We were issued a challenge to create a faceless self portrait for the month of January, so I created this series of photos.
Once again, seemingly indulgent, and I apologize for that…. but the idea for this spawned a few months ago and this challenge just gave me the opportunity to put my idea to use.
There is a thing that happens on line… we’ve all seen it or been victims of it… Sexual harassment.
Now there are people who will scoff at that – but it is a very real thing. I know that I sometimes hesitate to visit my sites because I know it’s there. Every day, it’s just there. Waiting for me to open my messages. Creepy people I don’t know offering me their phone numbers and saying things that either don’t make any sense or just make me feel annoyed. I look at my “other” message tab in FB and it’s full of creepy messages of love and adoration and invitations. I look in my G+ messages and there are seriously, tons of invites to private hangouts and people asking me for things I will not give them. I get emails through my blog and through my web site. It gets very tiring and very discouraging.
Now, not for a second do I think I’m special. As a matter of fact I think this is all too normal for us women. We have no other options but to delete, and ignore. It’s sad to me that in this day and age, there are still so, so many who think this behaviour is ok.
Now, let me say, I have a friend who once asked me why is that different from my “regulars” who make off colour jokes and statements? The difference is that I KNOW them. And I seriously know they don’t mean anything by it. We have known each other for long enough that I know where it comes from. It comes from a witty mind and not a serious one. I am not a prude. I can take or give a joke with the best of them. That’s not what I’m talking about here.
So, I began joking that I was going to change my profile photo to one with a bag over my head just to see if it would stop the unwanted comments.
Then this challenge came along…
So I started shooting with the bag over my head and I started to feel uncomfortable (other than the feeling that I was suffocating). I started to feel like I was selling out. By covering my face, I’m covering my identity. It’s like I’m saying I have to hide who I am, that I’m ashamed and why should I have to do or feel that way? I suddenly started thinking of women who HAVE to cover their faces because they are considered evil temptresses who cause men to do bad things.
We shouldn’t have to hide ourselves just because there are people who can’t control themselves. There is nothing wrong with showing our face. It’s who we are. Our very gender can’t be something that we should feel we have to hide.
I showed a couple of these shots to my good friend Peter, asking him to help me choose which one to use, and he said something very interesting to me…. he said that it was difficult to tell the different emotions in the photos because you had to just go on body language alone and there was no facial expression to rely on. I found that very interesting, because in every shot I took here, I felt sad, alone and suppressed.
Almost every photo I post online I get at least one or more of these unwanted remarks. A simple landscape or a flower will get them. A cell phone selfy with my face will get them. Even posts without any photos at all will get them. I fully expected and prepared to get more than usual on this shot I posted, because of the amount of skin showing… but ironically…. I did not get even one crude comment from a stranger….
Coincidence or something else?
You tell me….