The Year of the Women & the History of Women’s Rights

On November 6th recently, after the midterm election, over 100 women will serve in Congress including 31 new members who come from more diverse background. Among them are two Muslim women, two Native American women and two first African-American women elected to Congress from Massachusetts and Connecticut. The election became a history for my eldest daughter who voted for the first time. At first, she was worried because on the day of election she would be away at her college in Massachusetts. So I helped her getting to know about the absentee ballots. People who can’t come to vote at their local voting stations can send their vote beforehand by mail. My daughter did that. She sent me text telling me that she dropped off the ballot in the mail box in her campus a couple of days before November 6th. I was so proud.

The recent midterm election became more significant because of the situation that we’ve been having for the past two years. I’m not going to indulge in mentioning name or names or whatever that has happened. But making a note about the turn out of the recent election which showed the strength of the women’s voice. It is one of the milestones for American women in the history of fighting for the rights to vote. I somehow connected the midterm election to my experience visiting Seneca Falls where the first Women’s Rights Convention was held. During our trip to Upstate New York a while back, we passed by the town of Seneca Falls. We came there actually to see the Eerie Canal, but we found out that Seneca Falls has important part in the fight for women’s rights. The first Women’s Right Convention was held there between July 19th – 20th, 1848, at Wesleyan Chapel.

When we arrived at the sight where the first convention happened, unfortunately the place was closed. From outside, though, I could see the inside of Wesleyan Chapel where Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Mary M’Clintock, Martha Coffin Wright and Jane Hunt called on women to fight for their Constitutional right to equality as U. S. citizen. They came up with 11 resolutions that demanded women be placed as equal as men. The 9th resolution was viewed as the most controversial, which said,

“to secure to themselves their sacred right to the elective franchise or the right to vote”.

However, the women’s fight to get their rights be acknowledged was a long one, especially the fight for the right to vote. From that, women’s suffrage was born. At last, on August 26th, 1920, the 19th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was certified. Then, on November 2nd, 1920, as much as 8 millions women across the country gave their votes in election for the first time. Now, there are more women being elected to sit in the legislative sector in U.S. and that is one achievement the women of Seneca Falls Convention would be so proud of.

The 19th Amendment of U.S. Constitution:

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex”.

(For my daughters Emily & Audrey).

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The Poetry of Women’s March NYC

The year of 2017 begins with a ‘bang’! The anticipation from the US election in November 2016 became reality on January 20th 2017. A new president was inaugurated. But wait… Listen to the voices of women who moved together to resist, revolt, fight and speak up for social injustice! My daughters and I happened to be in New York City on Saturday, January 21st, when the women all over the country marched together with one purpose to be heard by the new government. We managed to be in the procession many times, because of the length of the march. Hundreds of thousand came and we witnessed a history. In this blog journal I only post the pictures I thought worth to show. The pictures of words upon words and illustrations of protests, disappointment, anger, anguish and fear that were written or drawn on pieces of papers decorating the streets of Manhattan. They were the poetry of a country in distress. Another journal will follow about our experience participating in the Women’s March NYC.

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The Study of Cyclamens

It’s the third month already in 2016 and I realized I haven’t been writing or posting any journal on this blog. I just started Instagram and I enjoy it so much. Through Instagram I know a couple of watercolor artists. I adore their artworks that involve so many details and brilliant colors. These watercolor artists often painting one particular object, such as a flower, and study it meticulously. I was inspired by their watercolor study that I call this journal “the Study of Cyclamens”. Cyclamen is a very unique flower. Its petals open up upward just like a swan lifting its wings. Cyclamens only available during winter and they are among the perfect flowers to lift up your spirit especially when winter feels too long. I got a pot of cyclamens from our market recently and I chose the white ones with frilly petals. I love them a lot and so far the cyclamens keep on blooming and I hope they will thrive for another season (I actually read how to take care of cyclamen after the blooming passes, so let’s see how it’ll turn out).

 

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Sunset in the Neighborhood

On that early evening, my daughter fussed over her appearance. It was her first Coronation Ball as a high school student and she was nervous. The sun almost set when my daughter’s friend and her mom came to pick her up. As I waved goodbye and told my daughter to have a good time, the sky looked as festive as the event she went to. The vibrant orange and shade of pink, mixed with blue, just stunning. The dramatic backdrop against rows of houses and other buildings created a special ambiance in an urban surrounding and it’s mesmerizing.

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One Autumn Day

“It was the way the autumn day looked into the high windows as it waned; the way the red light, breaking at the close from under a low sombre sky, reached out in a long shaft and played over old wainscots, old tapestry, old gold, old colour”.

– Henry James –

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I See the Moon and the Moon Sees Me

Ecstatic, that’s what I felt when I read an article about the coming lunar eclipse. I’ve never seen one before, even though one happened but it seemed that it never reached where we live or I simply didn’t realize it happened. So, I was anticipating the event and told the kids to be aware around 9 PM, because that’s when the lunar eclipse would start. We were watching TV and by the time I looked at the clock, it was 10 after 9. I looked out our window and there it was, the eclipse has started. We were quite fortunate to be able to watch the whole process of the lunar eclipse, from the beginning until it subsided after midnight. I wanted so much to take some pictures of the eclipse, thinking that that was the perfect time to shape-up my photography technique. At first, I climbed my work table, with one leg on the table and the other on the window ledge (it’s dangerous, I knew that). I tried to maneuver my camera outside the window while not holding unto it. After a while, I moved to our balcony, which is in the front part of our house and lo and behold, the view was just mesmerizing (and I didn’t have to cling on the ledge). While taking some pictures of the eclipse, suddenly I teared up. My son asked me why I was crying and I told him I was so happy to see this spectacular event. The kids and I watched for sometimes , even my son insisted to do his homework on the porch so not to miss the eclipse.

Notes:

The tittle of this journal was inspired by  a nursery rhyme that my kids used to listen to when they were little.

I see the Moon and the Moon sees me,
And the moon sees the one that I can’t see.
God Bless the Moon and God Bless me,
And God Bless the one that I can’t see.

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The Painted Lady of Times Square

I believe people should be able to express their understanding about art. With the reasoning of freedom of speech, that expression can be quite confusing. Some expressing it through an art form that they see fit to their purpose and yet on the other hand, it is considered as rather vulgar. In Times Square, that form of expression lately becomes a popular news because it happens in a public space and some says beginning to feel like a menace. Desnudas or the painted ladies who strut along in parts of Times Square, wear body paint on their bodies as they call it as art. They mostly wear only panties or bikini bottom while showing certain illustration on their bodies. For your information, in New York City, being topless is legal and these ladies who now exhibit their painted body in Times Square really knows well how to sell their artwork. They will pose with certain tourists who are willing to give them some tips. Those tourists who were mostly men looked bewildered and also amused. The rests of us, the other passersby and  tourists, parents with children would try to avoid the desnudas. When I saw the lady on these photos, a part of me admired her spunk, but another part of me couldn’t fathom the idea of showing off your body in a public space where everyone can see and even touch, and  is considered as art expression. With so many ways to express yourself, why this? In the end, I think because this one is the most profitable way to do without requiring any serious effort.

Notes: When I took these pictures, it was last October, I only saw one Desnudas or painted lady in Times Square. Now that it’s almost a year later, I read that the ladies are multiplying and becoming a handful. The local law enforcement has decided to take care of the desnudas.

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