Girls to the front
Recently, for the umpteenth time, I rewatched “The Punk Singer”, a documentary about feminist singer Kathleen Hanna who fronted the band Bikini Kill.
Kathleen is well known for being an outspoken radical feminist, credited with launching the third-wave of feminism when she helped create the riot grrrl punk movement. At Bikini Kill concerts, Hanna would encourage and enforce that women were to move to the front of the stage. The “girls to the front” concept was symbolic in empowering women at Bikini Kill concerts.
I’m no stranger to feminism. My wife majored in Women’s Studies at university, and has imparted feminist virtues in me. The Female Eunuch sits amongst many feminist writings in our bookshelves. We have an International Women’s Day tea towel (yes, I grasp the irony of this).
All the doves that fly past my eyes,
Have a stickiness to their wings,
In the doorway of my demise I stand,
Encased in the whisper you taught me
Bikini Kill – Feels Blind
So why am I writing this on a toy photography blog? Let me explain…
I’m not about to reignite the debate about the gender gap in Lego minifigure numbers. We’ve all seen the numbers.
Nor am I about to discuss the topic of female toy photographers in a male dominated field. I’d like to think we can all appreciate that the term toy photographer is gender-neutral and therefore whether the person behind the lens has a penis or not really shouldn’t matter.
I am however challenging myself, and anyone else that wants to join in, to embrace my inner riot grrrl, and spend the next two weeks photographing only female Lego minifigures.
Dare ya to do what you want
Dare ya to be who you will
Bikini Kill – Double Dare Ya
I’ll put my hand up and admit that I often overlook female Lego figs as subject matter. Scanning through my posts here, for example, only two out of sixteen (not including this one) contain a female character in the featured image. And that ratio is even less on Instagram. Is this purely a numbers thing? Is it simply the fact that I own more male Lego than females? Is it because I can identify with male minifigures more readily? I don’t know. Yet, by making a conscious decision to get my Lego “girls to the front”, maybe this will change.
That girl thinks she’s the queen of the neighborhood
I got news for you, she IS!
Bikini Kill – Rebel Girl
Inspired by Kathleen Hanna, I’ll be posting only #legogirlstothefront shots on Instagram for the following fortnight.