'Stories to tell young women' - we're in the press

New book and website exposes challenges for women working in all-male environments.

Last Thursday the lovely Abbie Napier came to my studio at Fine Arts to talk to me about my project, herstory. Yeah, I was nervous. I always think that I’m going to get asked hardcore feminist questions, but so far no one in the media has done that. In fact, everyone’s questions have been very easy - they just want to talk about the project, not about anything else.

I think I’ve gotten used to being criticised for being a feminist, the word is often thrown at me as an insult from both friends and family. People love making jokes about women in front of me now, too. It’s hard work being a feminist, that’s for sure, but I as long as I make sure I have a strong community around me (which I do!) that advocates for the same things as I do, I think I’ll manage. 

I’m so thankful to The Press and Radio New Zealand for running stories on the project, especially because so far this has been self-funded and I haven’t been able to afford any advertising. This has really given the project a boost and a wider audience than I could ever conjure up on my own in a couple of days!

Now it’s time to focus on my studies and knock off my honours degree! I’ve got 10 more stories to refine and get on the website. After that, I’m looking forward to seeing where herstory takes me, and anyone else who wants to join in on the ride… Hint hint

PS the story on The Press website got a few trolls, naturally. Big ups to the commenters who voiced their opinions. Just goes to show how much we  need feminism…

We were on Radio NZ - listen here

How far have women come when it comes to taking on careers previously the sole domain of men? One University of Canterbury student believes there is still a long way to go. Twenty-two-year-old Chrissy Irvine, is an honours photography student from Ilam School of Fine Arts and her project, called ‘Herstory’, is aimed at exposing gender inequality in the workforce.

I got an email this morning from RNZ asking if I could be interviewed this afternoon by Simon Mercep on their Afternoons programme. It was seriously nerve racking because it was live. Now, I’ve only done one interview as of last week, so this was a big step up. But I reminded myself to practise what I preach and be confident in my own abilities and to make the most out of the opportunity.

It’s easy to tell other women to go out and seize the day, seize the opportunities, be confident, be strong… I need to do the same.

Going on air was a fantastic experience, a lot of friends text me before I went on telling me to 'just be yourself!’ which helped a lot. I really appreciated the flood of messages that family and friends sent afterwards. 

Something I’ve learnt this year (especially after Jon Jeet’s wonderful presentation at Fine Arts) is that you can’t get a degree or take on a project like this without a strong community of people backing you up. So kia ora whanau, friends, tutors, peers, and all of the encouraging emails people have sent this week.