FEM

Feminism Illustrated 24X36 Acrylic on canvas
Going Up 18X24 Acrylic on canvas
Handmaids Tell 18X24
Acrylic and charcoal on canvas
City Study 16X20
Mixed Media on canvas
Where No More 12X16 Acrylic on canvas

These handmaids have their genesis in Fates, folklore, foundation myths, goddess/mothers, Salem, crones, hags, witches and bitches, who -- on behalf of women -- witness, object to, and protest repression, subjugation, subservience, and abuse.  They demand fair treatment and equal rights, and their powers serve women.  “Tell” is an archeological term for a place created when many generations build on the same spot, forming a mound.

City Contemplation 16X20
Mixed Media on canvas

Edith Wharton (1862 - 1937) was a pre-feminist author whose female protagonists exhibited independence and strength of character.  An astute critic of the American Gilded Age, she was the first woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Literature in 1921.

Edith Warned Us 10X30 Mixed Media on canvas
Staying or Leaving? 16X20 Acrylic on canvas
BirdWoman 20X20
Acrylic and charcoal on canvas (S)
BirdWoman 3 16X20
Acrylic and charcoal on canvas (S)
Thinking 16X20
Mixed media on canvas
Yes, you! 18X24 Acrylic and charcoal on canvas

We are often split on decisions about the best way forward.  Self/other?  Career/family?  Go/stay?  Partake/don’t? 

 

And if only it were as simple as binary choices -- without all the other elements.

BirdWoman 2 20X24
Acrylic and charcoal on canvas
BirdWoman4 20X24 Acrylic on canvas
Earring 12X12
Mixed Media on canvas (S)
Blue 14X18 Acrylic and charcoal on canas
In the Shadow 18X24
Acrylic on canvas
Split 12X24
Acrylic on canvas

This piece was inspired by a friend who disclosed an assault and the continuing emotional and physical violence in her youth.  It symbolizes the potential for all women to be subject to verbal, emotional and physical assault.  Victims, usually but not always women, can be any ethnicity, age, religion, appearance, stance, sexual orientation, body type or economic status.  The feeling of protection by virtue of class, race, or age is false.

 

According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center,

1 in 6 U.S. women has been victims of rape or attempted rape.  And it is estimated that only ¼ of those crimes are reported.  Based on Department of Justice statistics, RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) projects that every 92 seconds an American woman (or man or transgender individual) is sexually assaulted, with those aged 12 – 34 being most at risk.

 

Some believe women invite assault by being provocative, uppity, or rule-breakers.  The #MeToo phenomenon has mitigated that belief somewhat -- merely by the sheer numbers of those proclaiming -- but many, often including the victims themselves, are sure that some certain behavior or attitude encourages assault.  Victims can feel they are somehow responsible and may feel guilt and shame.  Hopefully, loved ones are supportive -- but can also project shame and responsibility, despite believing in the independence and competence of the victim.

 

Those who assault do so, I believe, as a means of humiliation, subjugation, and domination of their victim -- with varying degrees of accompanying violence.  Perpetrators seldom face justice, as this crime is difficult to prove and victims may be unwilling to endure the trauma of a trial. 

 

For those who are assaulted, this horrifying memory never leaves, and it influences, directly or indirectly, future actions.

 

National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800.656.4673

Everyday Danger 15X30
Mixed media on canvas
Happy Dance 16X20    Acrylic on paper
Calm 16X20
Acrylic on paper
Skipping 16X20
Acrylic on paper
Oh My 16X20
Acrylic on paper
(c) Judy Rookstool 2019