Sowing the Winter Wheat

Suffragists, Feminists and Other Sheroes

TO The Women Against Feminism:…..

I guess it is time to dust off this blog.

TO the Women Against Feminism:

afeminist

First of all,  I have gone to your website and read your signs and it is clear to me that you have bought into a very negative  assumption of who a feminist is .

I am a feminist. I shave my legs and under my arms. Even though I am over weight, I worry and fuss with how I look. I go to the gym. Wearing black is not a militant statement but my feeble attempt to look thinner. I love men.  I am married to one. I am a stepmom. We have four grandsons. I am not angry. In fact, I am a pretty happy person. I laugh quite a bit. I don’t feel oppressed . I feel very lucky. Most of my girlfriends are feminists with the kind of  empathy and compassion that comes from the experience of living long lives. We are not harpies…

We understand the exhausting work that many women did by stepping forward and demanding that women have equal rights.  If you think that women’s struggles are over, you are mistaken. As long as there are discussions about what women can or cannot do with their own bodies, there will be more hard work to be done.  Are there discussions of making laws about what men can  do with their bodies ? Women need to stick together, not be pitted against each other…

Your agenda reads Women Against Women to me and I am not clear why you feel the need to slam the brave women who have blazed a trail to give you the very rights you are exercising.. These rights did not come to you out of thin air. In Biblical times, men debated whether women had souls and it wasn’t until  1920, after a long hard struggle and a lot of persistence that women won the right to vote. You are able to lead your privileged lives because of feminists…..

On your website, several women commented that there is no Patriarchy in the US. That it is a lie that feminists like to scream about. Please tell me how many women presidents or vice presidents there have been.  Women hold 4.8 percent of the Fortune 500 CEO positions and 5.1 percent of the Fortune 1000  CEO positions. In the House of Representatives, there are 435 members and 79 of them are women. Out of the 100 Senators serving our country, only 20 are women. And one of my favorite issues… do you know how many art works in the Louvre Museum in Paris are done by women? Or any art museum around the world, for that matter ?  I am glad that you feel that you are not being controlled by men but the pure fact of the matter is that you are.

Look, this is all about the spin…Being a “feminist” has always met with opposition. Mainly from people who felt threatened by women with an opinion. It was important for these people to give a negative spin on the word as part of their strategy.  And sadly, you believe them. That’s okay, I was young and naive once, too.

Now, I am but one of the feminists you are against. But I want you to know that although I know you are extremely capable of speaking out for yourself, I am FOR you. And I will never be AGAINST you, even if you are against me. I can live with that. Women have done that for hundreds of years.

And lastly, I like to have my door opened for me too but I also like to open that door for other people. It is a sign of caring and respect.

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New Unsung Heroes

hummers

"Hummers"

It has been almost exactly 2 years since I have written on this blog… How did that happen??? OH FACEBOOK … that is what happened… I think I mainly switched to talking more on Facebook .

My work has been evolving and changing because of many things going on in my life… Well, that is what art work is supposed to do since artists are influenced by what they see and do.
My soul searching has had me examining other facets of what it is to be a woman….. Most of my artwork has been trying to give women some heroes to look up to. To share these noble and adventurous women’s stories… I am still doing that but I have added another group of women who are really more unsung heroes…
These women are the ones who are the backbones of who we basically are… They have given us the skills to be emotional, thoughtful, hard working and lovely….. They may be passed off as being more common but really they are just unsung..

I am not sure why the birds are coming into the picture but maybe it has to do with the singing part.
Maybe it is some sort of symbolism….Maybe they mean nothing…
Or maybe they are my way of expressing my gratitude to my Mother (who is a birder) for what she has taught me…Consequently, I never leave the house with dirty underwear on and I strive to be extremely honest even if it ends up costing me money that I usually don’t have…. I may not have always followed her sage advice (unfortunately) but I have tried.
Here are a few of my new pieces…. They are solar etchings with handmade Japanese papers and vintage paper goods…
This one is titled “Waiting”

Waiting

Waiting

And this one is Pie in the Window

And a Bird in the Gallery

So there you have it….. I will try to keep up…..

Three Suffragists Etchings…..

"susan b anthony"I started with 3 rather large drawings that I made of 3 suffragists…. Susan B Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Carrie Chapman Catt … Sort of the beginning and the end results of the process of getting women the right to vote…. I have been interested for quite some time  in the idea of  creating images of women using words or objects to form their bodies and drawing their heads… These women had so much to say that I thought it would be quite easy to form their bodies with their words…. Since Susan B was on the road so much, I filled her with advertisements of her upcoming speeches and other ephemera promoting her….. And her infamous statement running down her arm, “Failure is Impossible”.. and a photo of Elizabeth Cady Stanton over her heart…..

I have a good collection of suffrage postcards and wanted to include them some way so I made etchings of three of them and matched them up to the three different women…. The Susan B Lives postcard, of course, was obvious and  had to go with my Susan B etching and I think, completes the idea that her spirit is still alive and well in the current women’s movement…. our ever constant fight for equality with the men and generally our place in the world…. Failure is Impossible…. The postcard is something done in probably the 70s…..

elizabeth cady stantonFor Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B’s best friend, I filled her body with her most important speech, “The Solitude of Self”….. If you are not familiar with this writing, check it out by clicking here.. It is probably the best piece she wrote and speaks passionately of full freedoms of individuals… It was her farewell speech when she resigned as president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association in 1892….. Again, remember we didn’t get the vote until 1920….. The postcard I chose to be paired with her etching was probably from either the 30s 0r 40s and was a birth announcement. I felt she was definitely born to fight for this cause …..

carrie chapman catt2

And in the third etching of Carrie Chapman Catt, I constructed her body with an article that she wrote for a magazine about Equal Suffrage as an Issue of World Democracy… Carrie Chapman Catt sort of brought a conclusion to the voting struggle along with Alice Paul and all of the numerous courageous suffragists….. I love the postcard that I used with her of George Washington questioning “Did I save my country for this?”….. Well, yes, George W, this is our country too…..

I chose the accent color of red to punch up the striking importance of this part of our history…… Red is a color that is hard to ignore….. And for you printmakers, I printed the two colors on one plate and the color on the postcards was added after the etchings were printed and dried.

Each of these etchings is about 5.5 X 10 inches….

and just a little FYI….. are $145. each,  unframed….

A Brand New Day…..

Hard to say much more than this………. This sums up how I feel today…..

This is a song called “America’s Song”……

“Fear Not…..” a quote from God….

In the bible, most any time God speaks to anyone directly, he starts out with “Fear Not…… ” I believe that the “fear not” was really his catch phrase for “don’t run away when I am about to tell you something profound”…..

I have had such a wonderful adrenalin rush since Barack Obama was announced as our president that I can only attribute it to my release of eight years of pent up fear….. mainly fear that was handed down as a mandate from our government and passed along by the media….Fear is such a wicked controlling device….. And I must have bought into it, hook, line and sinker…..Our country has been motivated by so much fear and in so many directions that I wonder how we are going to be able to stop doing it …. In this election, we saw the sheer numbers of people who want to quit the addiction of fear…. And replace it with something positive like HOPE ….. and that makes me smile…..

Right now, most of the Republicans who voted for McCain are having to deal with a fear of the unknown….. and I wish I had the words to relieve them of that burden….. I wish they could understand that the sky is not going to fall, that the rapture is not going to happen and they are not going to die…. that the police are not going to be instructed on January 20th, 2009 to come into their houses and take away their precious guns…… And maybe somewhere along the way, they will relearn that the word “liberal” is not a bad word….. that it means to be open minded and inclusive and not something to be feared…

FDR said in his inaugural address that “So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days. “

He was asking America to rise above their fears and become a “fearless” nation …. We don’t need to attack and cause war to make the rest of the world think we are strong…. Our might should come from us banding together as Americans and covering each other’s backs….

alwayscelebrateyourlove2

“Always Celebrate Your Love” ….. monoprint collage by d.little-wilson

Which brings me to wonder why the gay community’s backs in California weren’ t covered?… What was that about????? Why doesn’t the country stand behind their struggle to be as equal as the rest of us ? …why do so many people fear gay marriage? …. If someone thinks their marriage will some how be diminished because gay marriage is allowed, then their marriage was not that strong to begin with….And why should anyone who loves someone else, not be able to marry that person, if they feel that is so important for them to do so…….

It makes me mad when morality is brought into this issue ……. when and who decided that LOVE between two people was ever morally wrong?? …… And if the bible is used to define morals, then in quoting my favorite verse about love, I find no reference to it being defined as just between a man and a woman…..

1 Corinthians 13. Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends.

Not to sound weird or anything but…. I think God has been telling us “Fear Not……” but our government has been trying to over ride the message …… I think we need to stop and listen to our hearts and start covering each other’s backs ……

Not sure why I was on my soap box tonight but there you go…….

To President Barack Obama…. “Failure is Impossible”

What an amazing day…. I feel totally energized…. We are living in a New America….. I feel like my blood pressure has gone down at least 20 points….

We have a new president…. Barack Obama…

So much is being said about what a great day this is for black Americans and I know this is true but for me, I feel this is a great day for ALL Americans…. It is absolutely historic for America, not just because he is black but because we have chosen the very best person for the job….. He is brilliant, articulate and all encompassing and he happens to be black ….. If anyone has a chance to bring us all together, it will be Barack Obama… I don’t mean to underscore the significance of what this means for black Americans, because this is huge…….. But the HOPE that Barak Obama offers is important for the rest of Americans, as well….

In June 2007, I was selling at an art show in Des Moines, Iowa…. Two young women came into my booth and were interested in my suffrage pieces, which got us into a discussion about politics….. They said that they had just moved to Des Moines to start the grass roots of Barack Obama’s campaign to get out the vote …. They liked my pieces because voting was such an important cause for them and I was honored when they bought several pieces…. I remember being impressed by their youthful enthusiasm and their admirable dedication to this man, Barack Obama …. What a long job they had ahead of them….. I have thought of them off and on through the race, wondering if they were still on the trail with the same vigor that they had on the day in June….. I imagine they had to be, in order to make something like this happen…. Thanks girls, where ever you are now…… Good job …
But like President – elect Barack Obama said, the road is still going to be long and hard……I feel like we finally found someone to lead us who has a working compass and knows the right path…..

And in the words of Susan B. Anthony…. “Failure is Impossible”

Congratulations, Barack Obama and Joe Biden … And Congratulations, America….

Speak Up for What You Believe In…….

This is a rare real photo postcard that I was extremely fortunate to buy at the Wichita Postcard Show a couple of weeks ago….. It broke my bank but I had to have it…. I bought it from Tom Mulvaney, a postcard dealer from Helena, Montana…..He had the image researched because he thought it was of Jeanette Rankin, the first woman congresswoman, who happened to be from Montana, as well…. But he couldn’t find any evidence that it was… It would be nice to know who the woman was but it is more the demonstration of bravery that captured my imagination….

Right after I bought this card, I found another suffrage card…… It is by the artist, Bernhardt Wall……

But I didn’t get this postcard for the front, I bought it because of the message on the back…….

The message reads “I believe I heard you say that you favor votes for women. Do you wear a Suffragette button?” …….. A call to stand up….. Can you imagine what it would have been like before 1920, to wear a button on your blouse or dress, saying that you think women should have a voice as important as a man’s.. I wonder if Miss Ida K. Miller was that brave…..

I will be making an etching that will combine the real photo and this postcard back to convey the message that it is important to not just believe in a cause but to stand up and let the rest of the world know what you have in your heart….. I will post the etching when I get it done…..

You know, it has bothered me that I haven’t been brave enough to put an Obama sticker on my van for fear of having the tires slashed….. It is time that we stop living in a world controlled by fear …… We have to stop letting anyone who disagrees with what we believe to continue to bully us around….. We have had enough of that from the present administration….

Right now, the main thing that we can all do is get out and vote between now and Nov. 4th…. I will be voting for Barack Obama for change and for a better future that hopefully won’t contain as much intimidation by fear …… Okay, I guess, I will go put that sticker on my van now……