In my home country (Ireland), I grew up under a social pressure to laugh off sexist jokes, for fear of being deemed anything from ‘no craic’, to a bitch. For a long time I followed suit, or buried my head in the sand, not wanting to have to have ‘those conversations’. I didn’t want to waste my energy. But I realised that by ignoring the problem, wouldn’t make it go away & that by calling out sexist behaviour & engaging with people about the topic simply felt right. Sometimes, though, it doesn’t always feel safe.
Reflecting on the culture whereby comments & judgements about women’s bodies pervade not just social & professional spaces, but more intimate situations for women – I wanted to do something with that feeling – the feeling of disempowerment that comes from being judged or slighted or commented on inappropriately. There still seems to be a pretty prevalent entitlement and freedom to openly judge women’s bodies or to take sexually explicit and aggressive talk as light-hearted. I think this behaviour, even today with all our awareness, is still very normalised for women, which is really sad. By handing these comments back – just some that I have personally received this passed year – I wanted to take control and hopefully open up a conversation.
Join me for my first ever performance -‘Things Men Have Said To Me This Year’ – on Sat 16th of September at 18:00pm in Alexanderplatz, Berlin.
Photo: Artur Rabinski