This Millennial Exposes Sexism Through Photo-Journalism
I’m Ari Andersen, and I’m the host of Millennials Don’t Suck, a podcast my friend Matt and I created to counter the narrative that all millennials are lazy and narcissistic. We do this by interviewing some of the most accomplished, impactful, and interesting young people around, and letting their stories and their character speak for themselves.
This week we published a conversation I had about six weeks ago with Katie Sikora, the founder of The Sexism Project, an ongoing oral interview and photographic portrait series beginning with female subjects in the New Orleans music community and their experiences with sexual harassment and abuse.
We talked about how her project has coincided with the larger conversation we are having around gender equality and sexual harassment, and spoke about how we (as white males) can best be of service to this movement and moment. I loved every minute.
Tell us about what you’re up to?
So I, about a year and half ago, started working on a project that has come to be known as the sexism project. What it is now is an ongoing interview and photographic portrait series talking to different subjects in different industries about their experiences with sexism.
Was this the first opportunity for some of these women to tell their story?
Yes, absolutely, in this kind of context where they felt like it was actually going to be seen and heard. And that was kind of my intention in the beginning. I was like “I want to share my story,” and the thought to have other stories there was so that when people would read it, it wouldn’t just seem like an outlier story.
One of the reasons I wanted to have you on is that there’s part of me that’s just afraid to say anything, for fear of offending, or for fear of delegitimizing, and that’s fine with me. I’m fine with listening. But from your perspective, is that the most useful thing for me to be doing?
I think it depends on who you’re talking to. I’d say when in doubt, don’t stay quiet. Definitely speak up, ask questions. If you ask a question out of legitimate curiosity to try and understand someone, and that person or group of people still attack you for it, that’s on them.