Inspired by Norman Rockwell’s iconic ‘Rosie,’ this latest painting was created to hang in an open ‘everyman’s’ gallery exhibit—no jury, no selection, only limited rejection…

In case you find yourself standing in front of this work wondering what it’s all about, some background:

Norman Rockwell (every man’s EveryMan) based the pose of his Rosie on Michelangelo’s ‘Isaiah’ from the Sistene Chapel.

In a nod to his inspiration, I modeled my pose after another of Michelangelo’s prophets from the Sistene Chapel ceiling— the Libyan Sibyl, Phemonoe, a female oracle from ancient times.

We end up with what I’m calling Rosie’s Little Sister.

A WWII style ‘get out there and do something’ image, this girl is asking the cat hat knitters to use their formidable energy, motivation and organization to assist the the women of the world whose rights are at the least, in danger, and at worst, non-existent. And there are so many.

My narrow focus here is central and north Africa and the barbaric practice of female genital mutilation (FGM), the practice of child marriage, rape and no school for many girls.

For those who go out and march for what they say are grave dangers to Women’s Rights in the USA, I propose the idea that we redefine the severity of need by looking at the state of human rights worldwide. The Womens’ Mrchers are motivated by anger. I can only assume they’re motivated by hope, too. It’s a big group. There’s power there. I believe that in this massive store of power, surely there’s some to spare. And power to share–to help in some small way those women in the world who are facing life and death assaults on their women’s, indeed, human, rights.

Privilege is a term that’s used lately and often in conversations about our American culture. Race, gender, wealth, anything. Can’t we look at ourselves as Americans and see we occupy a position of privilege that we can use to lift up the oppressed of the world right where they live—in their own communities? If a few people see this and say ‘What’s FGM?’ and look it up, the painting’s small mission is accomplished. If you have eyeballs, you’ve likely seen the blush-inducing poster, ‘Keep your hands off my p***y’. (cringe) What does it mean to hold that sign here in the USA without any fear for your life or wellbeing? Without any fear of retribution by angry mobs? Or superstitious community elders? What would it mean to hold that sign in a country where girls are brutally mutilated for no other purpose than oppression and evil? Where women who show their faces are beaten? The contrast is staggering. The possibilities for change are exciting.

So what, then? There are local and international groups doing amazing things. They need time, money and exposure. Here are just a few.

Plan International
I can’t say enough about Plan. A quick perusal of their homepage says it all. More here »

Wellspring International
Wellspring International exists to empower you to impact the lives of women and children in need around the world. One hundred percent of donations designated for Wellspring are distributed to projects overseas that we have researched and vetted. Read more »

There are many groups locally (to Wilmington NC) that help lift up vulnerable people and communities:

Humanity Now
Wilmington, NC based organization helping refugees in Greece and elsewhere.
More about Humanity Now here »

Full Belly Project
Full Belly Project encourages self efficacy. They state: “We do not give handouts. We believe that the best way to help someone is to empower them with the tools to help themselves.” See their work here »

Prints of this painting available. hello@geeandhaw.com