Venus is more than just another planet in our solar system, she is also a focus of legend and mystery. I have a particular love of art which depicts Venus in her many forms. This painting by Joseph Stella is certainly one of the best examples. Venus is often specified in a feminine way and that’s part of my story. Vef was created, not by accident, but by clever design and the evolution of a precise formula. Vef is a word meaning Venus flower and gives the logical basis for her existence.
Joseph Stella (1877-1946) was an early modernist who later adopted an archaic figurative style, albeit one executed in a bright 20th-century palette. He was a deeply conflicted artist who struggled to reconcile the classical spirit of the Renaissance with the chaotic energy of modern industrial society.
The effort produced a remarkable and intriguing body of work, one that hasn’t been fully appreciated even by those people who know his most famous image, the Brooklyn Bridge painted as a modernist icon.
In 1919-20, he created an extraordinary painting, Tree of My Life, that portends the rest of this career. It’s a magical fantasy of plants, flowers, birds and insects suffused with a radiant light, like a pantheist altarpiece.
That painting inspired a series of delicate botanicals – flowers and plant forms executed in silverpoint and crayon – followed by restatements of classical themes such as The Birth of Venus and religious ones such as the Virgin Mary.
Gender equality, also known as sex equality, refers to the view that boys and girls should receive equal treatment, and should not be discriminated against based on gender, unless there is a sound biological reason for different treatment. Vef asks you this one important question. How can equality be possible if the words used to describe man and woman are not linguistically equal? Woman is a possessive noun. It is a five letter word that originates from man, which has three letters. That doesn’t seem equal to me or perhaps I’m completely stupid.
There have been many efforts by world bodies including the United Nations to fight inequality which have largely failed. Happily there is a solution to the problem of gender equality. Okay let’s begin with right use of language and get to a balanced starting point. Not defining words properly is a sure recipe for discussions and debates that lead nowhere, and heated arguments that are as passionate as they are meaningless. Vef is a three-letter word so in my opinion it is a better alternative to woman. A savvy girl wants the same number of letters as man to give her similar opportunities.
Oh yes! Venus flower also desires the number three. So please acknowledge her as Vef and then she will have gender equality.
Creative writing by Michelle Voynet
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