Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Your Body, Your Decision

My Body, My Decision
Judy Takács
oil on canvas with collage

With her classic visage, my model reminded me of Michelangelo's monolithic David statue. His curly locks, sweeping eyelashes and smooth marble body are powerful, muscular and androgynous.

Michelangelo Buonarroti
Galleria dell'Accademia di Firenze

It is notable that iconic, idealized male sculptures have all their limbs intact…unlike poor iconic Venus De Milo.

Venus De Milo
Alexandros of Antioch
Louvre, Paris

In the Judeo-Christian bible, David, a small but confident boy, bravely conquers the giant, Goliath, who has been terrorizing his city.

To re-imagine this story through a feminist lens, I cast my female model in Michelangelo’s David pose. A female underdog, she is poised to take down the patriarchy, as symbolized by the American flag, armed with a coat hanger that bears a message.


Patriarchal rule has, for eons, oppressed a woman’s right to education, equality, ownership, custody and even the right to make healthcare and reproductive decisions about her own body. 


Currently, heartbeat bills, gag orders, threats to defund Planned 

Parenthood, and a conservative majority Supreme Court which struck down Roe v. Wade, June 24, 2022… have taken the right to make this life-altering and very private reproductive healthcare decision away from women in Ohio and much of the nation.


To make our voices heard in Ohio, pro-choice activists hang coat-hangers, gruesome reminders of pre-Roe v.Wade back-alley abortions, on the fence surrounding the Ohio Statehouse.


I added bright pink laminated messages to the ones I hung.

“You’ll never stop abortions, just safe ones,” “Someone you love has had an abortion,” “Google Geri Santoro”, and an attempt to reach across the aisle with my pink hanger messages, “Ayn Rand was Pro-Choice.” Love her or hate her, she was Pro-Choice.


I also pointed out that, “A dead body has more bodily autonomy than a living woman.” As a human being, you have the right to decide whether or not to donate a kidney, bone marrow, platelets, blood or tissue. No court in the land can force you to, even if someone will die without it. 

That right extends to your cadaver. No court in the land can force your dead body to donate a cornea, a heart, liver, lungs, kidneys…even though people will die without them. The tissue and organs from your dead body can actually help or save 58 different people!


And, yet, a living woman’s whole body can be forced into service, 

mental and physical, sometimes risking her health and life, for nine months to a lifetime…in a land without reproductive freedom. 


A living woman does not even have the bodily autonomy of a corpse.


I am pro-abortion, just like I’m pro-appendectomy, pro-mastectomy, pro-gall bladder surgery. I’d rather not have any of these surgeries, but they must be safe and available if you or I or someone you love needs one. 


It's not all bad though. Right now, in Ohio we have hope. ISSUE ONE, The Reproductive Rights Amendment, is on the ballot for this November. You can read the full text of the amendment here, donate what you can and VOTE YES on ISSUE ONE before November 7th!


Trust Women.

Trust Women
Judy Takács
oil on canvas with collage

It's not all bad though. Right now, My Body, My Decision, Trust Women and my other Pro Choice paintings are on view at Chagrin Arts as part of my solo show designed to reach across the aisle to those who are Pro Life.

The show asks viewers to  see that the fingers of anti-abortion legislation will, at some point hurt someone you love in ways you hadn't considered. It is my hope that Ohio viewers will come from the show and decide to 
VOTE YES on ISSUE ONE this November.

Mothers, Women, Children, Choices

Chagrin Arts
88 North Main Street
Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Gallery Hours: M W F 11:00 to 4:00
Show continues through November 17, 2023


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