Sexism and sexual harassment are growing at a staggering rate amongst teenagers and young adults in the UK. Over 70% of 16-18-year-old girls hear sexual name calling every day at school, and 1/3 of them have experienced unwanted touching at school. On top of this, the curriculum has not been designed to address this, nor has it been updated since the year 2000 (before smart phones and social media!).
Following interviews, I realized that one of the biggest challenges was talking about the issues in the first place. It was frightening to realise that sexism and sexual harassment were rarely discussed at home, at school or amongst friends. The topics were considered too scary, too sensitive and too awkward. My starting point became to open up conversation about sexism and sexual harassment amongst young people to break the taboo. We cannot address these issues until we can acknowledge them.
The game calls into question gender stereotypes, presenting each situation from both a male and a female perspective, challenging players to consider eg. why a situation is deemed normal if you are a woman but not if you are a man. Tests prove that the game creates a platform for informal discussion and sharing of experiences amongst friends; when the worst has already been said it’s less scary to share something more personal, forcing it you stop tip-toeing around the issue.
Be a Cunt is a role-playing card game to open up the barriers to conversation around sexism and sexual harassment. By using the real language young people are used to hearing every day, by provoking you to say the things you’re not meant to say, and by challenging you to step into someone else’s shoes to experience what you never want to experience, Be a Cunt is able to release the tension around this serious, difficult and explosive issue.