ProEQ is happy to welcome Emily Hiraki as one of our co-directors. Emily has been a strong advocate for the arts for many years now, dating back at least to her days as general manager of KSUB radio.
When asked “Why the ProEquality Project?”, this is how she responded:
Sometimes I get extra mad at all the bullshit from society that informs everything in my life. I think about how it’s not fair that men think it’s acceptable to corner me at the grocery store, that men talk over me when I have an opinion about a shitty action movie because my gender means I don’t “get it”, and that I have to think twice about wearing a skirt. I can’t even wax my unibrow without feeling conflicted about my motivation for doing so – how much am I caving in to society’s unfair beauty standards? I want to wax it, right? Would I care if I’d been raised in a world that didn’t photoshop all the body hair off women? And then I get even more upset that I waste a second of my time worrying about these things. I shouldn’t have to. Nobody should have to. Life is too short and precious to be bullied into being someone you’re not. Or to feel like less of a person than anyone else for the way that you are.
I grew up learning to be kind to others, to be charitable, to have compassion. However, that didn’t stop me from internalizing a metric ton of nonsense – and being able to recognize it now, doesn’t mean I don’t still struggle with it every day. But I’m glad I do! Because that is the first step to changing the way things are.
I think Seattle is a truly special town with a great sense of community and I want to help make it even better. The hardest thing to do for an artist is to put that piece of themselves out there for the world to see – but it’s such an important moment when they do, because that expression is a powerful way to understand other points of view. It was only a few years ago that I really had my feminist awakening – through the words and art of women who were brave enough to put their thoughts and feelings out into the world. I wouldn’t have started to challenge society and myself without their bravery. And I can only imagine how much more I can learn from this people in this city. That’s why it’s so important to me that everyone be able to feel safe and express themselves. I’m excited to be helping out at the ProEquality Project because I know that as I learn and grow, I can help this city grow too! ❤