YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN A ____________ is an interactive performance in which a SPOOKY BOOBS COLLECTIVE officer interrupts an unsuspecting participant and places them under momentary arrest for various crimes against societal norms. The arrested party is informed of the charges brought against them, told to face the camera for a mugshot, and processed with customized paperwork. The perpetrator receives a written citation complete with their charge information and is informed that they have the right to remain a bitch, a pussy, bossy, crazy, etc.
Performed with a healthy dose of tongue-in-cheek attitude, these interactions visualize the way hostile language is used to actively shame those not following patriarchal standards. The charges read to our perpetrators call out characteristics of confidence, independence, respect for self, not constantly smiling, displaying emotion, and other normal and even admirable qualities. When displayed by women, these behaviors are construed to be unlikeable, non-conforming, and even threatening. Men displaying characteristics that defy patriarchal norms are slandered using words that diminish them to the status of women.
Ending the arrests with the statement “you have the right to remain a _______”, validates and encourages our right to behave as we want in spite of these insidious labels.