HARPOCRATES: The god of silence
https://fr.aleteia.org/cp1/2020/01/16/pourquoi-est-il-important-de-faire-decouvrir-le-silence-aux-enfants/ (child mother image)
3. What is the cultural meaning of this gesture? Did it evolve through time?
THE SILENCE SIGN OR Shush: the index finger of one hand is extended and placed vertically in front of the lips, with the remaining fingers curled toward the palm with the thumb forming a fist; used to demand or request silence from those to whom it is directed. Can be silent or accompanied by an audible "Sssh!" sound which alone has the same meaning.
1. WHERE & WHEN DOES THIS
The "silence sign" is used as a gesture to ask for quietness. It can be performed by anyone when demanding silence, e.g. teachers in a class/people in public places.
The digital ways to show a silence sign:
-signs in public places
2. HISTORY OF THE GESTURE
4. In which other contexts does this gesture appear?
6. How does the gesture have different meanings depending on the body that perform it
It can be used as a sign of authority
--> depends on the authority level of the person (plays on the credibility,...)
--> depends on the age
- Adult to child
- Teacher to student
Keep a secret
5. How did the gesture travel from one body to another one (becoming contagious)?
When someone is doing the silence sign, it automatically asks another person to change his behavior.
The other person stops moving the lips, and stops interacting with sounds and/or verbally
These words are designed for one purpose only: to silence women. We don’t hear men being labeled with these adjectives when they speak out. In fact, men are lauded for speaking up and telling their stories. How brave, we say. When men get angry, we understand. When men loudly confront and call out injustice as they see it, they are praised for it. We expect anger in men, yet we flinch when we see it in women. Why? What is it about a woman speaking up that makes some people want to cover their ears, to the point where they can’t stand it and so use the ammo in their arsenal to make it stop: using words designed specifically for women with the sole intent to make them shut the hell up.
When women share their stories — of abuse, injustice, and trauma — they are stepping outside of the boundaries that have been created for them, mainly by men. It is no surprise then that those same men who are offended or threatened by a woman’s voice will employ the age-old tactic of using words that refer only to women and have no mirroring back to the men who are using them.
"When I first started telling my story over three years ago, which included my experience as an abuse survivor, my intent was twofold: writing was a cathartic process that helped me to heal, and I wanted to pay it forward and help other women who were suffering in the same darkness that I once did. Today, however, I am being attacked for saying anything at all, since I have refused to follow the mantra of “good girls are quiet girls” and dared to call out the injustices I have witnessed both in my own life and all around me."
"Silencing refers to techniques used to shut women up when they complain about sexism or other problems. It encompasses harassment or intimidation that discourages women from speaking out, shaming and humiliation targeted at women who do speak up, and techniques used to dismiss or deny the legitimacy of womens' speech."
"This is also how women find themselves in abusive situations: Society has manipulated us into thinking we are undeserving of our voices, and therefore should not use them. We’re told to be nice and polite, not to be rude and not to speak our mind."
A New Survey Finds 81 Percent Of Women Have Experienced Sexual Harassment
Creating a video that portrays the change we require in society in a sense of "reversing the silence gesture" and giving a voice to those who need it instead of silencing them - in this precise situation our focus is on women experiencing sexual harassment and abuse. Women have been silenced for the majority of history and in the 21st century we have to speak louder then ever.
The video will show women having tape over their mouths on which general stereotypes about sexual abuse are written, e.g. "don't wear revealing clothes", that they reap off, therefore saying that we no longer agree with being silenced and reversing the "silence sign".
- Reversing the power
- Silencing someone is problematic in itself.
This is the tightrope women walk. If we speak too much, we’re seen as pushy or aggressive; we face a backlash. If we don’t speak at all, we’re relegated to the sidelines and run the risk of being perceived as passive and ineffectual.
♡ Think of something that you found problematic connected to your gestures, its history or contexts that you want to challenge (question, make space for conversation). For example how does your gesture reproduce of stereotypes, social norms or a form of cultural appropriation?
♡ What is the new social & cultural meaning of your alternative sets of gestures? Why is it important?
♡ How does your gestures proposes an alternative way of interacting with each other, or a new mode of living, working, loving etc...?
♡ How is your alternative set of gesture perform: for example is it a choreography? Or a dialogue between two persons or groups?
- silencing women
- context : abuse & silence
- speak up
- gif's & videos
- whatsapp, messenge, post it in instagram stories
frit idea for the video