I can't believe we are coming up on Mother's Day of 2012 and I am feeling like the battles being fought are from decades ago. It's rather aggravating, to say the least.
But GOP politicians are not the only culprits. I was reading something recently about the "mommy wars," as well as a blog of a teacher with a "mean girls" situation in her classroom, and also revisiting my own post about the customer who yelled at me, and thinking about the times that I make (or at least think) snide things about other women. I think much of it comes from our insecurities and pains and angers, examples yet again of how we misdirect our energies.
But particularly in light of the current political climate, it seems like women should not be consumed with petty grievances and judgments over who is a better parent, which is a better career choice - I doubt we ever fully know the choices that a person has to make, the things they give up, the things they keep - isn't it enough that we just make our way in the world with our own idea of success? We need a little more solidarity, I'm thinking. All right, I know, that's easier said than done, because a part of me is still judging that customer who yelled at me, but anyway, it's something to work towards.
With that in mind, I made my Mother's day print - first just as a sign for the window, but now printed in quantity for purchase. I could have spent another week agonizing over word choice, looking things up in the dictionary and thesaurus and even though I basically wrote it in a day, I decided that it really did say what I wanted it to say, and there is such a thing as overthinking, so I quickly sent it off to the printer before I could change my mind.
It is partly an external response to the way women's power is being attacked. In all honesty, not to diminish the severity of recent legislation, but I kind of view this as the death throes of an era - women are earning more money, younger generations think gay marriage is fine, the country is becoming more diverse, there is more interracial mixing... you can't tell me this doesn't terrify certain people. And their response? To try and legislate or otherwise force the world to stay the way they want it to? It isn't going to work. I know for darn sure that I'm never going to be a stay-at-home mom and the apron and pearls are pretty much just for show. Why should there be a single role for a woman to fill? why can't we have as much say in our own lives as men do in theirs? (I want to be very clear here that I am not criticizing the choice to be a stay-at-home mom, it is just not my choice. I think the whole point of the feminist movement is for women to be able to create their own lives and while it is entirely true that I might not make such a choice myself, that doesn't mean it is not as valid. My only concern for any woman is that she is following the path of her life that is of her choosing, knowing all of her options, and being true more to her own self than to the expectations of others. But everyone is different so everyone's path will no doubt be different).
But the people who wish that women's lives were the way they were in the 1950s certainly aren't stopping from trying to make that so, are they? So, the sign is, in part, externally focused, hoping to remind people that, hey, women in their lives are doing great things, they are your equal in as much as any human being is your equal. Quit behaving as if they need you to direct their life (or supporting, or keeping silent about, other peoples' such behavior).
But this is also meant to be an internal document as well. A personal reminder of the women that we each have in our lives, of their influence, and an... exhortation... to be as much in return, or to pay as much forward to other women in your life.
And yes, I managed to have some pretty and flowery elements of the window, too. It is possible that I've never hung the washi paper in the window... but it sure is lovely. I had specifically ordered some bird and flower prints on antique book pages for the window. They are from an artist in Texas who recently lost her mother, so it seems especially poignant that they are in the Mother's day window. The prints looked so lovely against the washi paper that I bypassed my usual jumbled window and just left those two elements together. I love the way the colors play off each other. I had this grand idea of some sort of Anthropologie paper extravaganza - but there's a reason those windows always look so great - very time and labor intensive... and I just petered out. Maybe someday.
I love our assortment of Mother's Day cards. I'm reminded of our first year in business - we had only been open a few months when Mother's Day came along and we totally ran out of cards. I was scrounging through my own collection, pulling out flowery and thank you cards that could serve the purpose. We have more to choose from this year. Oh, yes, in case you didn't know, Mother's day is May 13th. It'll be here before you know it.
The other project for the week has been an expansion of our protest bracelets. We first started making bracelets because customers kept asking about them. I make them in small batches and keep thinking that sales will start to slow but they really haven't. And now, with the new emphasis on women's issues, it seemed like a new variation was needed. Happily, I managed to get Sachi's panty protest pins sized down so she could make a protest bracelet, and I've also added a few such images (as well as "voting is sexy") to a new set of protest bracelets.
And now, I think, it is safe for me to leave town for a few days. I'll be out at a workshop at Valley Ridge Art Studio so I will be without phone and internet for a little while. But I can't wait to report back next week with my creations and inspirations!