The history of women's art is a history of exclusion and confinement dating to the emergence of partriarchy. When men wrested economic and political power from women, it was logical that they also would appropriate fantasy and creativity; for women's stories were incomprehensible and fearsome. The Greeks excluded women (and slaves) from attendance (as either actors or audience) at their tragedies ostensibly because the presence of either inferior group threatened to debase the ethical and aesthetic character of the drama. Christa WoU (1986) summarizes the interrelated developments that brought women and their goddesses under male control:

Out of the public sphere-until the present century, really-women and their art were relegated to the domestic and the decorative, the sensual and the trivial.