I spent the last week taking in the whole #notallmen and #yesallwomen debate - or I should say dicussion. The recent killings in the US have brought up a lot of discussion about feminism, misogyny and violence between men and women. I am part of an art journaling group on FB and the amazing Orly Avineri started Project No More Silence. In this post, I want to share my views and some of the art that illustrates or express these views.
It is not a secret to the people around me in real life that I am a feminist, I am pro-choice and I am anti-religion. I haven't been that vocal about it on this blog because this is a place to share my creative adventures, although if you've read between the lines or looked at some of my art journal pages, you probably noticed. Thing is, I'm angry at how things are going.
I'm mad that in 2014 we are still acting as though women are objects, as though they need to be controlled or cared for, as if we can't make our own decisions. This is why I am pro-choice. Not pro-abortion...pro-choice. The choice is ours because we are people, humans, with the capacity to choose.
I know I am on a slippery slope talking about religion also. I feel that, although the religious message is definitely worthwhile, it has been translated into a patriarchal quest for power and control, mainly over women. I feel that every institutionalised religion does this equally. I realise that this may offend some people and that is not my goal. Understand me correctly : I am a spiritual person but not a religious one. I do not like the way the religious message has been used in the past and is being used today by some people to control others.
I've been vocal about all of this in the art that I've shared on this blog. Find my feminist journal here. Here are pages from previous Moleskine art journals that address issues of women's rights, bullying, slut shaming and what I feel are the negative effects of religious patriarchs.
On very rigid laws that limit access to safe and affordable abortion:
On religious wars (i.e. being told how to dress, when not to dance, honor killings, destroying works of art in the name of God, fatwas, self-immolation, creationism, the anti-gay stance, etc) :
On hearing two indian women discussing tradition, when one said 'what gods would actually care about your hair?', I was like YES!!!
On the Ikea catalog being published without women in certain Middle-Eastern countries (they photoshopped them out)
On the whole Twilight / Fifty shades of Grey wishy-washy-I-need-a-man-to-take-care-of-me type of woman:
On the terrible rape and murder of the Indian student, the only time when I would go biblical and SMITE down the men responsible:
On the ambiguïty of female sexuality
On not being reduced to my genitals, just as men shouldn't be either:
'Neither slut nor virgin', because the Bible gives only those two choices:
While the old patriarchs are voting a new pope, a child of 15 gets 100 lashes because she was gang raped.
I have questions for God/Godesses/Gods:
About how I don't put my atheism in people's face:
On the absolute horror of Rehtaeh Parson's death.
On the five year-old girl that was raped in India
On being afraid for women for the first time and yet keeping hope alive thanks to women like Wendy Davis and Malala Yousafzai:
On how women will be free when they dress for themselves and not for a God(s) and not for men.
A play on words : 'clivage ' in french means a seperation, just like cleavage.
Project No More Silence has started such a flow of creativity and emotion for me. I decided that these pages would be my Awesome Ladies Project pages for May. I did these four spreads in two days.
Thank you for looking and please don't hesitate to leave a comment. I'm all for open discussion. Whether we agree or not, I think it's so important to have places to speak our minds and exchange ideas. So that we are not all just stuck in different camps and unable to find common ground.
I'm putting my money where my mouth is and being Silent No More. Do you have something to say? Please feel free to link up in the comments.