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Reflections on public speaking

I am reflecting on how to talk publicly about equality for women in the dance sector. It seems to me that half the dance world (men) are fast asleep to the gravity of the situation – the real prejudice against women and the way our production work is not taken as seriously as theirs in the sector. And the other half (women of all ages) often seek me out afterwards, quietly and without fuss to thank and empathise and agree that all is not quite right. Now this is all fine and dandy, except that men don’t make up ‘half’ the dance world – in terms of numbers they are a minority. So how come they still seem to hold more power?

And then there is always one man – after every public outing of me and my feminist consciousness raising – that seeks me out – uninvited and says something like ‘Charlotte, are you alright?’ or ‘Charlotte, you need to be more beguiling’ or ‘Charlotte, perhaps you could say less?’ And I think yes maybe they are right and maybe I should shut up and maybe things are actually ok. I’m pretty successful, right?

But then I remember that the politics and trends in the tiny dance world reflect a much larger, more worrying trend in the wider social context and that there is SO much more that I could say. And so I decide that until there is a level playing field for women in society and in dance, I’m afraid I will just have to keep on talking.

(Charlotte Vincent)

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