Everyday Sexism, Laura Bates, Simon & Schuster UK Ltd, 2014. Pg 56;
“When Australian prime minister Julia Gillard was accused of being a hard-hearted harpy for not having a husband and children, the suspicion of her ‘un-womanliness’ somehow carried over into an irrational questioning of her political ability. (New South Wales senator Bill Heffernan famously claimed Gillard was unfit to lead the country specifically because she was ‘deliberately barren’- not a charge likely to be levelled against any male politician.)”
I’ve been spending a lot of time researching, scanning and going through all of my collage material, reading and thinking about what I want to be tackling. I find so many things interesting and have a list of things I would ‘like to have a go at’ that I have been going around in circles. There is illustrating Write to Life, the play I went to see about people escaping from torture, I have bought some Jacqueline Wilson books as I would like to help children overcome obstacles in life and I bought a book (for my own general interest) called Everyday Sexism written by Laura Bates. As this is something that stirs something up inside me and as I am still battling with my collaging, I’m going to use this to experiment with lots of collages and find a rhythm in how I work, find regularity. I have scanned everything (well most) so I can compose everything digitally and play with colours and sizes. The only thing I am not enjoying is the physical cutting and glueing process. My printer isn’t very good at all, but I might still try to compose the image, then separate the bits I need, print and cut out and reassemble. See how that changes the aesthetics. After I have created a batch of collages, I want to take them into the print room and see how I can change them into screen prints too. I need an experimental window at the moment.
Feminism is something I have been attentive to in regards to what it means to me and a history of Feminism/Sexism in things I am interested in, like art and design. People’s attitudes in general and the day to day things you endure to the point of it becoming a normal, regular annoyance, for me, I am and have always been aware to the point of feeling I must be seen as argumentative, yet I have wanted to stay away from the word ‘Feminist’. I personally feel like it associated with extremism and people automatically have no time for it. Even as I read this book and post these collages I am aware of it being a touchy subject. Or rather a subject people don’t want to touch!
I am aware that I am not educated in the histories of Feminism, I don’t know all there is to know, but as I read this book, so far, some things I have found shocking, the stories and also the statistics, but others cement how it is an issue now, today, (despite us all being told western women have never had it so good) as I have experienced a lot of it myself. These being the reports from women who have wrote in documenting how they have been cat-called, groped, called horrific names, been told to be aware of how they dress, act etc, the small dangerous things that happen everyday, that you can almost brush off, but you really shouldn’t have to. That is how they are dangerous, because of the regularity of them. This isn’t about man bashing or labelling men all the same, but rather about making everyone see. I once got into a discussion with someone I was close to about Feminism and how he could not see there was an issue nowadays and it was women creating an issue and asking why does it needed to be spoken about or taught in schools if there is no issue anymore. One of his points was about women and pay and how he saw it as men would be happy to sacrifice a lot more for work than what women would, women want a better work-life balance therefore get paid less. Some people just are not able to see there is so much more to gender inequality.