Interview :: Ann Mossop – All About Women
March 28th 2014
1. A crippling social anxiety that leads sufferers to overcommit due to a compulsive fear of missing out. As in;
Sorry, I don’t have time to watch you feed your cat because I have FOMO and there are a shitload of other things I’d rather be doing
Sorry, I can’t make it to lunch any more because I made a bucket list when I was wasted the other night and number one was to meet Lionel Ritchie before I die and I just heard Lionel Ritchie was playing in Paris and YOLO so I am in Paris now.
For many, FOMO is a heavy and expensive cross to bear, but it can be used for the greater good. Ann Mossop is an example of how. As Head of Public Programs at Ideas at the House, she’s curated 14 different events, an exhibition, two documentary screenings and a clothes swap for this Sunday’s All About Women festival.
She’s even getting on stage herself to chair a panel discussion with journalist and political commentator Annabel Crabb and serial CEO Ann Sherry. Ironically, the panel is called ‘How to say “no”’.
I asked Ann if she knew that she was a sufferer of FOMO herself.
‘I don’t think I suffer from FOMO so much as an overload… but I suppose you suffer from overload because you’ve got FOMO!’
Once Ann had come to terms with her diagnosis, we pondered over whether an element of FOMO is crucial to making a successful career as a woman. ‘Well, some people do really well at what they do because they just focus on one thing,’ she mused. ‘But then you find people who, because they’ve been open to thinking about different things, have had tremendously varied and exciting careers.’
Curating a festival called ‘All About Women’ could risk distancing a male audience, in the same way this article might. Ann knows all too well how the F-word gets used and abused but tells me that with All About Women they’re taking a broader approach.
‘The fact that we’re doing the festival does come from a feminist impulse, which is a feeling that the kinds of conversations and speakers that we have are not represented in other contexts, so it’s something that we need to do to stimulate these conversations. But our audience is really quite diverse.’
And yes, there is a man in the mix, and his jam is the conundrum of female sexual desire. Daniel Bergner is the author of the book ‘What Do Women Want? Adventures in the Science of Female Sexual Desire’ and has dedicated his life’s work to that age old question that Mel Gibson came close to discovering. Sadly, the show has sold out. Happily, Ann promised me that all the talks will be podcast next week (here we may again thank FOMO, because she can’t physically get to all of them in the one day).
WHAT :: All About Women – a festival of ideas, discussions and documentaries about women, including a photographic exhibition and a clothes swap
WHERE :: Sydney Opera House
WHEN :: All day Sunday 30th March
HOW MUCH :: Tickets start at $25 for a single event and are discounted for members or multipacks. Buy tickets here.