Jennie Ottinger

Region: Pacific Coast


City / State: San Francisco, CA

My current work is about women. I focus on cheerleading squads and sororities, two groups that tend to be considered frivolous or vapid for a variety of reasons, some valid and some not. I exaggerate femininity to highlight the common perception that anything with women as the main participants is regarded (consciously or not) as less important or less serious than typically male pursuits.

These groups also present complications for feminism, though in fact both organizations were started or vastly expanded by women when there were few, if any, options for women. I acknowledge that it can be challenging to sympathize with cheerleaders and sorority members, who are generally associated with privilege, but these contradictions and gray areas are what I find most compelling and worthy of exploration.