I would like to make a few points concerning a reader’s letter on the cowgirl mural at 99 riverside ["Cowgirl is Misogynistic," June 25, Xpress]. Although he makes some valid points as to the commercialized sexploitation of women, I hardly think the cowgirl mural is the poster child of female objectification. Take it for what it is: repro-vintage artwork paying tribute to the 50’s – when rock and roll was young, cars were cool and post-war America was strong and prosperous. That sort of PG rated pin up imagery, like the cowgirl, was iconic of the rockabilly scene.
And as for the whole cowboy theme being degrading to Indians… Really? Watch less old Westerns and read more history. Cowboys weren’t just a mob of white rednecks with hats terrorizing Indians; they were hardworking cattleman that helped feed a growing nation and they came in many colors. There were Afro-American cowboys, Indian cowboys, Mexican cowboys and women cowboys.
I like the cowgirl mural because it reminds me of the music and an era I admire. While some find her provocative, others may see it as a sign of innocence. The woman isn’t giving a lap dance or twerking or even revealing anything to deserve more than a PG rating. If the mural reads as “provocative” it’s only because you project R or X rated thoughts upon it. I mean, a cucumber is just a cucumber until your mind turns it into something else, and I just see her as repro-artwork from a great era. If you want to point your finger at murals that may be guilty of objectify females, there are more than a few graffiti murals in the River Arts District that are less skillfully executed and feature full female nudity. Though I don’t find these to be objectifying either, I’m just saying there are several other mural images at which one could point a finger before picking on a PG rated cowgirl.