This installation, comprising video and sculpture, addresses the silencing of women’s voices and the use of language as a weapon of control and subjugation.
The silencing of vocal women has a long lineage. For centuries a woman could be forced to wear a 'Scold’s Bridle', if she was deemed to be too loud, too nagging, or too questioning of figures in authority, be they her husband or any man. The iron bridle had a spiked plate fitted to press on the woman’s tongue to silence her while she was publicly ridiculed. The phrase ‘Hold Your Tongue’ originates from this punishment.
Today, there are other ways to silence women. The lexicon of words used to undermine and diminish a woman is extensive and doesn’t have an equivalency for men. The casual misogyny of slang is so incorporated into everyday conversation that it is no longer remarkable, but serves as an effective silencer.
Anatomy of Silence(ing)