Becky Saunders talks about the female stereotype of the”Bunny Boiler”
Becky Saunders, 30, Southsea, Portsmouth, U.K. Project Development and Social Justice Administrator for ASLI.
I am a Hampshire hog! I have lived in Portsmouth for the past 9 years, I grew up somewhere a bit more rural where there wasn’t much to do. As I entered my teens serious rebellion against the dysfunction of my family hit and this led me down the path of drug and alcohol misuse.
I’d be on the dance-floor every weekend and used dancing as a form of therapy, a way of expressing myself. But of course everything comes with a price and I am now having to face up to the issues I’ve spent all these years trying to escape from with the addition of the skewed mind gained from such past times. I have always been envious of a creative mind, wished that I was able to put a paint brush to paper and express myself.
As I have grown older I have realised that my creativity has always been expressed in other ways; through how I dress, how I have my home. I began to take art seriously after a short break in Madrid, after seeing El Bosco’s Jardin de las Delicias it left me thoughtful as to how someone could have had such an insight into the world all those centuries ago! It is only very recently that I have taken to writing poetry, I’ve never really appreciated poems before but have found that I can speak my thoughts much clearer in a poem. I’ve had a really positive response from the few people I’ve shared my poems with which has been an amazing feeling.
I have found choosing the submissions for the E-magazine and ASLI Blog a truly inspiring process and was in charge of the poetry category for our celebration of women campaign, I can honestly say that there wasn’t one piece that I didn’t find interesting or couldn’t engage with, well done and thank you to all you beautiful artists who shared your work with us!
I feel that stereotypes are one of the many downfalls of the human race. To try and pigeon hole people into categories based on one particular aspect of their lives/person is quite a tragic judgemental action, unfortunately one that we are all guilty of as it has become so engrained within our societal values.
The topic of being a bunny boiler is a stereotype that I had pretty much labelled myself with, how degrading is that! I have recently begun to discover the reasons behind my behaviour in relationships and had wanted to write something around the subject. ASLI offered me the inspiration and platform to do so.
By Becky Saunders
The process to me seems clear and relative;
Take something sweet, cute and fluffy that you care for and love;
Boil it alive in scalding water….
There’s a reason you know, well several actually
For why my behaviours when in love could appear as this; your derogatory.
The intensity of me; here have it all, take me – but keep me, don’t break me!
All my little quirks and ism’s eventually surfacing as subtle insanity’s.
You’ve all gained from this though; in ten million more ways than one!
In the bedroom, the kitchen, bank balance, your emotions, a home.
You’ve all taken these suffocations;
Greedily and happily.
You’ve all shown the love,
Fed the stove where the pan sits.
Sweet nothings of the future dripped in my ear; my heart bleeding at such a sense of security….
The pan fills…
Then your incapability of being honest, the trauma of your insistence to not deal with your emotions…
The cracks appear, the distance comes…
The bunny is in….
So when I’m pushed to the edge and I light that stove,
Don’t just reach for the term;
Yeah that’s what she is.
Have a think about your role in this process.
Don’t just tar her with that brush, stick her with that label.
She’s still that girl you fell in love with, your future scene.
Perhaps if met with the patience and understanding that she has offered to you,
That what you cared for didn’t need to be destroyed at all!
What does feminism mean to you and do you consider yourself to be a feminist?
I would definitely consider myself to be a feminist however it is something I have had to grapple with over the years. I find the term quite confused and misconstrued, so much so that it has lost its true meaning over the years to the majority. The matter of equality is not a straightforward one; what I am seeing more and more now is that what women are gaining through seeking this is having to fulfil the typically male roles in addition to their traditional female roles. Particularly in the home and at work. I also have grave concerns for the portrayal of women in the media these days and the effect this will have on the could be feminists of the future.
What made you want to get involved with our non-profit ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL mission?
I am truly inspired and excited by the ASLI mission. We all know deep down that it is only ourselves as individuals that can deal with our own baggage but to the same point we cannot do this alone. We all need the right tools, knowledge and support in place to be able to move forwards but we cannot depend on what is (and more often not) provided by the state.
Do you feel women have to conform to social norms and stereotypes to be taken seriously? Do you have any experiences of this?
I feel that everyone has to conform to social norms, whatever their gender. I would be very surprised to meet anyone who hasn’t had to at some point in their life, whether they are aware of this would be a different matter. As a single women without child or decided career who has just turned into her 30’s my experiences of such have ramped up considerably, it’s been quite shocking actually!!
Do you think that women and men are equal in today’s societies around the world? Have you any experience of this?
There is horrendous inequality throughout the world for women. Even in Western societies it is still a man’s world run by men for men, you don’t even have to scratch the surface to see that.
What causes and world issues are you passionate about, campaign for, volunteer for etc…..?
I am passionate about people, there are so many social injustices in this world I wouldn’t know where to start campaigning properly. I feel strongly about the need to change how things are run and the direction this world is heading in, how misguided we all are by those in the driving seats.
What does the statement ART SAVES LIVES mean to you and has art in anyway “saved” your life in any way?
I can certainly see how art could save lives, I have felt amazing release through writing poems and my journal. Being able to express that dark place that even you yourself don’t understand has been really helpful for me.
How can your art be used to create change and is this something you want for your art?
If somebody reads my poetry and can relate to it then I believe that in itself is creating change. Sometimes all you need is to know that you’re not alone, that somebody else in the world understands. I’m definitely up for that!
I am hoping to write articles for the next upcoming e-magazines, all of the topics are close to my heart. This will be a challenge as I am no journalist but I feel this will help towards my healing process and will perhaps touch the hearts and minds of anyone who has been through similar situations.
If you would like to contact Becky here is her ASLI email: firstname.lastname@example.org