I am honored to have recently collaborated on a photo series illuminating the social injustice of the objectification of women and their bodies. Occurring disproportionately against women, this falsely accepted practice (commonly known as “catcalling,” but encompassing even more) results in infuriating and often life-long distress on the part of the victim. Artists Selina Khounlo and Christina Zouras Christina Zouras began this project to capture the “resilience and strength in women when males use reductive words or phrases” to objectify them. The project’s first exhibition was held as a part of the ninth installment of Typeforce in Chicago, a local gallery dedicated to showcasing wordplay via graphic design.
Jordan, “I Like Your Nails, I’d Love To See Them In My Back”
I was at work one day, in the service industry, when a customer decided it would be ok to make this derogatory remark to me in front of several other customers and my co-workers. It began as a compliment, but then quickly morphed into a disgusting taunt. I felt infuriated and helpless because I did not want to say anything nasty back to him in my place of work. We still served him, but I did not personally attend to him or his party.
Conversations were raised by viewers of the exhibit, including some men who were previously unaware of the fact that most rapes and assaults are committed by people known to the victim, catcalling and subtle inappropriate behavior included. But like most fine art, the process was perhaps even more impactful. Our photo shoot consisted of these women retelling stories of times they were abused physically and/or psychologically with words. We all felt a sense of deep healing in sharing our burdens, which had kept us enslaved to shame and anger for so long. A blog dedicated to the Resilient Women project is to come.
“Whoever hides their transgressions will not prosper. But whoever repents and foresakes them will obtain mercy.” Proverbs 28:13