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Inspiration for Women of Freedom

Continued musings by T Lee on the inspiration for Women of Freedom; the latest designer jewelry collection in the Extraordinary Women Series.

When I chose FREEDOM as the common thread to connect the 6 women who’s stories I would tell through jewelry design for the 2017 Extraordinary Women Series, I had no idea how difficult it would be to actually understand what would be the defining quality. To clarify this-its not that finding good candidates was a challenge, I read about 100’s of women and was made aware of literally tens of thousands of other women who have dedicated their lives, sacrificed much, worked tirelessly to lead the way for liberties for millions of others. What I found most difficult was actually defining what FREEDOM means.

I started with a simple dictionary definition.

The power or right to act,speak,think,worship as one wants without hindrance or restraint. Absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government. The state of not being imprisoned or enslaved. So, it appears we all agree that FREEDOM mean the right to do as one pleases-to think,believe,speak,worship or not worship, love, move about,gather,and generally act as you choose BUT only until your choices start to infringe on another persons freedom.

This leaves a great deal of latitude for interpretation. Most of us are familiar with both sides of many current and historic debates using the word FREEDOM to illustrate their point and advance their agenda. I was still drowning in the turbulence of the definition. How could I find the Women of Freedom if I didn't understand the meaning of FREEDOM.

So...I found a spot in the sun next to the cat, curled up with a cashmere blanket, a cup of tea and a fully charged iPad, I started digging deep into the first story; the most iconic First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt. Click here to read her story. As I tried to figure out what FREEDOM means to me.

An hour into reading about Eleanor's extraordinary life (and I had barely scratched the surface ) I was led to another, and then another.

Lurking through these freedom fighting women's lives, I promptly observed that they all were leaders. A reoccurring theme that was present in all their stories was that were attempting to secure freedoms by taking collective, organized actions. Many of their views illustrated that they saw us as a ‘world family’ rather than as separate nations, a global community that shares common values and preserves civil liberties for all, not just that of their own gender specific marginalized group.

Their techniques were differing-they were writers, politicians, speakers, scientists, poets. The swords they used were multifarious but their ambitions were bring the privilege of few (males) to the ALL (males and females). They acted as private citizens, civic activists and elected officials, all networking a diverse audience to lead them to political and social change.

In my minds eye, they were in a circle holding hands. One woman’s story would lead me to the next. When a new and intriguing name would come up, I would do a full tilt catapult with my attention skipping to the next story and add the previous one to a ‘get back to it later’ list. With a quick nod of gratitude to my ADD, I found it not only easy but exciting to hop from story to story.

Long after the sun and the cat had left me and the cup of tea was cold, my head was resonating with their life stories and I was starting to conceive what my abstraction of FREEDOM was.

Plus-I had an entire page of names-astonishing women who dedicated their lives and used their intrinsic inherent gifts to secure FREEDOM for WOMEN.

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