Dear Person I’ve Been Reluctant To Keep Engaging With But Have Had To For Professional Reasons

Last week, on International Women’s Day, NAVA launched a public letter called Dear Person I’ve Been Reluctant To Keep Engaging With But Have Had To For Professional Reasons. As we were crafting it, Penelope Benton, NAVA’s powerhouse General Manager, described the letter as ‘creepy’ and ‘fierce’. And that’s really stayed with me – because they’re such important observations. It is creepy: it’s designed to make the perpetrator of gendered harassment feel as uncomfortable as the victim – or, hopefully, more uncomfortable. A lot more. Enough for them to feel compelled to change that behaviour. And it’s fierce: it’s uncompromising and it’s clear. It’s not inert and it’s not nice. In the voice of an assertive feminism, it describes discrimination, harassment and assault, and their impacts on the body, on a career and on the arts more broadly…

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