This one promises to be an emotional doozy. And before I start, I just want to apologize to anyone it may offend. I, in no way blame religion, ethnicity, location, or indigenous culture for any of this, so much as just the thought that anyone person can tell any other person, animal or thing, what they can and cannot do. To just simply sit by and watch silently is just as bad of an atrocity. Isn't this what we are teaching the kids about bullying? That there are consequences and there are no bystanders...
As I sit here and reflect on Martin Luther King Jr. Day about the not so distance racism and segregation that was the cause of civil rights riots, marches, and speeches. Oh the great speeches. The man himself said he dreamed that everyone could one day live in equality, not judged by the color of their skin, all his brother and sisters. All his brothers AND ALL HIS SISTERS. I wonder if even as a man back then, he truly meant that, all human beings, humans, every single one, equal. Despite the color of our skin, to hold any equal footing among the genders is still at this point an utter illusion, however hope is something they cannot kill. Even in America where we supposedly have this equality, I am still confronted everyday by racism, profiling, gender inequality and segregation. And yet all this, I still feel blessed compared to some of our fellow sisters elsewhere in the world.
What got me really going about the Veil and all that it represents, disguises, hides, and diminishes, was this book by Geraldine Brooks- Nine Parts of Desire Book-(Click), Which truly opened my eyes to the very different and very limited world of other women and girls. Her book covers quite a few of the issues that many International Women's Rights Organizations focus on as some of the more heinous acts of human rights violations. She writes first hand reports as a "western" woman traveling as a journalist in countries, where purely being an unaccompanied female is a crime. Where women need permission to work, drive, travel, and must cover their hair, faces, and bodies in the name of religious posterity.
She goes to an Ethiopian hospital where they help to reconstruct the damage done to young women whom suffer horribly due to childbirth from having previously undergone a procedure known as FGM (Click), or Female Genital Mutilation or Female circumcision (Link), which an antiquated rights of passage ritual that causes far more pain and complications than it is even worth. Not to mention to just read the description of what is actually done is sickening, it is maiming and a complete and total attack on what it is to be organically female. To call it a circumcision is a misnomer. It is absolutely mutilation and a violation of human rights.
This picture doesn't even really show the actual destruction that this procedure really does. Click here to see actual photos(Warning, GRAPHIC). There is one of keloid scarring that is beyond belief. Ever have a scar be bumpy, tight and itchy? Imagine that in place of your genitals. Let alone urinating, menstruating, and birthing from that? Absolute mutilation and destruction, all justified under a religion that truly has nothing at it's core to do with any of the atrocities carried out in its name.
If you want to help- Click Here for- www.stop-fgm-now.com/
Some of things caused by this horrible procedure are called fistulas. This happens when the baby sits in the birth canal too long because the vaginal opening is so badly scarred and mutilated that it can't pass through. Eventually, the tissue starts to die and rot and holes are formed in the rectum and bladder and vaginal walls causing urine and feces to leak uncontrollably through the vaginal opening. This causes infection, sepsis, and for some death, that is if 10 days in labor and finally birthing a stillborn didn't do it first.
For some women surgery can help and or completely fix this problem. For some the problem is so bad they will be left essentially using a plug forever to keep from leaking all the time and becoming a social pariah... All of this is explained, along with the truly touching personla stories and experiences of young Ethiopian women can be seen on the documentary A Walk to Beautiful which you can watch, firsthand, Here.
Here is a link to a site that host many of the wonderful International Women's Rights Organizations that you can help, volunteer and donate to and will help you better understand the human rights violations that happen all around the world, every day to women and children, a Click Link and Here
One of the organizations to keep an eye on is www.aiwr.org/, not only do they perform outreach to people to help donate to do good, but the good they do is even better than giving money and goods. They work to, in their own words, "Connect, Educate, and Empower" and I couldn't agree more. Not only give her the means to better her life and that of her children but her community as a productive member. I wish I could remember the name, but basically this German organization does outreach in India to those that are considered the untouchable and of lower castes, (What, you say the castes system has been abolished for 70-ish years! To this I say, just wait a couple months and we will definitely be investigating that!) and they do outreach about infanticide that is predominant in poor and rural peoples where a girl baby, especially a second one is not worth their weight in gold. They not only educate the communities to put an end to these killing but also to give palm trees that will fruit so that they can sustain a meager income and food! You can't just feed the poor, you need to help them find sustainability and longevity.
Here are 12 of the Current Abuses of Women's Rights that should be considered:
1) Gender Specific Infanticide
2) "Honor" Killings
3) Female Genital Mutilation
4) Forced Prostitution, Abortion, or Marriage
5) Harassment and imprisonment by "morality" squads
6) Slavery7) Restricted Freedom of Movement
8) Sexual Assault, but especially during War
9) Denial of basic health care
10) Child Marriage
11) Maritally Justified Violence/beatings
I feel like human right's and women's rights are all such a huge subject that it is hard to really try and get it all under one tent, whether it is a circus tent or not. It isn't all just this horrible brutality. There are those that stand up to these injustices, even if it is just in the form of a forbidden book club like in Azar Nafisi's Reading Lolita in Tehran or in the very saucy, but very enlightening The Almond, which explores one Muslim woman's sexual awakening and exploration of pleasure, you know, the things considered naughty and wrong. A voice found where none exists.
If we truly cannot imagine or work toward a world where true equality exists, shoot me now. I don't anticipate it happening in my lifetime but a girl can hope, right?!? If not, what is the point of striving higher to be told you wont ever make the same salary or allowed the same basic freedoms and rights. When will be have a woman president in the US? If it follows how rights were given in the past, then we still have like 80 years. Oh well. What ever you do, DON'T give up, DON'T give in and NEVER stay silent!!!
The Veil Pigment
Obviously named after the collection and the hypocrisy that the forcible covering of beautiful creatures represents. Everyone is to lack identity and all look the same, this nude can help you do that, but deep down we know, there is a quiet rebellion going on under that veil.
Named for the many ways, many women are treated around the world. The objectification, inequality and mistreatment of women all over the world, like an object to be owned, many women become, Second class citizens. However they treat you, they won't be able to put you down as you can't help but shine in this gorgeous sultry and mysterious pigment.
I think we have thoroughly established what FGM is, now what are you going to do about it? Educate anyone who you think may not know. That is the problem with most of these issues, either people just don't know, or purposefully ignore it, I really hope not. Not only do I hope this has opened your eyes, but this shadow will do it's fair share of eye opening too!
One more Documentary about this awful tradition...
One more Documentary about this awful tradition...
This beautiful shimmering blush reminds me of a desert rose, tough and strong and yet still ever delicate. I tried to capture the renewed vive that I can only imagine the better cases in A Walk to Beautiful experience. It was almost named Ms. Hamlin, but who the heck would understand that? This Amazing lady, along with her husband traveled to Addis Ababa Ethiopia in 1974 and never left. They started the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital for prenatal and OB/GYN Care. You can learn more about her and her work here. Young, renewed and full of hope is the look you will give when wearing this blush. Shown very opaque here.
This color inspired me because of the practice of veiling in Iran. Most of the younger generation will quite literally have this cumbersome, usually black shawl that covers their hair, neck, shoulders, and ears. Under this will be designer jeans, shoes and accessories. This juxtaposition reminds me of something like a classic nude bedazzled in gold glitter, again, that quiet rebellion. I am wearing this color as we speak and it is so much fun! A quick favorite.
A Valentine's practice mani.
CEDAW in Syria
This crazy black crelly was named after the UN's Convention to Eliminate all forms of Discrimination Against Women. Which can be seen Here. I added Syria because of all the horrible acts of civil war that are going on over there currently and also the inherently violated rights of all peoples during times like this. The idea was no matter what kind of media, social, and networking black outs you place on us, someone, somewhere is going to be noticed and heard. Just like this rainbow crelly, don't be afraid to be you, just you, the way you are, speak out, stand up and shine on exactly the way you want to be!
Don't forget to mark your Calenders For International Women's Day March 8th, 2014!
This collection doesn't even begin to express how much I appreciate woman and the creative, divine force we all have. We exude raw love, sex and power. While this can be absolutely abused, it shouldn't be abused for us. Our bodies, our choice, our rights! Rights that many are denied. Just because forced covering is justified by saying, "God created 10 parts of desire and gave nine of them to women." makes it no more correct than saying anyone is better than anyone because of the color of their skin. I hope in the future that all women, all peoples, around the world are given the same rights and freedoms as everyone else and that peace, if it can truly be accomplished, can thrive! I thank you all for lending me your ears! Take the time to tell a special lady or two what they mean to you and how much you appreciate them! I know this was rough and it wont always be easy to hear, but these are the one's that don't have their own voices and for them and myself, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for giving an ish!!!
***KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR RELATED UPCOMING COLLECTIONS ABOUT THE CASTE SYSTEM AND CHILD BRIDES/PROSTITUTION.***
Also, ALL comments are welcome, whether you agree or not, please keep it clean and friendly. Outright slander, bullying, ignorance and threats will be deleted! Thank you for understanding and complying!!!