Sometimes I wonder; how is it possible that through history women have been abused, maltreated, locked up, burnt as witches, raped and forced to carry the baby, feet bound in China, FGM in many countries, breasts of young girls flattened by hot stones, molested, flogged, not allowed to inherit land, not allowed to work, looked down upon. It is difficult to understand. With these paintings I am wondering about different men and ages, and rejoice in the fact that I have been born in this part of the world, in this century, and hope with my whole heart that my daughter will stay as lucky as I have been and that the situation of women and girls all over the world improve.

What if men would be able to carry babies, would that make them drop their guns, invest in human rights, health care and education? Would it make men in power think more of this planet as a living thing, and learn how to feel more empathy? For nature, women and children, even themselves? Would paid leave become more common? Would we have more diverse and safe birth control? But more importantly, would misogyny disappear?

I would like to quote Gloria Steinem on this, in an interview with Emma Brockes from the Guardian she said:

“It took us a while to figure out, but patriarchy – or whatever you want to call it, the systems that say there’s masculine and feminine and other bullshit – is about controlling reproduction. Every economics course ought to start not with production but with reproduction. It is way more important.”

“If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.”

These very small paintings I made while thinking about these issues, and finishing them off with a little foetus on the heads of different men of different backgrounds and ages somehow gave me a bit of impish glee.

Men with foetus, oil on wooden panel, most paintings are 18 x 13 cm, 2020