‘Things Men Have Said To Me This Year’ (2017)
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 and judgements about women’s bodies pervade not just social & professional spaces, but more intimate situations for women – I devised this piece because 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.