Interview of Harriet Murphy-Hoyle by Amanda Attanayake
Hey Harriet, how are you?
I’m really good thanks!
How old are you?
18, nearly 19.
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I’m a self-described feminist hipster from North Fitzroy who loves knitting, drawing and generally making.
You’re a keen knitter and artist; what does your knitting, and more broadly your art, mean to you?
My knitting was always a way to connect with my Nana. She was the toughest woman I’ve ever known, and knitting was something that we always did together. It’s such a big part of my life, and I love the idea of knitting as a tool of expression, and was really interested in using it as an art form. I think that there’s something so interesting about the idea of using knitting and other crafts in art- taking something so traditionally feminine and domestic, and using it in an almost empowering way just feels so cool!
What are you listening to at the moment?
At the moment I’ve been listening to a fair bit of Kylie. It’s my guilty pleasure, and just always so good!
What are you up to this year?
This year I’m doing a bachelor of arts at Melbourne Uni.
What is your dream career/occupation?
At this point I would love to be a clinical psychologist, but I still love the idea of becoming an artist. I’m sure my art and crafting will still be a part of my life, regardless of what I end up doing.
What do you wish they taught at high school?
I really wish I was taught resilience. As hard as I may try, I’m terrible at being tough. I’m getting better, but it would have been great to have been taught how to stand up for myself and my views, with complete confidence.
What tips do you have for teens entering year 12?
Don’t let it get too much. I made the mistake of bottling everything up to the point where I ended up just bursting into tears in the middle of class! If you’re having any problems with anything please let someone know, whether it be a teacher or a friend. Don’t write it off as insignificant. And as difficult as it may seem, try and enjoy it! I loved year 12, as stressful and tiring as it was at times.
What do you love about being a girl?
I love the sense of unity that you share with other girls. I love the support that I get from my group of girlfriends, and being able to share anything with them. I think there’s something really special and cool about sharing a common experience with every other girl, and the way that we can come together to fight for our rights.
What do you think is difficult about being a girl?
I think the day-to- day sexism girls face is one of the most difficult parts, especially the way that it often gets trivialised. There’s nothing okay with getting catcalled with my 15-year- old sister when we walk home from school; I refuse to take it as anything less than a sexist attempt to humiliate us. I think girls everywhere have immense barriers to face, whether legal or physical (as faced by our sisters across the world) or merely social. And until attitudes towards girls and women change, we’ll have to keep facing them.
Who is your heroine?
My biggest heroine is probably Hermione Granger. I grew up reading Harry Potter, and I honestly think she’s just such a badass.
What three personal qualities of yours do you love?
I love my friendliness- I always try and make an effort to talk to people, and to be approachable. I also love my creativity and my humour (even if no one else appreciates it).