Gender-based violence against women is a vestige of the time when women were considered property, when their “proper” place was in the home, and when women were treated as second-class citizens. Sexual violence and harassment of women isn’t, of course, about sex; it is about power, especially abuse of power by the selfish, the damaged, the unscrupulous, and the just plain evil.
One in five women will be raped in their lifetime, more likely by a partner or someone they know, rather than by a stranger.
Whether she is an actress, a photojournalist, or a grocery store checker, a woman is extremely likely to be sexually harassed or worse in the workplace, though the rate depends on the industry.
I almost never work in black and white, but as I researched these topics, I felt despondent. There were too many things I wanted to say. I thought back to last year’s Oscars ceremony, when some actors chose somber colors instead of colorful finery in solidarity of those who’d just accused Harvey Weinstein of assault. I thought about how many women die at the hands of their current and former partners, over half of them killed with a firearm. I thought about all the women who are leading lives diminished by their fear of assault. I stripped my palette to a grieving, colorless minimum and that seemed right.
Men who abuse power have gotten away with it for centuries, because silence about the problem has been ubiquitous. Is it changing? Some days, I think, yes. Other days, no.
This piece was part of the show Ultraviolet: Textile art revealing women’s issues. Unfortunately, due to the nature of UV light, the hidden message is only visible in person. It says, “Believe her. Stand with her.”
34″ h x 36″ w, comes unframed, but with framing recommendations