I have been reading a lot of Judith Butler recently which has led me to thinking about gender and the way we navigate and experience our bodies. The way we move, the way we walk, how we feel when we open our mouths and the words tumble out. I’ve always believed, and still do, that gender is a social construction. As a woman, I am taught to be pretty, to be delicate and gentle. Remember girls, it is not very lady-like to go stomping around heavy footed, legs akimbo with a wide gait. Of course that is a difference experience to living in a male body. Furthermore, how does the pressure of the patriarchy affect the way we move as women? When I am out say in a club, or at a bar, then I am aware that my body, and movements, are being watched and judged. I am aware women’s bodies have been seen purely as sexual objects for centuries. That has infiltrated into my conscious and made me more likely to stick my hips out in a ‘feminine’ manner or cross my legs politely.
An art project posted at Sincerely Hana by Hana Pesut explores ideas about gender and movement. Men and women change outfits and are photographed. It is interesting to see how the clothes affect the movement of the models. Their poses change instantly, the men sticking their hips out or the women crossing their arms. Is gender just a piece of clothing? A fabric that can be taught, be glued together, be learnt and be experienced?