Here it is, the piece that’s been eating my life for the last week and a half. I’m seeing cross-eyed from doing all that text. (35 lines, ~40 characters per line on average. Oy!)
I’ve been wanting to do a piece on this subject for quite some time, but it didn’t coalesce into a firm image until a couple of weeks ago. Obviously the message is centered on reproductive freedom, but many of the statements apply to gender identity and expression, religious freedom, disability rights, and gender equality as a whole. In short: my body is mine and mine alone. I and I alone have the right to control what happens within it, and to declare my own experience.
NOT YOURS by Heather Keith Freeman
12″x16″, pen and ink on watercolor paper
The text behind her reads:
MY BODY, MY RULES.
YOUR GOD IS NOT MY GOD.
THE STATE OF MY GENITALIA IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.
MOTHERS ARE PRO-CHOICE TOO.
FORCED PREGNANCY IS SLAVERY.
PRO-WOMAN MEANS ALL WOMEN, NOT JUST THE ONES WHO THINK OR LOOK LIKE YOU.
I AM NOT YOUR INCUBATOR.
I AM NOT YOUR SLAVE.
THE SHAPE OF MY GENITALS DOES NOT AFFECT THE WORTH OF MY SOUL.
THE VALIDITY OF MY WOMANHOOD IS NOT YOURS TO DETERMINE.
THE LIFE OF A FETUS IS NOT MORE VALUABLE THAN THE LIFE OF A WOMAN.
THE STATUS OF MY SOUL IS NOT YOURS TO DETERMINE.
MY GOD IS PRO-CHOICE.
FAMILY PLANNING MAKES HEALTHIER FAMILIES.
THERE IS NO ONE TRUE WAY.
FORCED STERILIZATION IS ASSAULT.
THE STATE OF MY UTERUS IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.
MY PURPOSE IN LIFE IS NOT DETERMINED BY MY GENDER.
CHRISTIANS ARE PRO-CHOICE TOO.
MORALITY IS NOT ABSOLUTE.
INDEPENDENT LIFE BEGINS AT BIRTH; ALL ELSE IS RELIGIOUS MASTURBATION.
FREEDOM OF RELIGION MEANS ALL RELIGIONS.
CONTROL THE CONTENTS OF YOUR OWN UTERUS.
YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO MY BODY.
IF POTENTIAL FOR LIFE EQUALED LIFE, EVERY WET DREAM WOULD BE GENOCIDE.
THE VALIDITY OF MY RELATIONSHIPS IS NOT YOURS TO DETERMINE.
YOUR GOD HAS NO AUTHORITY HERE.
IF EVERYONE THINKS THEY ARE RIGHT, AND EVERYONE DISAGREES, THEN EVERYONE IS WRONG.
YOUR DISCOMFORT WITH MY LIFE IS NOT MY PROBLEM.
MY ROLE IN LIFE IS NOT YOURS TO DETERMINE.
I AM NOT YOUR VESSEL.
STOP PUTTING WORDS INTO YOUR GOD’S MOUTH.
YOU DON’T GET TO DECIDE IF I DESERVE A CHILD.
THE SHAPE OF MY BODY DOES NOT DETERMINE THE POWER OF MY MIND.
YOU DO NOT HAVE JURISDICTION OVER MY BODY.
YOUR DISCOMFORT IS NOT WORTH MY LIFE.
Edited to add:
This piece won the 2-D category at the 2010 Reproductive Justice Arts Extravaganza!
Date: February 2, 2010