Artist: Miranda Peterson
Medium: Colored pen
Show: Vol. 2
I’m all over the place and can be described as an artist, designer, dreamer, writer, word splicer, yogi and traveler with insatiable wanderlust. I draw inspiration from the world around me and hope my efforts encourage others to keep learning, loving and exploring.
It seems to me that servicewomen face a whole series of battles before they ever even enter a combat zone:
Military service is traditionally a man’s job. American media and society still largely value women based on their youth, beauty and ability to birth and raise children. There are far less women than men in the armed services; in 2011 the Pentagon stated only 14.5% of the total active duty force was female.
Since the closest I’ve come to military service myself was briefly dating a Marine in college, I deemed it necessary to speak with an actual veteran. I was introduced to an incredible woman who captivated me with stories curated from several years of admirable service in the Navy, including interacting with detainees in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. At GTMO, the ratio of servicewomen to men was about 1:15, and the foreign detainees there definitely do not like taking orders from women. (She experienced both sexual harassment and assault, by the way.) I highly recommend watching the movie Camp XRay for further insight into what it’s like to be a woman at GTMO.
At first glance, everything appears organized and orderly, just like a military. But take a closer look and you will start to notice that things are not always what they seem.
The silvery gray color alludes to the polished and well-oiled machine that is the US military. But the hue changes depending on how the light hits it which represents the several shades of gray that have been used to describe forms of militaristic discrimination and harassment as well as women’s roles in the armed services and modern society in general.
However, there is always hope, represented by the golden wheel, forward-moving progress, and a sunflower, juxtaposed as a traditional feminine symbol in the midst of all the mixed signals, internal & external conflict experienced by servicewomen.
Mad props to all women who keep fighting for freedom and equality.