I realised I hadn’t posted this last night – I drafted it on 18/4 and then was overcome (again) and went on fieldwork. So I’m picking it up again but I want everyone to know that this is not without, what we’re terming, ’emotional labour’. It is hard work trying to be objective about these emotive issues, and try to provide some clarity when you feel upset that people are breaking their hearts over being discriminated against. Hopefully I’ll finish this up in Part 3
‘So forgive me. I’ve been talking about this for 15 years, and hearing stories, and the avalanche of archaeology/anthropology experiences collated by Doug here https://dougsarchaeology.wordpress.com/2018/04/14/91-stories-of-archaeology/ finally did me in on Sunday night. For others feeling the same way, there’s a nice blog on self care here https://blueprintzine.com/2018/04/16/in-the-fight-against-sexual-violence-its-okay-to-step-away-from-triggering-content/
I talked with a wonderful pal and I feel ready to come back in – there will be Part 3 though.
In the last post I said we needed to recognise the variety of these experiences for (again mostly) women. There isn’t one-size-that-fits-all, apart from a general banner of exploitative and inappropriate. So let’s go over these. I mentioned emotional manipulation, oversharing and extreme amounts of contact in Part 1. Many experiences are more overtly sexualised, with direct coercion and repeated pressure. Many start with open sexual discussions and in archaeology, this can come alongside and with ‘banter’. This sometimes starts with unwarranted comments on clothing choices/shoes/makeup etc.
While the BWA mainly work as a point of contact, there are many women (and some men) who are coming on board through different initiatives to instigate and promote a change in culture. For examples there’s the CiFA Equality and Diversity Group, the Inclusive Archaeology project, and of course Trowelblazers.’