Embroidering failure

  • “They reduce the complex emotional experience of being heckled by catcalls to a simple piece of women’s work.”

International Womens Day today and a chance to take stock of the many advancements toward gender equality the world has made, as well as to embrace the failures that remain so we can learn and improve.

Some of the most persistent forces of disparagement are the simple gestures in comments made in the vulnerable environment of the public streets. Buzzfeed featured an inspiring piece about artist Elana Adler who embraced her abuse and by doing so belittled it and neutralised its impact. “14 Cross-Stitches Of Catcalls One Woman Received In The Street” describes…

  • “The project started out as a collection of things people would holler at me. I get cat called all of the time, most women do. Once I started getting more interesting catcalls, I started texting them to myself and thus the collection began. At first I wasn’t sure what to do with them. I started cross-stitching them. I wanted to laboriously and painstakingly give attention to all this phrases that were verbally thrown at me in a moment. You read one sampler. Perhaps you are amused, but as you continue reading and consider the body as an entire collection, the response changes…Then, the filth emerges. It is a beautification of an assault.”

Embroidering abuse