Originally Posted by tunalegs
I have to be honest, in other "Art" industries in which I engage, it is often women who are the coldest and most focused on "winning" than on anything actually having to do with artistic expression. Cynically manipulating fans for maximum profit, undermining competitors, etc. I see more men talking about creating work that will support or inspire readers than women, who seem largely more interested in marketing and profit (and when they do talk about the "feelings" side of things, it is almost always tethered to "here's an audience we can exploit").
Not surprisingly such types get lots of support from female audiences who view "thing make money!" as the only measure of work's value these days (don't get me wrong, male audiences are just as bad in this respect). Some of these people are remarkably unaware that they've become gross caricatures of the men they purport ruined the art form, and others are perfectly aware of what they do. Men will get called out for the same behavior constantly. I've only seen one woman editor get called out for her abuse of artists (in comics), and it's likely it only happened because her artists were almost exclusively all women (said editor was responsible for the departure of almost all men from staff of this company, btw).
I don't mention this to have a gotcha "women are hypocrites" take. I mention it because different mediums attract different personalities. There are more than plenty of men in comics publishing who act the same way. In fact, from my experience no industry is more jam packed with cynical A-holes than the comics industry. If you look at one medium and expect it to reflect, generally, truths about society at large, you're misleading yourself.
The tools of photography are more accessible now than they have been at any time in the past. Understanding of art on the other hand, is not much more accessible now than it was 20 years ago. Every camera comes with an instruction manual from which people can memorize specifications. Every camera does not come with an appreciation for the history of art, nor a good eye for composition, nor a mind for concepts. Photographers are, in my estimation, more amateur than any other group. The number of people on this planet who grab a camera just to take pictures is an order of a magnitude (or two, or three) higher than the number of people who pick up a paint brush just to make a painting. I have often complained about the lack of understanding and the consequent lack of discussion about art on photography forums, but while there are few women on these forums, I have had plenty of discussion in real life with women photographers, who look at me like I just said I got back from a walk to the moon if I start talking about art concepts (this is not the case when talking to women who are writers or painters though!).
Edit: I have to add here, another can of worms to open, that photography, like illustration, is not inherently artistic, nor does it have to be to be good. One can be an excellent photographer without any artistic ambitions at all. There is no real reason to expect every photographer to be an artist, and therefore discussion about photography to be inherently interwoven with discussion about art.