I don’t like asking for help

Film piece – Unedited and, at the time, unwatched by me surveillance footage taken by a private investigator working for the insurance company Unum in 2009. Explanation at beginning of film. It’s long and boring, unless you like that sort of thing, which I do. The music at the beginning scares the shit out of me still. End of review.

Dear Unum,

I already felt like I was constantly being watched and judged. I see myself from the outside, through your lens or another’s eyes. You destroyed and then compounded my faith in the universe.

Fuck you very much.

“To be born a woman has to be born, within an allotted and confined space, into the keeping of men. The social presence of women is developed as a result of their ingenuity in living under such tutelage within such a limited space. But this has been at the cost of a woman’s self being split into two. A woman must continually watch herself. She is almost continually accompanied by her own image of herself. Whilst she is walking across a room or whilst she is weeping at the death of her father, she can scarcely avoid envisaging herself walking or weeping. From earliest childhood she has been taught and persuaded to survey herself continually. And so she comes to consider the surveyor and the surveyed within her as the two constituent yet always distinct elements of her identity as a woman. She has to survey everything she is and everything she does because how she appears to men, is of crucial importance for what is normally thought of as the success of her life. Her own sense of being in herself is supplanted by a sense of being appreciated as herself by another….One might simplify this by saying: men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at. This determines not only most relations between men and women but also the relation of women to themselves. The surveyor of woman in herself is male: the surveyed female. Thus she turns herself into an object — and most particularly an object of vision: a sight.”

Ways of Seeing – John Berger

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