99 to 1 : Women and the 1%
Gender and Income Inequality
The gap between the rich and poor is a serious blow to the fight against gender and income inequality, and a threat to women’s rights.
The richest 1% (2,000 billionaires in the world) are overwhelmingly men and they now own more wealth than the rest of the world put together, with 62 individuals owning as much wealth as the poorest 3.6 billion people. Of the 50 women, on the 2017 Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans, eight have fortunes that are self-made. The rest inherited their wealth. There are only six self-made women billionaires who did not inherit their wealth and made their fortunes without a co-founding man:
- Oprah Winfrey
- Judy Faulkner
- Meg Whitman
- Sheryl Sandberg
- Sara Blakely,
- Carolyn Rafaelian
Women working full time in the United States are paid 80% of what men are paid and are not expected to reach pay equity with men until 2119 and 13% of American women ages 18-64 are living below the federal poverty level, compared with 10% of men. For ages 65 and older 11% of women and 8% of men were living in poverty.
This is bad for growth, for reducing poverty and for social cohesion. Eliminating the gender pay gap by increasing women’s levels of pay to those of men could cut the poverty rate for working women in half.
Americans are not generally aware of the extent of inequality or recent trends. There is a direct relationship between actual income inequality and the public’s views about the need to address the issue in most developed countries, but not in the United States, where income inequality is worse, but the concern is lower.
Through extensive online research I found photographs of 99 women not known to be wealthy using random search words. These women represent the 99%. I printed the photographs, traced their faces, and researched royalty, aristocrats and socialites that might be of their ancestral lineage. I create new portraits of these women incorporating clothing, headdresses and jewelry from possible royal, aristocratic or socialite ancestors and shift the 99% into the 1%.
During research and production new areas of interest arose which lead to writing fictional descriptions based on real facts and adding women who committed crimes and women known to be wealthy.
The Great Wife of King Musi, a Polygamist. Till Death Does Thine Rings Part.
Queen Etna of the Cayuse. The Cayuse were once masters of a vast homeland of more than six million acres in Washington and Oregon. They survive today as a result of a casino and wind farm.
Mary Ann was 10 years old when she was escorted out of the Bitteroot region to the Indian Reservation. Had she not been forced to leave, could she have been crowned Miss America in 1926, receiving all of its rewards and riches, more than $100,000?
Queen Levy, friends with others living “New Woman” life, suffered from depression made worse by distress surrounding romantic relationships and awareness of growing deafness. Committed sucide at her parents house two months before her 28th birthday.
Lena’s father regarded her as his favoured successor and she was crowned “king” after his death.
July 14, 1956. A producer offered Dorina a role. Woule she “dine” with the producer? Dorinda refused. Once, twice, three times the assistant called. Dorinda went on refusing.
Ilse, unmarried and workiing in a shoe factory, was transferred to Auschwitz after she refused to go to work at a munitions factory. At her trial, she was asked if she carried any kind of weapon or stick while working as a guard. She replied, “No, not have I ever beaten anybody with a stick, but sometimes I slapped their faces during distribution of food to keep order.”
Aspasia, descended from leaders and personalities, was reluctant to accept the romantic advances of the prince. Renowned for his many female conquests, the prince seemed to her untrustworthy. However, the persverance of the prince and his wealth finally overcame her misgivings.
Akari raised the bar for women everywhere when she was crowned high priestess and supreme ruler of her kingdom. She holds the distinct honor of being the first badass chick in Japanese history.
Pine Leaf was a warrior and the chief of her people. Interested in traditionally male pursuits from an early age, she became one of her people’s most significant leaders.
1945 Germany. Trials were conducted by the Allied occupation forces against men and women of the SS who had worked at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. of the 44 brought to trial, 17 were women of which 3 we’re executed.
When there was no where else to go Hope found refuge in the workhouse where the destitute elderly, infirm and sick lived.
Sarah was born into a male dominated royal family and became the highest educated Queen receiving an MBA from the UK.
Empress Consort of Mexico
New Moon was ridiculed for her spirituality and driven from a town where she had lived for over 20 years.