Illustrator Carol Rossetti’s drawings of women could be a wonderful way of protesting gender prejudice on a global scale.

At a time of #MeToo, women’s marches and period poverty, women around the world still very much face barriers because of their gender. It only takes a quick scroll through the news headlines to recognise that such prejudices are still roaring; from the reports on pay inequality to stories making front page in the likes of The Daily Mail, where women are slammed for their appearance, their diets and their sexuality to list a few. There have certainly been a lot of people calling out these issues, from podcasts to Twitter threads and books to art: there is a clear desire to combat gender prejudice and women – and men – around the world are doing so through all sorts of creative means.

One artist in particular, is Brazilian illustrator Carol Rossetti who has released a series called ‘Women’, hoping to support and motivate women in their struggle against gender prejudices. Rossetti’s illustrations feature women of different ethnicities; women suffering from illnesses and mental health issues; women with a range of sexual preferences, and women who refuse to conform to society’s standards in one way or another.

Each illustration has a motivational, reassuring and uplifting message for the woman in question, ignoring so-called norms and encouraging women that it is okay not to fit one template. The concept of these illustrations is to pull together a community of women and to offer something that each one of us can relate to, no matter our individual differences. The project does not discriminate.

Rossetti’s illustrations are an accessible means of finding comfort in a society which may not be quite so forthcoming in its help as it is with its judgments. The project sees the illustrations posted directly to Rossetti’s Facebook page and blog, meaning the images are readily available to any woman or girl looking for reassurance. Having resources such as these which we can share with our friends with the click of a button and can use to let people know they are not alone is a remarkable thing.

Though these images may not make the same global statement as, say, a march through the streets of London which is heavily covered by the press, it is still in its own right a method of protest in the fight for women’s equality. In some ways, a project like this could be as effective as a march, not only because of the potential to go viral and gain the same global awareness that can be generated by the press, but also because it connects with individual women on a personal level that can encourage them to stand their ground and to champion their individuality in the same way that men are often allowed to champion theirs. It is a project inclusive of women from all walks of life in a way that marches may not be – it can create an opportunity for more people to get involved and to feel noticed when they cannot travel to big cities or do not have the ability to take part in a march. To me, the series is symbolic of girl power and unity, and that is what makes this project so special. It is an innovative and creative way of peaceful protest.

Harriet Timmins

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.