Government Free VJJ

by Ashley Weeks Cart

Yep, that would be a plush uterus. That I knit.


I’d wager that you’re not in the least bit surprised when I say that this is not the first textile uterus I’ve constructed. While in grad school, I embroidered a series of “lady bits” for a project tackling the mnemonic process.

(Of course I did.)

I know that I said I was retiring my knitting needles for the season, but then this feminist, activist opportunity presented itself. And I couldn’t resist the chance to knit in the name of giving voice to my vagina.

And, I cannot even begin to tell you how much I delighted in announcing to a table of six of my male friends over breakfast Tuesday that I had spent my evening knitting a uterus. James simply nodded in confirmation.

Smart man.

Right now, in this country, is a very scary time for women. Not only as a woman myself, but as a mother to two daughters, I am particularly concerned. Daily I am rendered speechless, scrapping my jaw off the edge of my desk, by the debates I see happening re: Women’s Health and our bodies.

I feel like I’m living in Crazy Town. Or the 1920. But sadly, I must face the scary reality that a group of primarily white, conservative men is making decisions about what I can and cannot do with my body. And sending us back to the Middle Ages.

It’s time the 51% whose lives and bodies these bills and legislation directly impact stood up and spoke out.

Yesterday, in a strange moment of sanity and relief, Republican Congressman Richard Hanna spoke at the rally for the Equal Rights Amendment to this very idea:

I think these are very precarious times for women, it seems. So many of your rights are under assault. I’ll tell you this: Contribute your money to people who speak out on your behalf, because the other side — my side — has a lot of it. And you need to send your own message. You need to remind people that you vote, you matter, and that they can’t succeed without your help.

Dude, if one of those white, conservative men is calling it out, why the hell aren’t all of us who actually have fallopian tubes?

And so, I knit a uterus. And she is headed to my state Senator, Republican Scott Brown. A man who’s election resulted in the donning of black, in proper Weeks woman fashion.

I am fully aware that this little plush is a gimmick. But hey, if it grabs people’s attention and gets women involved that otherwise would not be politically active, then SO WHAT? Let’s gimmick away, shall we?

You see, this little handful of uterus is inspired by The Snatchel Project, a group of knitters, under the banner of Government Free VJJ, that are encouraging people to Knit a Uterus for a Congressman In Need. With the gift of said uterus comes the message: Hands off my uterus! Here’s one of your own!

We are women, we are strong, we are smart. And we have a sense of humor.

We do not need government interference with our doctors or our healthcare.

We do not need government probing our vaginas to help us make decisions about abortion.

We do not need government to give us guidance about whether or not to take birth control.

We do not need misogynistic pundits calling us sluts and prostitutes.

We are half of the population and we will not be treated as children or a disenfranchised minority.

I don’t want my daughters to think I sat idly by while their rights were stripped away. No, Mama put her knitting needles and voice to work. Who knows what could happen if we all exercised that freedom?

And may I gently strongly recommend this read calling for the voice of physicians in these debates? Yes, yes I may.

When the community has failed a patient by voting an ideologue into office…When the ideologue has failed the patient by writing legislation in his own interest instead of in the patient’s…When the legislative system has failed the patient by allowing the legislation to be considered… When the government has failed the patient by allowing something like this to be signed into law… We as physicians cannot and must not fail our patients by ducking our heads and meekly doing as we’re told.

Because we are their last line of defense.

And on that note, a happy uterine weekend to you! If you want free patterns so you can knit your own uterus or vagina or cervix, head on over here.

Photos: Courtesy of Ashley Weeks Cart
My Ravelry project of this pattern, Womb.