“Equal Means Equal” by Jessica Levitt
This quilt was created to be carried as a protest sign for The Women’s March on Washington on Jan. 21, 2017. The making of the quilt was an outlet for me to work through the extreme emotions of disillusionment, anger, disappointment, and fear that I have been experiencing since the presidential election of 2016.
Choosing a message was a daunting task for me, as there were so many issues about which I want to stand and be heard. But, ultimately, the most personal for me is sexism. I believe in equality and rights for all people regardless of sex, race, religion, sexual preference, wealth or any other distinction you can come up with. I hope for a world where love and tolerance are normal, and fear and hate are diminished.
It was a surprise to me to discover that our Constitution does not have an Equal Rights Amendment (because it fell three states short of ratification) and that my rights as a woman are not protected within it. While the rights of women have come far since it was first proposed back in 1923, their protection in our Constitution is more important now with the current government in place and threatening to reverse many of them. If now is not the time, then when?
The quilt background is improvisational piecing with lots of meaningful details in the fabric to describe my resistance to the current president’s agenda including: bicycle (for suffragettes), science, nature, love, music, safety pins, peace symbol, quotation marks, chaos, and words such as “start somewhere” and “Love.”
The reverse of the quilt is taken directly from a suffragette banner and expresses the power of standing together to be heard. The experience of going to the march and being part of the voice of millions was beautiful and empowering. I was proud to use my art to express my views and saw many who did the same. I’m grateful for the democracy we live in, and the freedoms I have that allow me to stand up and speak out. And … I am fiercely protective of them.
Hear a message from Jessica about her piece below: