Tuesday, November 22, 2011

cervical cancer

A sobering opinion piece by Amanda Robb in Al Jazeera, titled Waiting to die: Cervical cancer in America:

[...] every year 4,000 American women die from the disease, most of them in the South. For instance, a woman in Mississippi is nearly twice as likely to die from cervical cancer as an average American woman. 
The seemingly obvious answer is that Mississippi is the poorest state in the US, and therefore must have a lot of residents without health insurance. But when Mississippi is compared to a state like California, which has a similar rate of uninsured people, Mississippi's death rate from cervical cancer remains extraordinary: 75 per cent higher than that in California.

In 2012, legislation will be put forward, campaign speeches made, and issues debated, the result of which may very well impact free or low cost screening and examinations. Women need access to healthcare.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Historian Jill Lepore was on Fresh Air this week, talking about the history of birth control in the United States, with a focus on Margaret Sanger, who opened the country's first birth control clinic. And since women's reproductive health remains as such a contentious issue, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund rolled out the website, Women are Watching.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

pile of why

The pile is growing, with the count now at 27. I did have 28, but gave one to Annie Sprinkle. I met her at an art opening and she joked how "vulva art" was so done. It would follow that now is the time of the cervix. But why? What is the point of an art installation made up of a pile of felted cervices? For me, on the very surface, it is about absurdity. I've taken great artistic license in the design. They look a lot like donuts. And yes, that is really what they look like legs-spread-feet-in-stirrups-with-speculum-inside. However, they are always attached to the uterus above and the vaginal canal below. Like many other bits that make up our bodies, we usually don't think about the cervix unless something is wrong with it. Cervical cancer. An incompetent cervix, threatening premature birth. I came across this article, The Rebirth of Feminism by Emily Nussbaum in New York Magazine
Back in the seventies, feminists touted the slogan “the personal is political,” arguing that women had been trained to dismiss their own struggles as personal matters with no greater meaning. If women could share stories, they would find patterns. They could be allies instead of rivals.
What if we thought about the cervix? More over, what if we thought and talked about them? In the relatively short time I've made them, women have shared stories with me, private stories I wouldn't be able to discern by just looking at them. Issues concerning womens' bodies and health  are once again hot button topics among elected officials. I have many opinions and can get up on a soap box as much as the next person, but the point of the project isn't about proselytizing my particular point of view. The aim of The Felt Cervix Project is about engagement, creating, and community. Help carry on the conversation.

Friday, November 4, 2011

pattern poastcards

The cervix pattern is now available in a large, promotional postcard form. If you want some to distribute to your knitting group or local yarn store, send an email to feltcervixproject@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

serial number

A large pile doesn't lend itself to accurately identifying who made what. Being able to catalog each cervix is important. Thanks the magic of shrinky dinks (yes, they're still around), each cervix submitted to the Felt Cervix project will have a serial number. They look a little like license plates.