Sit Like a Lady is a protest piece that comes from a personal place of anger and disappointment regarding gender in our current society. Gender is sewn into the fabric of everyday life as a way for the human race to feel order. Genders have certain roles, and that’s always been the way it is. To “Sit Like a Lady” is something I have been told to do throughout my life, and quite frankly I have had enough of being told what to do.
The act of a woman sitting with her legs apart has negative connotations, it is seen as a sexual act. Sit Like a Lady aims to battle with these assumptions and create a new perspective of women. The work uses the act of ‘Manspreading’ as a visual metaphor to revolt against the patriarchal stereotypes of women. The act of a women sitting in a dominant position and ‘Manspreading’ encourages the viewer to think about their gender bias. These images may look wrong, or funny, or silly to some, those reactions can help viewers to acknowledge their gender bias, even if they think they are current and accepting. Sit Like a Lady will call people out, it will make people think, and it will change how society views women. I want Sit Like a Lady to start a discussion about gender and people’s presumptions based on what they think masculine and feminine are at their core. It is work that speaks up for women who are too often disregarded.
Sit Like a Lady was created during the COVID-19 outbreak, so some work had to be shot from home. The subjects for the work were asked to take their own photos.