This past Sunday, a group of chapters and the allied groups of the Women’s March Foundation planned and instigated a demonstration standing against the placing of a 26-foot-tall statue of Marilyn Monroe that was being formally unveiled in the downtown Palm Springs area of California. At the demonstration, they issued a statement calling the entire dedication and statue of the Hollywood icon a “misogynistic eyesore.”
“The statue is designed to look at her crotch and look at her buttocks and take photos. And that is no longer acceptable,” stated the executive director of the Women’s March Foundation, Emiliana Guereca. “It may have been acceptable in the 1950s, but we are in 2021 fighting the same thing and women are saying enough is enough.”
“There’s also a Me Too culture going on,” she stated. “We are demanding respect for women and public spaces.”
The Hollywood icons statue weighs in at 34,000 and is known as “Forever Marilyn,” and is slated to be on display at its current location at the city-owned emplacement for roughly three years. The statue was purchased by PS Resorts, a city tourism organization funded partly by transient occupancy taxes, for roughly one million dollars. However, as reported by the Palm Springs Desert Sun, the arrangement “includes an option for the city to terminate it early if issues arise.”
A new 26-foot MARILYN MONROE statue was unveiled in Palm Springs. It was met with criticism because visitors can look up her dress to see her underwear. Protesters call it a, quote, "misogynistic eyesore." pic.twitter.com/LA4qKniOjJ
— Dave Ryan (@daveryankdwb) June 22, 2021
As reported by The Desert Sun, “Protest chants of ‘Hey hey! Ho-ho! Misogyny has got to go!’ rang out ahead of the ceremony.” The news source went on to say that the group of supports “appeared to outnumber detractors.”
Feminist groups combined with a group of other local organizations, all with different agendas about the subject, in order to openly protest against the statue and its installation. Such groups include the Committee to Relocate Marilyn, which seeks legal action to push its agenda in opposing the statue’s placement. They are doing this on the groups that they say that it blocks the view of a nearby art museum, will impede the flow of traffic, and that the statue should be moved to a new emplacement in a nearby park.
The long-awaited #ForeverMarilyn statue unveiling in #PalmSprings is just minutes away. Supporters and protesters are out in full force, including @womensmarch and #MeToo pic.twitter.com/XgG0Xb17ij
— Shelby Nelson (@KESQShelby) June 21, 2021
“We would never celebrate a powerful man [with a] 26-foot tall sculpture with his pants pulled down” stated the former director of the Palm Springs Art Museum, Elizabeth Armstrong, to KESQ News.
An art critic from the Los Angeles Times chimed in on the matter when he described the statue as “casual misogyny” and issued his condemnation of media outlets that he believes have not given the issue any sort of proper context.
— Christopher Knight (@KnightLAT) June 24, 2021
“Misogyny’s contempt for women is the root of homophobia and transphobia,” stated Knight as part of his commentary.
Supporters of “Forever Marilyn” have stated that they hope the statue will bring more tourism to the desert resort town, even in the off-season where temperatures can reach upwards of 120 degrees. Previously, the giant sculpture had been on display at another location in Palm Springs from 2012 through 2014 and has been credited for generating publicity for the town and boosted revenue for small businesses.