Gender Stereotypes Broken Because #ShePersisted – Bravo, Artist Courtney Privett!

Posted: February 11, 2017
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In India or abroad, whenever a woman has stood up and challenged gender stereotypes, she has been warned and told to shut up, but nevertheless #ShePersisted.

Gender stereotypes are so deep rooted in our society and within us that it is difficult to trace back its origins. It is something that we have been born into and lived with all our lives.

But not anymore. There are women who have decided to call it enough and are challenging the existing status quo. And one of them is US Senator Elizabeth Warren. Ms. Warren was silenced by her fellow Senator with a very sexist comment, “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”

This was patriarchy in three sentences and this comment was a war cry for millions of women around the world. #ShePersisted almost immediately began trending on Twitter.

Courtney Privett, a fiction writer currently living in California was outraged by what she saw and heard. She says, “I don’t want my daughters to hear the same things I have. I’ve heard derogatory commentary about my gender as long as I can remember.” She decided to express her emotions through her art.

 

The illustration is a compelling reminder of what society has been telling women since time immemorial. Whenever women have tried to voice their concerns for the betterment of their sorority, they have been called names and have been forced to shut up. Privett beautifully articulates her thoughts and the many things a woman hears throughout her life with her drawings.

On a similar note, in another post, she also discusses the kind of gender discrimination boys face. Yes, patriarchy is bad for women, but it is bad for men too.

The society has ample time and a great thesaurus for men who are anything but muscular and ‘manly’. Hearing words like ‘Homo’, ‘Virgin’, and ‘Sissy’ is not so uncommon for the boys who deviate slightly from the perceived ‘role’ of men in the society. Dedicating the artwork to her son, who, as she stated, loves to dance and has also faced the wrath of patriarchy.

The illustration shows a boy in the middle with open arms, dancing away, with ‘Nevertheless, #HePersisted’ written across. Here too, she has used the phrases like “Boys don’t dance” and “Are you on your period” to show the kind of insensitivity men face in a patriarchal set-up.

Long time ago, an English poet, John Dryden emphasised the role of satire as a kind of medication that helps in curing the society’s entrenched beliefs. Courtney Privett’s drawings are indeed, a great example of using satire to tackle and face such issues head on.

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