Over the past ten weeks I have conducted nine hour long interviews. The aim of the interviews has been to open up a conversation about what it is like to identify as a contemporary female today by documenting women in their homes and asking them a series of intimate questions
Is there ever a time at home that you feel your gender influences your responsibilities?
“Mostly at my boyfriends. I’ll probably end up cooking for both of us because he doesn’t cook, and I’m hungry. I’ll do all the cleaning up. He doesn’t make comments or anything like that, it’s more that sometimes I feel like I’m automatically put into a position where I have to do female roles because, he’s not going to do it for me. If I don’t end up doing it, then it’s not going to happen, sooo…”
Do you like having your picture taken?
“No. Unless it’s me and I have like a thousand practices before. I mean not really, I’m not like afraid of the camera, like if we were at birthday or something I’d jump in, but like this, there is a degree of discomfort. Only because [I] have a good side and bad side and right now it’s on my bad side haha…”
Do you like receiving gifts?
“Yes and no. Ahh I do like gifts, but I’m picky. I like handmade gifts like cakes and stuff, not ‘here’s a big expensive product’. Like, if someone came back from the beach and gave me a little rock and said they thought of me when they found this rock I’m like awww…”
Do you dress differently to when you’re at home and not at home?
“Definitely. The clothes I have that I wear when I go out are totally different. I wouldn’t want to damage them and when I am home I am always doing things like cleaning, cooking or feeding my son.
Do you want to be famous?
“Not famous. I’d like to be well known for something that I enjoy doing, you know? But I’d hate to not be able to go about my life normally because of who you are, you know, like, not be able to go to the supermarket…”
Can you explain what it feels like to cry?
“My most recent experience of crying is like heartbreak. That’s awful, thats actually a feeling of lurching, you some how feel like your heart is crying itself.”
Is there anything you do to make yourself feel beautiful?
“Oooooh.. that’s just something I’m avoiding at the moment. I haven’t felt beautiful in a very long time and I think I’ve given up on trying to make myself feel beautiful, I think beauty is a standard I’ll never reach because I’ll have to dress up as something that I’m not. Yeah, that’s a tricky question.”
Chan Wai Ching, still from Today as A Female by Jessica Philbrick, 2016. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Amber Hankins, still from Today as A Female by Jessica Philbrick, 2016. Photo courtesy of the artist.
(Featured image: Bella Ivos, still from Today as A Female by Jessica Philbrick, 2016. Photo courtesy of the artist.)