Bossy ladies…how many negative and scornful connotations has this word combination acquired over the years, constructing a plethora of menacing stereotypes about women in power, denying them any chance for a sprinkle of feeling or sensitivity. Why is a boss-woman of contemporary society still an object of derision and mocking, being verbally beaten up by her peers who automatically reject her claim for authority and agency ? It is truly, truly sad and pathetic that such common state of mind has been throwing shade on any woman who is brave enough to take the reigns and take a seat at the table of white, round-faced male CEOs.
Girls on Film, in collaboration with the fabulous ladies from BOSSY Forum – Jonna and Laura, and the wonderful charity Smart Works, were ready to tell you a different story. Let’s imagine another, a real world, stripped of all the rubbish that has cocooned the bossy woman’s status. On the 8th of February we got a chance to gather some superbly inspiring women, who have so much beautiful power and energy which they channeled into building their fortuitous destinies, taking full control over their lives and overthrowing the foul-smelling status quo.
The night was led – as per usual – by the inimitable and a truly unique lady, Bekah Murrell (who is slaying it in the theatre world as we speak – we are so proud!!!). The night kicked off by the BOSSY girls and Robina Brennan from Smart Works giving a short intro about all the tireless effort that they make trying to help women to establish themselves creatively and professionally. We were so excited to also welcome a current UN Empower Women Champion, Shwetal Shah, who we admire so much for her tenacity and determination to help young people across the world.
ActOne performances were curated by BOSSY, and we saw some unforgettable theatre pieces from Isaura Barbé-Brown, Nadia Parkes and Talia Pick, and Debra Baker. These women gloriously owned the tiny stage of 93 Feet East like it was the vast historical spans of Globe Theatre, blinding everyone with the abundance of their talent.
The film part of the evening consisted of 4 absolutely brilliant short films: Zelos by Thoranna Sigurdardottir, Positioning by Anne Beal, Domestic Policy by Alicia MacDonald and TMPM: Theresa May’s Musical Medley: Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush/ Shut Up by Stormzy/ Walk Like A Man by Frankie Valley ft The Four Seasons by Grace Campbell and Hannah Duffy. All films presented a very different angle on the question of women and their fickle and much-debated position in modern society.
And for dessert was, of course, our wonderful panel where we, as usual, delved as deep as we could into the cracks of modern thinking, trying to deconstruct the initial point where it all went wrong. Joining the filmmaker Grace Campbell (yes, the mastermind behind those Theresa May moves, correct), was Domestic Policy’s producer Helen Grearson, Jonna and Laura aka BOSSY and Robina from Smart Works. We were so happy to also welcome Ifeyinwa Frederick, an embodiment of a true bossy lady – I mean, she’s 24, she has travelled around the world, co-founded Chuku’s, the world’s first Nigerian tapas lounge, and was recently featured in Elle magazine’s star list of female entrepreneurs under 30. Impressive is an understatement – what did you do when you were 24? And let’s also not forget about a wonderful impromptu panel guest, Pascale, who came back from Sundance with an award for a best documentary for her film about Winnie Mandela, and was ready to share her rocky road to triumph.
So many strong ladies, so many admirable stories of how, despite the notion of women taking charge having been shifted into a negative domain, they step up, take risks, follow their intuition, build a wonderful team around them and reach unprecedented success. We need to reclaim our right to be powerful and autonomous from the ignorant crowd who still refuse to accept that we are capable of absolutely anything. After Women in Revolt we are definitely one step closer to the throne (aka the big red leather CEO chair). Big thank you to everyone who came and supported us and our ideas!
Don’t miss out on the next Women in Revolt: A Seat at the Table – March 8th, as usual 93 Feet East, 7pm x