think and maybe laugh but it was pretty disappointing that by 8am all the tutus were removed from the statues in St John’s square.

“We don’t know who did the removing but it seems such a shame that they couldn’t be left at least for the day.”