On “Settling Down”, Comedy, the C Word and Creativity

Been a while since I last blogged and a lot has changed.¬†¬† Haven’t travelled since Cambodia (except domestically for work purposes), but moved back to Alice Springs and “settled down”.¬† Or my version of that anyway.
I realised that I kept running away because I was conforming (as a woman) to settling as being about the  mythical white-picket fence story.
Instead of running, I have dug in, so to speak, to reclaiming my identity, in Alice Springs; through getting serious about my art, writing and continuing to develop my stand up comedy.¬† Whilst I am still very passionate about my “day job” – it has become more and more about a means to an end.¬† The end being embracing who I am and not compromising that identity, least of all to¬†any patriarchal concept¬†of what my femaleness is supposed to mean.
My comedy and art are both about sexual rights, anti-slut shaming and anti-body shaming.  It is funny, but makes a point too.
No, I am not intending to shock Рbecause NONE of this should be shocking.
This “settling down” for me consists:
  1. A day job where I represent a number of NGO’s to government and has lots of advocacy that supports those directly acting for those who are experiencing disadvantage.
  2. Four paintings, a series of stylised vagina paintings, embedded in nature.¬† Cause vaginas¬†are natural you know – not something to be ashamed of and hidden.¬† They have titles that include the word Cunt.¬† TreeCunt and FloralCunt are the first two. AnatomicalCunt is the third and the fourth is yet to be titled.¬† The fact is, that penises are everywhere in art, why on earth are not vaginas?¬† Yeah there has been some artistic expressions and it’s growing, but honestly I am over the response they get as shocking.
  3. Stand up comedy that is about women owning their sexuality and has an anti-slut and body shaming context. Note: I don’t talk about sexual acts, I tell stories that are funny and about real life situations where we can choose to own our sexuality or be ashamed of it – and choosing to own it.
Women have the same creative rights as men and I will not back down on the language or medium I use for the fear of being reprimanded as not “lady like”.
So thus the title of this post – if it offends you I suggest you take a good look at the world today before you get upset about the Cunt word.¬† First of all Cunt was once a good word to describe a woman and her¬†vagina in almost sacred ways.¬† Sure, it may not always have been flattering, but it hasn’t always been the put down it is now.
In case there are rattles, I do swear in my comedy.¬†¬† The swear rate is just about 5% yet I know it raises eyebrows. I for one, am sick of double standards that say it’s okay to use it in a negative light and not okay to use it to reclaim it’s old value.¬† In my comedy I Cunt once or twice tops, and probably five other expletives.
A woman comedian owning swearing on stage and the use of the word Cunt is apparently scary to some.
Me?  I am scared of war, death and poverty, but not profanity. 
Like most things I do, I am committed to doing it properly.  I have been doing workshops and learning from other comedians.
Last week I had some professional comedy shots taken.  Cause I have a few upcoming gigs in the new year and I want serious promotional material.
Jacci Pillar is my stage name.  Pillar was my paternal grandmothers maiden name.  Check her page out at  https://www.facebook.com/JacciPillar/
Some savvy friends¬†noticed the middle finger on my comedy shot, instead of my pinky lifted while drinking tea.¬† Well done. ūüôā subtle but truthful depiction of my supposed contradictions!
Last week when in Darwin for work and as happens to me sometimes; I received a stream of judgements from varying people about what I should aspire to.
All from people I can’t tell to fuck off (for¬†obvious reasons). I ended up feeling “lacking” (momentarily) – then….I came home to my much loved apartment in the desert.
To my own space in Alice Springs which is¬†becoming¬†uniquely me. And I didn’t feel “alone”, like some think I should. I came back to friends who don’t judge but support. I felt content. I am currently buying this space. Alone (yay!).¬†¬† A man has never been a plan for me.
I really don’t want a partner…it is only when in the presence of other people who think I should I begin to feel “less”.
I don’t give a flying fruitloop what other people think…but like anyone I¬†can¬†start to respond to the pressure of “normalisation” that surrounds us as women.
Last weeks “settle down”¬†judgement list looked something like this:
Be thinner.
Be partnered.
Don’t paint cunts or talk about them either.
Don’t be vocal about sexual rights.
Don’t be “picky” about who I date.
Don’t aim to be good at anything, just¬† average will do (this from a guy I once liked and am glad I didn’t follow through).
And finally, that I should “settle down”.
I am settled thank you very much.
Settled on being who I am, how I can best use my skills and abilities without having to end up a slave to someone else’s idea of who I am.
My judgement of these judgments? Considering I have had to hear so much of it lately? Stick your boring, mainstream, self-medicating white-picket fence up your ass!
Special thank you to Joyce Van Dijk Photography for my new head shots! Thank you – check her work out here