Name it. Change it. Flip the Script!
Have you ever found yourself following society’s expectations unconsciously, as though reading lines in a script written by someone else?
We’ve all encountered these scripts that tell us how women/girls and men/boys are “supposed” to behave. Throughout the Voices of Our Future program, you have each demonstrated insightful critique, confidence in your authentic individual voices, and the courage to challenge the status quo. For our next emagazine, our editorial team is shining light on creative resistance to harmful gender norms that exist in our societies. We are extending a publishing opportunity to VOF alumnae. We invite you to submit stories and creative media (photos, video, or audio) to expose the patterns that are often so ingrained in our societies that they go unspoken or even unnoticed. We are looking for exciting moments of change and creative ways you have challenged (or observed others in your community challenging) the gender script.
Deadline: February 10. You can submit as many times as you like and all entries submitted before the deadline will be considered for publication.
All submissions should be posted to your journal and tagged Flip the Script.
We plan to feature several Flip the Script submissions in our upcoming emagazine for International Women’s Day on March 8th. If you have questions about whether the topic you have in mind is a fit with the theme, pose them in this group and a member of our editorial team will try to address your questions.
Ways to participate:
1. Submit a story
Write about a moment or action that turns a gender script on its head, exposes it for what it is, and empowers others to leave it behind.
Word count: Up to 1200 words Payment: We will pay $100 US for each story we select for publication. Note: Submitting does not mean you will be paid; if your story is selected to be featured in the emagazine, payment will be given.
Some ideas to get your creativity flowing:
-You can explore language: Have you dreamed about an empowering female response to male “machismo”? Have you questioned the meaning of girls’ and boys’ names in your culture? Do you hate hearing women’s anatomy used as insults? Is there an expression or saying that’s stuck with you, like that girls are made of “sugar and spice” while boys are made of “snakes and snails”? How is language used to subtly reinforce gender stereotypes? How can we change our language to reflect how we want our society to be?
-You can highlight an inspiring action, project, or campaign that helps change the narrative. For example initiatives like the I’m a girl! campaign in New York City; or the Gender Danger campaign which combats breast ironing and changes perceptions on how young girls are viewed and treated; or the village in Bihar, India that decided to plant mango trees for every girl born to reinforce her worth.
-You can use humor. What would happen if a woman were to use typical street harassment lines and tactics on men, for example? Flipping the script can be both insightful and humorous. This essay from the Voices of Our Future op-ed module is a great example!
Be targeted and specific. This is an opportunity to take a massive, overwhelming topic like gender inequality and find a lens to better understand and confront it through one moment defiance, one aspect of language/culture, one inspiring action, etc.
2. Submit a photo!
You can tell an entire story with an image. One image can show both a problem and a solution. What does it look like to flip the script? The I’m a girl! campaign is a great example of images that are more powerful than words alone. Submit one photo or a complete photo essay.
3. Get creative!
The theme of this prompt is the power of creativity to transform the status quo. Feel free to get creative in the format of your submissions! You can use any of the tools in your Voices of Our Future toolbox, including submitting a profile of a leader who is “flipping the script”, as well as multimedia, op-ed, or frontline journal formats. You can submit a comic, a video, a poem, or even an actual script!
Vweta’s frontline journal on transforming pain into beauty.
Cscabrido on a group of girls in India whose lives might otherwise be defined by their poverty, who are now making waves as basketball champions.
Ishtar Zikr's story combats complacency about femicide in the Maldives through a letter addressed to death itself, as if written by hope.