Image: Courtesy of Rebecca Crookshank
A former airwoman of the Royal Air Force (RAF) is starring in a one-woman play about her time in the military, and the gender inequality, sexual harassment and bullying she was subject to.
Rebecca Crookshank performs as nine characters in the Jessica Beck-directed Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, as she documents her time in the RAF.
This includes a number of instances of sexual harassment and bullying at the hands of her male colleagues.
These ranged from initiations where she was mooned by 28 men and being grabbed by naked airmen wearing only rubber gloves, to drunken knocks on her bedroom door late at night.
A number of these instances have been caught on camera (as seen above).
Ms Crookshank said to A Younger Theatre: “There is a lack of representation of the female experience in the arts and I figured my story would tackle this as well as raise urgent questions about gender inequality, sexual harassment and bullying in institutions.
“Unfortunately I am not alone, many other men and women have experienced horrific treatment in the armed forces and other institutions.
“No human being should be expected to endure bullying and sexual harassment in any profession.”
Ms Crookshank first performed her stage show at the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and is launching a tour across the UK starting on February 27 in Bungay.
She said one of her inspirations has been the RAF motto Per Ardua Ad Astra which means ‘through adversity to the stars’.
“I attempted to complain while still serving as an airwoman and I wasn’t listened to. This show is my alternative complaint and it’s proving to be powerful, encouraging others to uncover injustice.
“Theatre provides a platform to engage audiences with subjects that encourage debate, urgent conversations and can instigate change. The arts have collective power to unravel truth and shine a light into the face of adversity,” she added.
According to Ms Crookshank, a recent study has found that 90% of armed forces personnel are too scared to complain about bullying in the armed forces.
The Ministry of Defence say they do not comment on individual cases.
Rebecca Crookshank is performing in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot across the UK from February 27. For more information, click here.