Gender representation in the natural history galleries at the Manchester Museum

Rebecca Machin

Abstract


A feminist critique of the natural history galleries at the Manchester Museum revealed androcentric biases in the displays. Male specimens dominated female specimens with respect to number, the postures and positions in which they were displayed, and in the quantity and style of language used in interpretative text. The explanations for these biases were various, reflecting both historical and current views of gender within the museum and society beyond. In response to these findings, and the reactions they elicited in museum colleagues, the museum staged an ‘intervention’ on the natural history galleries, exposing the biases found within.


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Copyright (c) 2015 Rebecca Machin

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Museum and Society

ISSN 1479-8360