Creative atlas

Wondrous ‘City of Women’ map turns the tables on the ‘manscape’ of New York City

Although New York City’s biggest statue is of a women — “who welcomes everyone and is no one, the Statue of Liberty” — most of its streets, monuments, bridges and buildings are named for men.

As part of a forthcoming “creative atlas of New York City,” Nonstop Metropolis, Rebecca Solnit and Joshua Jelly-Schapiro have designed a “City of Women” map, that pays “homage to some of the great and significant women of New York City in the places where they lived, worked, competed, went to school, danced, painted, wrote, rebelled, organized, philosophized, taught, and made names for themselves.”

Based on the New York subway map, the pair conceived “a feminist city of sorts, a map to a renamed city.”

In a piece for The New Yorker, Solnit reveals a roll call of landmarks in the city that are named for men, pointing out that “a horde of dead men with live identities haunt New York City and almost every city in the Western world. Their names are on the streets, buildings, parks, squares, colleges, businesses, and banks, and their figures are on the monuments.”

“New York City is, like most cities, a manscape,” she writes.

Even now, there are only five statues of named women in New York City: Joan of Arc, Golda Meir, Gertrude Stein, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Har­riet Tubman, the last four added since 1984.

“I can’t imagine how I might have conceived of myself and my possibili­ties if, in my formative years, I had moved through a city where most things were named after women and many or most of the monuments were of powerful, successful, honored women,” Solnit writes.

Read the full story and see an interactive version of the map at The New Yorker.

Related:

Joan of Arc’ performance artist wants more statues of important women in NYC

“America’s first supermodel”: The tragic life of the most famous American statue model

U.S. gets its first national monument to women’s history

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