Flower Power, Heart Beat Bills, and Alabama

Originally, the plan for this blog was to give you a behind-the-scenes look at my Flower Power collection (including two stud earrings, one hoop earring and a necklace). I was going to share a bit about my creative process and the initial creative impulse that gave me the idea for the series. Which I’m still going to do.

But I also want — or maybe ‘need’ is a better verb —  to share my thoughts on something that happened last week in America.  You probably already know what I’m talking about.

On Wednesday, May 15th , Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed an anti-abortion law that “criminalizes the procedure, reclassifying abortion as a Class A felony” (source). They are not the first State to sign this type of bill. This year, four different states have passed what they’re calling ‘heart beat bills’ which ban an abortion after 6 weeks of pregnancy. In all cases, no amendments are included for victims of rape or incest.

“As anti-abortion laws sweep the country, a lot of people have questions” says reporter Anna North. She offers a very helpful breakdown about abortion in America that is worth a read.

Meanwhile on Thursday, May 9th 12 Conservative MP’s in Canada attended a Pro-Life march, prompting both Trudeau and the Conservative leader, Andrew Scheer, to insist that they “won’t reopen the abortion debate” (source). Abortion has been legal in Canada since 1989. Between 1969 and 1989, an abortion could be performed “as long as a committee of doctors signed off that it was necessary for the physical or mental well-being of the mother” (source). This amendment was later seen as unconstitutional, and an infringement on basic human rights.

When it comes to this topic… I lose my words. In this moment, I’m feeling very sad for all of the women who’ve fought for this right in the past. It is very disappointing. We owe it to our mothers, and our grandmothers and our great grandmothers to speak up and use our voice. This is not okay.

Part of the reason I started the Devi Arts Collective was to actively engage with issues of equality, and support women within their continued ability to be independent. My Flower Power series is partially inspired by the Flower Power movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s. This movement started as a peaceful protest against the Vietnam war, but was ultimately a symbol of passive resistance, aligned with an ideology of non-violence. Around this same time, from 1960-1985, second-wave feminism was launching campaigns in support of equality in education and in the workplace, birth control, and also peace and disarmament. Second-wave feminist sought to end violence against women.

“It was a period of significant accomplishment during which indigenous, union and visible minority women and lesbians demanded to speak and received growing attention from mainstream activists” (source).

What is happening right now is not okay. Abortion is such a personal choice. I know many women who’ve had abortions for many different reasons, and it’s their personal reason. This should be considered an attack on women. This is not about family values (if it was, we’d also be looking at education for our kids, affordable childcare, etc). This is about control.

At this moment in History, I felt that I needed to share my thoughts. I thank you for taking the time to hear my point of view.

I’ll end this blog by returning briefly to the Flower Power series I was originally meant to write about this week.

There are two different stones used as part of this collection: Aquamarine and Moonstone.  Aquamarine is a stone of courage and protection, and is used to encourage self-expression and remove communication blocks. This stone is associated with the Throat Chakra. Moonstone is used to enhance intuition, lessens fears associated with change, and encourages peace, harmony and balance. I personally think they accompany each other perfectly.

All of the stones used in my designs come from the Khan Family Gemcutters I work with in Jaipur, India.

I’ve hand-constructed every piece in this collection. These designs have been part of my imagination for quite some time, but there were specific skills I needed to hone and develop before I could finally realize this design and share it with you. It was an amazing feeling when I made that first prototype.

All new skills (sharing what we think, mastering new design skills) take practice. I feel vulnerable sharing this blog, but maybe this is my practice. Thank you for being receptive to my thoughts on this issue. My thoughts go out to all the women who’ve been, and will be, affected by the anti-abortion legislation. When it comes to this topic, I really lose my words… but I’ve done my best.