While getting psyched for my trek to Tucson for the annual Gem & Mineral Shows (which would happily take me away from the mayhem and madness that is SuperBowlMardiGras here in New Orleans), I was thinking about posting baubles with a Valentine’s Day theme before I hit the road. What I really wanna talk about is love and respect, and WOMEN. Chicks. Babes. Broads. Females. Dames. Ladies. Lasses. Damsels. Or if you’re reading this from the “land down under”, Sheilas. This is my personal love letter to us.
I generally try not to get too political, heated arguments spoil my sunny disposition. However, I was very affected by the death of a young woman in India last month who was gang raped for hours. Her name was Jyoti Singh Pandey and her death needs to matter, and so does remembering her name. I count myself fortunate that I have suffered very little physical violence in my life. Being bullied in school was the closest I ever came to being hurt, and somehow I managed to outrun and/or outwit most of them. I can count five bullies. Four were girls! Sad, but interesting. I can’t remember most peoples names from my school days, but I remember the bullies names, first and last. Also sad, but interesting. The other interesting thing is when men have been inappropriate with me, I was never shy about making a racket. In my youth I was told to “keep quiet”. Like I was the one doing something wrong. “Nice” girls just need to shut up.
For a number of years, I volunteered at the local community radio station here in New Orleans (WWOZ 90.7 on your FM dial). Besides hosting some blues and New Orleans music shows, I would produce something called the “Community Notebook”. Usually it was for neighborhood events, fundraisers etc. When Tulane University submitted a request for a promo of “The Vagina Monologues” on Valentine’s Day, I was told I could not say the word “vagina” on the air!! We did come to a compromise: I was allowed to say the word once, because it’s in the title. (Duh). Since I was single (and couldn’t get a date) I went to see the performance. This play addresses the stigma surrounding rape, abuse and women’s sexuality. The author (Eve Ensler, follow her on Twitter: @eveensler) has incorporated a non-profit charity called “V-Day” and raises money via performances of The Vagina Monologues for female victims of violence and sexual abuse. You can find out more here: http://www.vday.org/home
Now I know this is a jewelry blog, and don’t you worry, I’ll shamelessly flog some trinkets too, but I want to address the “vs” in the title. This non-profit has been criticized for taking the air out of the romantic balloon that is Valentine’s Day, attacking the “romantic” bonds between men and women, for being “misdandrist” (mis´an`drist (mĭs´ăn`drĭst) n. 1. one who hates men). I say PSHAW. I love my husband, he’s good to me. I also know that I’m a woman, and I am outraged by so much that goes on in the world because women are deemed to be less than worthy (Taliban anyone?). Ever hear about the “Sworn Virgins of Albania”? Women (usually young girls) are asked to give up their sexuality and live as celibate males. For honor and respect. You can find out more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albanian_sworn_virgins and find some links to some of the photos by Jill Peters (photo below is hers) who recently brought this story to mainstream media.
I am fortunate that I live in a place that I can celebrate romance, be a “girly girl” AND support violence against women. If each of my 12 followers can go here: http://twibbon.com/support/one-billion-rising-5, get a twibbon, then maybe give a couple of bucks, maybe start something, dance, join a march, see the play, or just send a good thought, I will have done something. Now, how about something pink?
Wishing you an early Happy V/Valentines Day. Go home and kiss someone you love (yourself included).
Clicking on an image takes you to the listing. To see all my “pink” offerings, click here: PINK