If you think feminism is a played-out story, some stale leftover from the ‘60s, check out the missing persons in the U.S. senate working on the repeal and replace health care bill. While women outnumber men in the U.S., not one was invited to participate in the decision-making. Trump’s America prompts today’s column, which usually pooh-poohs feminism, particularly when it comes to female-only art shows. But I welcome #New York City’s new summer display -- billboard advertising space filled with art by women only because of a single work. (More about that in a moment.)

Putting art in the street

The project is run by the non-profit group called SaveArtSpace, known for getting art out of the confines of museums and galleries and into the streets of cities throughout the United States.

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Intent on making painting part of people’s everyday, co-founders Travis Rix and Justin Aversano call their effort an “urban gallery experience.” And this time around the “experience” is all female. Marie Tomanova, one of the curators, told the Huffington Post that she wants to see more art than ads in public spaces in order to move people to think more. To her that means art celebrating her gender -- “fierce, loving, brave and unstoppable.”

Segregating women from men

Tomanova’s idea may be a good thing for some. But to me, displays of art by gender is a bad thing. Anatomy shouldn’t be a yardstick. A female-only show is less an historical corrective and more a way to keep the ghettoizing going. Segregating shows by gender also takes the focus away from art and puts it on women’s rights. This is like the Republican senators keeping certain colleagues out of their discussion on the repeal/replace health bill owing to gender.

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Such an arbitrary separation only turn the divides between the sexes into chasms.

Rising above it all

But all of the above seem like tired arguments in the face of one of the works now showing on a Manhattan billboard, “#The Leap” by artist Nina Summer describes a sprite of a girl springing high in the air with joy on her face, as if gleefully vaulting over all the bickering. Thoughts of “Fearless Girl” come to mind -- that bronze statue installed this year on Wall Street to challenge the longstanding bronze of “Raging Bull” – her balk about keeping women out of the boardroom. A plaque for the sculpture says, “SHE makes a difference.” I’d argue that “The Leap” does it better because she rises above the fray. The leaping girl also reminds one of Eloise, the precocious child in Kay Thompson’s children’s book series illustrated by Hilary Knight. Eloise is as daring as “Fearless Girl” but without the anger. It’s notable that Lena Dunham, creator of the award-winning HBO series “Girls” bears a tattoo of Eloise.