Revisiting the Pink and Blue Spectrum

Open Cafe Rzeszow 5.06.2019
By: Yaryna Kysil

On Wednesday , June 5th, one of Biuro Wystaw Artystycznych (BWA)’s art galleries became an open space to discuss yet another interesting and controversial topic. This week was connected to gender stereotypes, inequality on a daily basis, social pressure and differences between men and women.

Our hosts Kamila and Yaryna started the Open Café by asking participants to match words and definitions related to the “gender vocabulary”. In this way, participants could familiarize themselves with the definitions of some words that would be used during the event.

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After that we slowly moved to a creative “stereotypes workshop” in which participants, divided into teams, had to come up with common stereotypes about both to men and women. They then wrote them down then on post-its and stuck them on two  volunteers. This gave participants an opportunity to brainstorm, use their creativity and talk after social norms which could even sound ridiculous sometimes.

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During a small break  we had a short video call with our friends from the Greek team, who are also running Open Café in Patras. It was a good way to show our participants how Open Café is conducted in another country.

Finally, the last activity of the day was an Agree/Disagree game. Yaryna and Kamila read out different statements such as “Only women should be nurses” or “Men should pay for women in restaurants”. After reading each statement people moved to different sides of the room and then shared their why they agreed or disagreed. The idea of this activity was to let people feel free to  communicate  and give their opinions on some “controversial topics”.

It was really good and diverse discussion which engaged all participants and taught them how to listen to others and respect their opinions while still being able to define their own. So while on the one hand, some of us thought that women shouldn’t work in a mine, they could be boxers. Or a boss needs to be empathetic, regardless of their gender. And that’s ok. As long as we’re able to debate and understand each other’s point of view.