I want to discuss the sexism I encountered on my Masters degree in Art and Design. The class group was small and consisted of three men over 35, two younger guys, and the rest women 20-30. The older men in the group dominated every conversation and shouted the women down any time they did try to say anything. In my own case, I was using digital technology and from the very first time presenting my work I had the validity of my research and my programming abilities questioned (by a man who had absolutely no experience of programming). The course went on in much the same way, but the main problem was the two main tutors – men in their thirties – who didn’t try to include the women at all and let the older men not only dominate but also influence their views of other students, including me. I was labelled as opinionated and troublesome for, well, expressing opinions on the subjects we were taught. Sometimes I knew more than the tutor on certain topics, which I think didn’t help actually. When we had a female tutor, who I personally thought was intelligent and had no problem with, they complained about her for being – yes, too opinionated! Then on our research trip, the guys were trying to get her into bed, claiming her problem was that she needed a dick up her (how original – they didn’t seem to notice she already had a boyfriend), and one of the guys boasted that he made her cry by complaining to her about her teaching. It felt that there was an objection to a woman using technology, like I couldn’t possibly be making art in this way because women are supposed to be all about feelings and not logical, but perhaps the real problem was that it was a group of egotists whose main goal in life was to demonstrate to others how much more they knew than everyone else; with my chosen research they didn’t know anything, and so instead they simply tried to diminish me and what I was doing. It did knock my confidence, but I have in no way given up and have continued to work in this area. However, so desperate were the mansplainers of this group to control the narrative, that because I have a part-time English teaching job to support myself (as I have done for many years), they have spread the rumour around that I have given up and am now a full-time English teacher. I couldn’t care less what people like this think about me personally, but it does trouble me that the artists network is small, and I don’t particularly want false rumours about myself spread around damaging my reputation.
A friend of mine went to a film festival with her documentary. She took her boyfriend with her. Most of the other film makers were men and when they would start the conversation about the film she made they would approach her boyfriend as they automatically thought he was the author..
In art last year, a boy in my class started lifting my skirt up. I told him to stop. He ignored me and continued. I asked him again and he still carried on doing it. After me telling him “stop” twice more he briefly touched my bum. His friends were laughing. I (stupidly) left the room crying as I felt so powerless and was unable to stop it. Now he always makes jokes about it, calling it “sexual attractions” and saying he “tripped”. I’m now really stressed out and paranoid about it happening again, never mind him joking about it constantly. I feel like an idiot for crying.
After playing live on a radio show, in which I accompanied a middle aged male guitar player for a 30 minute segment, the radio host complimented us as we were leaving the studio. To my male musical partner, he offered praise for his musicianship and his ability to always assemble a great band and bring spectacular musicians onto the show. To me, he offered: “You really are a lovely girl, what a beautiful smile.”
Hi. My names Tori and I’m from the Uk. I’m 17, and I’ve never really realised that sexism was still relevant until about a year ago when I started getting comments about my body, specifically my “lack of tits” quote from a person in my high school who said that I couldn’t draw nudes because “I have to have tits before I could draw them”. That was when I really started noticing. I’m a young artist, who’s Inspiration is nude women. I love to do nudes because everyone is unique and a piece of art and I love to recreate the individuality of that person onto canvas and paper, but now that I’ve started branching out into the art world, people (specifically men) have told me that it isn’t right for a lady to be doing nudes. That I should ” stick to drawing kittens and flowers”. Or that my art wasn’t erotic because there was to much “emotion” on my muses face. Just last week, workmen who were doing power lines next to my college yelled degrading things about my body ” nice Pusey, shame about the tits though” to each other. I was less than a meter away. Another time the same crew shouted at me “hay baby, wanna hang out at my place, I’ll show what it is to be a woman.” I feel horrified and scared. Sometimes I feel like I’m not a real woman because my chest isn’t largely endowed or that men don’t respect me because I’ve not got large breasts or I’m not tall. I feel like they don’t respect me because I’m intelligent, that they see my worth, not how much I can contribute to society but how good a f*** I’d be. Don’t get me wrong, I know not all men are like this, but the male members in my family say just ignore them, don’t take it personally. Your a grown women now, you have to expect it. I just feel like I’m not respected or acknowledged because I’m a woman. Does anyone else feel like this?
In my university where I study art, there are classrooms around our art studios where they teach plumbing, construction, etc. There isn’t one female in any of those classes, all just guys. They frequently catcall, whistle and comment sexual remarks to the females in my class. This happens frequently and it is not okay.