A community-based art project that seeks to connect communities through pulling up a chair and sharing stories of positivity about Strong Women of Toledo.

Artwork by Marissa Sehman

Story from Allison Dow

The phrase “Women are to be seen, not heard” is not certainly dead. Don’t try and convince me otherwise. You may not hear those exact words being spoken aloud but the idea that women are meant to be complaisant and passive is everywhere. A woman who defies these qualities is seen by the world as an attention whore or a crybaby or (my personal favorite) as a bitch. Women who are proud, opinionated and relentless are condemned in our society whereas men with those same qualities are praised. Being able to stand up for what you believe in despite the condemnations of the rest of the world is true strength. 

This pattern is a visual representation of using your voice over and over again. It is made from a repetition of an icon that I like to call the “Fuck You” emoji. The repetition of this icon represents the countless times when raising your voice against people who are telling you to shut up is like saying “fuck you, my voice deserves to be heard”.  These icons are repeated in circles of varying sizes to represent the different impacts in which raising your voice can have and furthermore to represent how the never-ending cycle of fighting for what you believe in can create beautiful results. The pink, yellow and turquoise colors for this pattern to reference what society views as an ideal woman: feminine, sweet and agreeable. 

To me the juxtaposition of the traditional idea of feminine beauty and a boisterous, unrelenting voice is a true picture of strength. 

- Marissa Sehman, Artist

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