With more and more insane bills, some passing into laws, erupting all over the country, a growing number of women are stepping forward and telling the lawmakers, “Stay out of my uterus!” The War on Woman March and Protest is now less than one week away on Saturday, April 28th. There will be a march and protest in every state capital as both women and men join together in solidarity to make sure the politicians and public hear their voices.
Here is a set of photos taken by Liora K Photography out of Tucson AZ which display everyday women with a message written on their body, which she calls her “feminist shoots.” Why on an exposed part of a woman’s body? Because we can… and to make a point that our bodies are exactly that – OUR bodies – not the government’s and most certainly not the Republican Party’s or church’s. Additionally, there are statements about rape directed towards those ignorant fools who believe that women only ask for it, especially when they are not dressed like an Amish woman. Some messages are directed towards the likes of Santorum and Rush Limbaugh.
This is a beautiful form of expression as well as showing that women are not ashamed of their bodies, who they are, and that they WILL stand up for their rights. There are some very POWERFUL messages here such as, “Your ignorance is more scandalous than my promiscuity,” and “I only know that people call me a feminist when I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat – RW,” (assuming that’s Rachel Maddow) and one more, “Politican (not equal sign) Doctor.”
Additionally, want to shout out the source of a quote used in one of the photos. Quote, “I only know that people call me a feminist when I express sentiments that differentiate me from a door mat.” RW. This quote if from Rebecca West: Writings, 1911-1917.
Click on a thumbnail to bring the photos up in the shadowbox viewer.
I began this project as a way to relieve stress – before I started photographing this series I wasn’t able to even read about the current women’s rights issues without becoming extremely angry and frustrated.
The models are predominantly half nude because the issues get under my skin – they’re close to me, they affect me, and they are, in a sense, a part of me. Showing people shirtless also insinuates vulnerability – these attacks on women’s rights affect us all in big ways and make us vulnerable in bigger ways. I know that these are provocative images may strike fear into some who would rather see women at the mercy of others when it comes to their reproductive health, while empowering others who see it as a hopeful image of a woman in control of her life and decisions.
An important goal for me with the project was to be as diverse as possible with the models I used so that any viewer could find themselves in the project (though obviously it is nearly impossible to represent everyone). I wanted everyone participating to be as driven about the cause as I was, and after putting out some calls to action I got to work with fantastic volunteers across the board – Caucasians, Hispanics, Jews, African Americans, people of Carribean descent, a Native American girl, men, a girl of East Asian descent…it’s been and awesome experience for me to meet and work with so many passionate people.
I realize that by excluding the eyes in many of my photos the messages seem at odds with the images. It is easily said that by not showing the eyes of the models the viewer has the ability to easily objectify the women. However, I want to be clear that I have taken the photos this way as an issue of anonymity and safety – I knew that since I was donating the images they had the potential to be seen by a lot of people, and I wanted these women and men safe from harassment. Any photograph that contains the full face of one of the models has been specifically “okayed” by that model.
Images have a way of allowing people to feel and react in ways that articles and writing sometimes cannot, and as an artist, I felt that I could help others express their frustration, anger, and hope. Many of the models I work with feel empowered by the image creation, and people have been commenting and contacting me telling me that they are inspired by the images, and are glad to see them being made. As an artist, I really can’t hope for more from this project.