“Culture is powerful precisely because it is so present and at the same time so very difficult to identify. […] The longer you swim in a culture the more invisible it becomes.”
Tema Okun, White Supremacy Report, Dismantling Racism Matters

100 Ways is a practice, a reminder to myself, a commitment to transformation, a commitment to social justice work, a plea, a question, an invitation…
and just the beginning.

It is a reminder that I have a body. That I am a person with emotions and feelings, I am sometimes a mess, trying hard, seeing injustice, speaking out, staying quiet, trying to fit in. I am not a machine.

I originally wrote the 100 Ways manifesto after working in the building trades for a few years and I started to notice how the building site culture was escalating the more macho parts of myself.

My body ached but I wouldn’t stop, I kept quiet about my feelings and sensitivities while on site. And the increased sexism, racism and homophobia that I heard on a daily basis was becoming normalised to me.

What are your 100 ways to end the oppressive ways of working on our buildings sites?

Number 1: Stretch.

What ever is going on, I can always come back to number 1.

My body is where my emotions sit. It is where I process what happens throughout the day, the disappointment of making the same mistake again or the joy of finishing a project and handing over to a happy customer. Stretching releases these emotions. Stretching reminds me that my body is not a capitalist machine. Stretching gives me a moment to reflect. Simple, effective.

We have the capacity to create a temporary culture that experiments with the values that we hold true. This requires us to first step back and look at the existing culture head on.

I believe that the building site culture represents a microcosmic version of the larger society we live in. A culture which reflects the dominant ideologies of the patriarchy, white supremacy and capitalism.

I question whether this culture is working for any of us.

The construction industry has the highest rate of suicide than any other industry. It is also a place where 98% of the people working on the tools have been socialised by our patriarchal society to be manly; not to share feelings, be sensitive or to show any weaknesses.