Patriarchy-free Zone

This week, in my neck of the woods, it’s Art Week. As part of it, there are lots of lovely installations up around campus, and as I was walking through the link I spied one of them: the Patriarchy Free Zone Imagination Station participatory installation (under artist on the website it says We Are Optimistic, so I’m not sure who to give these major props to!). Part of it is a huge blackboard type backdrop, with ‘What could your world look like without patriarchy?’ written across the top. And, because it is a participatory piece of work, people are free to write something (in response to the question) on it. When I had a look, there were lots of awesome comments; comments about a world without rape, a world where people aren’t expected to conform to gender norms about what they wear or how they act. One about how female children who are energetic and rough and tumble would just be called that and not called tomboys. One about how being smiled at by male strangers wouldn’t provoke defensive and suspiscious feelings. And one about how men too wouldn’t feel constricted by societal expectations to ‘be men’ (jocks, the breadwinner, the stud, etc). So much awesome in one place, and it made me very happy to know that there are people out there who are thinking about these things, and who are unhappy with these things, and realise the power that certain things can have. So this really made me happy.

I though I should write something, seeing as I clearly have an opinion on this topic. I wrote ‘It would be my body and my choice’. Which I intended to be about reproductive rights and choice, but really as I think about it, it applies to lots of other things; things that some of the other comments also touched on, like not feeling pressure to dress or act a certain way. So that was my addition, and I’m looking forward to seeing any new comments that pop up.


  1. Katherine says:

    Glad to hear that noone has been vandalising it!

    • steph says:

      Not that I know of, but I guess we will see. It’s open to be written on during certain hours of the day, and there was someone there to tell people they could write (and, I suppose, keep an eye on it!). But it being a blackboard, I guess people could bring their own bit of chalk along after hours (when the person supervising the work had taken the equipment home) and write something nasty. Hopefully nobody will do anything untoward. Also, anything nasty would probable serve to illustrate the point, really!

  2. Amanda says:

    When the installation is finished/writing done, any chance you could post a photo of it? That would be cool.