This project, created for the 2014 Young Photographers Alliance Mentoring Program, was inspired by the program’s single-word prompt for that year: Boundaries. I knew immediately that my photo essay would interpret this as social boundaries faced by women.
The phrases “everyday sexism” and “rape culture” have been used so frequently that they amount to buzzwords; however, these concepts are precisely what the series intends to convey. The formula for the photos is as follows: One woman, an average young professional, is depicted engaging in daily routines, each setting chosen from my own personal experiences or those of women close to me. The concept of rape culture is represented by male arms and hands performing a variety of actions that are overwhelming intrusive on the woman's body and life. In each situation, our woman maintains a blank expression, a visual choice that demonstrates how conditioned we as a society have become to accept this atmosphere as excusable and even normal.
The photos are a visual representation of the jarring emotions that come from being cat-called, followed, or screamed at on the street, being intimidated by the advances of a coworker or boss, or being unable to escape a controlling relationship. They are the experiences of women everywhere, every day.