Amusements & Useful Devices from K. A. Wisniewski
In a statement released on their website, Osez le Féminisme! said: “On the anniversary of 45 years of the Women’s Liberation Movement, Osez le Féminisme! challenges Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo to address the need to celebrate exceptional, and too often overlooked, women, in public spaces.”
“Street names attest to our history: they belong to a political choice, revealing the values that the city wishes to embody . . . While men honoured on street signs are legion, only 160 women – mostly wives or daughters of famous men – are noted in Paris. Yet our history is full of scientists, writers, activists, women politicians, artists, revolutionaries, that deserve the recognition of this country.”
Sadly, few works at present examine hoaxes such as these, and I believe we need to begin analyzing such activities throughout history via a semiotic approach allowing us to give credit, weight, to them, and asking how they work to interrogate, expose, or thwart cultural values. Of course, we’ll also need a system to categorize the hoax, since Taco Bell’s purchase of the Liberty Bell and the more recent controversy over poet Michael Derrick Hudson’s use of the pseudonym Yi-Fen Chou warrant alternative models.