“OMG Becky…”

Our Lady of Maternal Judgement
I’ve been on both sides of this ugly issue…
I can answer why I did it. Fear. Pure and simple. Exhausted, monkey brain fear. Fear that in that moment I wasn’t a good enough mother, wife, woman. Fear that if I didn’t condemn first, I would be condemned. Fear that another mom might know something I didn’t. Fear that another woman might be more confident in her motherhood and womanhood than I was.
Boredom. Anger. Exhaustion. Fear. Jealousy… I’m sorry. Moms, I need you. We need each other. It will only get better if we care for ourselves and SEE ourselves in others.
Here in our exhausted Lady. Hair up, surrounded by her halo of crayon, lovingly scribbled.
On either side she is reminded by the struggle of her choices-the education of her children or her income. In her hands she bravely displays the tools of her trade-her cell phone and her double latte.
Her comfortable green robes are the color of renewal, though she has been wearing them for days.
Across her chest she bears her child outward to face the world with and because of her. His heart is big and new. He waves at us happily, almost brushing his halo of tiny Goldfish, which he has to have in the car or he screams. And he makes a mess and it’s a royal pain the ass to get those damn crumbs out from in between the seats anyway. And have you seen Brenda’s car? Does she EVER clean it?
Its like a zoo in there. I don’t know how the kids don’t have typhus or something…

I Wish a Bitch Would…

Our Lady of Subdued Domesticity

One in three female homicide victims is killed by an intimate partner. Twenty-four percent of adult women have been physically assaulted by a partner at some time in their lives. Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten. In my original sketches, Our Lady looked more the victim-bruised, timid, silent. But I decided to take another direction, a triumphant one. Our Lady’s halo is the laurel wreath of victory and honor. Her survival is her dominion. Next to her is the sigil for justice and accountability. She is armed. Will justice come by her own hand? She wears vibrant robes do be seen, not to hide. In one hand she is armed with a Thyrus, wands suggesting uninhibited pleasure. The wands were reputedly tipped with poison. And she WILL defend herself. Do not be charmed by the ‘feminine’ pink ribbon… In her other hand is a shield. On the outer edge repeats the word ‘MINE’. Our bodies, our minds, our spirits are our own. On the front of the shield is the Imperial Orb of Victory in purple, the color of Domestic Violence Awareness. Her self-love and perseverance will grant her ascension. She is not defined by what was done.

One in three female homicide victims is killed by an intimate partner. Twenty-four percent of adult women have been physically assaulted by a partner at some time in their lives. Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten. In my original sketches, Our Lady looked more the victim-bruised, timid, silent. But I decided to take another direction, a triumphant one. Our Lady’s halo is the laurel wreath of victory and honor. Her survival is her dominion. Next to her is the sigil for justice and accountability. She is armed. Will justice come by her own hand? She wears vibrant robes do be seen, not to hide. In one hand she is armed with a Thyrus, wands suggesting uninhibited pleasure. The wands were reputedly tipped with poison. And she WILL defend herself. Do not be charmed by the ‘feminine’ pink ribbon… In her other hand is a shield. On the outer edge repeats the word ‘MINE’. Our bodies, our minds, our spirits are our own. On the front of the shield is the Imperial Orb of Victory in purple, the color of Domestic Violence Awareness. Her self-love and perseverance will grant her ascension. She is not defined by what was done.

Armed with Knowledge

Our Lady of Enlightenment
Obviously, Malala had an influence on this. Lack of funds, untrained teachers, no classroom, lack of materials, distance from home to school… There is a global education crisis. There always has been, especially for females. Gender is one of the biggest reasons why children are denied an education. Even with recent advances in girls’ education, a generation has been left behind. Over 132 million young women around the world are not currently enrolled in school. Our Lady’s halo is a series of measured concentric circles-education spreading outward. She holds in her hands the Golden Rule(r). ALL should be equally educated. To her right is a graduation cap attached to money. Education in any form is costly. Her gaze turns to her right. The number 26. In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 26 states the everyone shall have the right to education… She stands on a tower of books in her bare feet, conquering them. Carved into the board are the outlines of her shape as well as examples of basic schooling. Our desire for information and education is deep and penetrating. It will not be erased.

Need Not Apply…

wage

Our Lady of the Wage Gap

Is the wage gap for real, or are women who chose to have children choosing lower paying and less high-profile careers in exchange for more flexibility in the workplace? Or both?

There is a wage gap between men and women AND an opportunity gap. Over the course of their career, men move into higher level roles at significantly higher rates than women. Women are often poorly represented at higher levels of the talent pipeline. The most significant cause is the gap in career progress due to family caretaking.

Our Lady is white, blonde haired and blue eyed, Traditional American traits that should take her right to the top! If she were male. Look! She’s even got the power suit. Doesn’t that count?

Her halo is the ‘glass ceiling’, which she has put quite a crack in.

Her left fist is bold over her heart, nestled in a cog, reminiscent of common worker’s rights symbols. She is prepared to give her all and do her best.

She turns her head away from the painful reminder that she earns less than her male counterparts to look lovingly at her male child, who could grow up to earn more than she does.

Her child holds her degree as if it were his. Both are equally tied to her career path.

How Old are You Now?

grey

Our Lady of the Grey

I’ll admit, this one hits a personal nerve. I am one of those women who was subjected to assumptions about whether my family obligations interfered with my commitment to work. I know many women who shifted thriving careers to focus on family and when they were ready to rejoin the workforce, their careers stalled and in some cases compensation didn’t even match what they started with and progress stalled by a reduced tolerance for aging women at work.

Women are outliving men but are being forced out of the workplace earlier. These generalizations often take the form of stereotypes with the older women traditionally seen as inactive, unhealthy, asexual, and ineffective.

Here Our Lady is seen as both her younger and older self. For better or worse, we often do not embody ‘correct’ examples of our age as others may perceive it.

Ecclesiastes in the Bible, an almond tree is used as a symbol of age, and so almond branches in various stages of bloom are her halo.

On either side are stages of the Goddess archetype. The blooming rose and waxing moon on the left, the crown of wisdom and waning moon on the right.

Her face and hair show both youth and experience-exuberance and trial.

Her younger side wears bright pink. Her older side, red or an ‘older’ pink.

The Maiden side holds a mirror facing outward. She is concerned with her own appearance and how she is perceived. The Crone carries a shepherd’s crook. It is a staff she can lean on and a symbol of ‘caretaker’ status. Note that the top is a question mark, representing a position she may have been put in that she did not want for herself.