Unlike International ‘Still Get’s Confused About Apostrophes’ Day, International I Once Saw A Woodpecker In A Birdfeeder Day and Interational You Put Diesel In A Petrol Engine You Muppet Day, I’m willing to get behind International Women’s Day even if it can be accused of being insulting to women. Every day is a day for something these days, and the way that the internet has made things it’s usually axe grinding or trying to make us buy stuff. Equality is an axe I’m happy to grind. It goes without saying that there are more than 365 axes to grind and also more than 365 niche products competing for market share. So today is also Proofreading Day and Peanut Cluster Day, apparently. Peanut Cluster Day??!? Proofreading day will be just another opportunity for joyless pedants who think that living languages should be governed by standardiszsxed rules. Every day is proofreading day in the post-Truss era. Git thersel offen das highherse. Linguage shud breethe. And peanut clusters? A day. For peanut clusters? Bollocks. What even are they? But women? I’ve met a few of them over the years, believe it or not. None of them have eaten me yet.
As far as I define the word feminist, I’m a feminist. We all understand our own language better than other people’s though, and feminism is another tag that shifts its meaning. There will be people who call themselves feminists who will give me reasons why I cannot be one, such as my presented gender. I’ve heard that before. “You’re a man. Men can’t be feminists.” Although conversely there are people who’ll tell me I am militant because I don’t think women should be… I dunno … boiled in vats – chained to the stove? Or because I’ll look at people like they just farted if they trot out the old “Why isn’t there an International Men’s Day?” – (Bless you. There is. Of course there is. It’s the 19th November for men. Make a peanut cluster in the shape of your or your friend’s penis. A penis cluster! And then…) We can only go by our own yardstick (ooer vicar). I call myself a feminist, so I am one by my definition. And I appreciate that so long as there’s a gender pay gap and so long as there are fewer women than there are people with the names David and John in top board rooms across the UK, we need to keep making noises.
So … I’m glad to start work today on an art project called “Playing Cards with my Grandmother.” I’ll be working with the artist Alice Instone. She has designed a pack of cards and a caravan for us to inhabit. As far as I understand we’ll be in high footfall areas, encouraging people to join us for a game of cards and to talk about their grandmothers. Today and Friday we’re in Canary Wharf, in Reuters’ Plaza, directly beneath the Reuters building. Saturday Sunday and Monday we’ll be on Bankside outside the Tate Modern, and Tuesday and Wednesday we’ll be on Carnaby Street.
I’m heading in to meet the artist now, and I’ll be working from 12 – 7 for the next week – so come stick your head in. I get the sense it’ll be a pleasant and calm little moment in a crazy place. It’s me and a dear old friend and collaborator. Both of us love games, both of us make lots of immersive theatre, and both of us read tarot. We won’t be in character. We’ll just be in caravan. And we likely will be craving coffee and familiar faces.