Monday, June 1, 2009

Female

Gender is the most basic factor governing our identity. Traditionally, females have be characterized as the weaker sex, that is soft, emotional, and ultimately the homebody. None of these attributes are in themselves bad, except when used together to blanket an entire class of people or gender. We as women all know that most of us are also strong, determined, self reliant, and many of us choose to be career women. Yet the truth lies in the fact that each of us are a bit of all of the above.

I've written the female/male symbols a thousand times on patients charts, but I've never really thought about the preconceived perceptions society assigns to that most basic symbol. We are in the end just human beings, with our own set of characteristics and our own identities.

This piece was made using reverse raw-edged applique, painted symbol and hand stitching.

7 comments:

Diane said...

Karen,
I really like this. It's very strong, and I like your focus on gender as a key aspect of identity. It IS the first aspect of identity that is identified when we are born!

Terri said...

I would have never thought of the female symbol as a type of identity, but it definitely is. I really like the way you executed this design.

Terry said...

Love the straightforwardness of this. The graphic quality is strong and appealing. The message is pretty simple, yet profound. Gender really is the beginning of all identity, isn't it? I am aware of a young person in our community who was born female, but has always felt male. She/he is at a crossroads as a teenager and until the gender issue is sorted out, this child will not feel confident of what her/his identity truly is.

Kristin L said...

The kids and I have a game called Guess Who? where you try to be the first to narrow down the character card the other person holds in their hand. The first question is invariably "Is your person a male or female?" Your take on this is smack-the-forehead simple and elegantly executed. I like that the symbol isn't clichéd soft and pink, but strong yet still feminine -- like a real woman.

Gerrie said...

I always love your work and this does not disappoint. the closeup of the symbol is rich in texture and color. And, yes, our sex is at the core of our identity.

kirsty said...

This was one of the issues that I considered for this round, too - that gender is the very first identifier that we use when referencing a person. I have often wondered how this affects those who are transgendered.
This is a strong image that still retains a classic sense of femininity (not easy to achieve sometimes!). I like the running stitch edging very much!

Françoise said...

This is very simple, and very strong. I like it a lot.