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Nevertheless #ShePersisted, An Artist and Her Story

Posted February 9, 2017

UPDATE: The artist posted two new versions, one from a male point of view and another from those who suffer from chronic illnesses.


Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Malala Yousafzai, and now Elizabeth Warren are all being defined as strong female role models who refused to be silenced. What began as a comment by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) when he silenced Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Tuesday night has now become a rallying cry for women.

“She was warned. She was given an explanation,” he said. “Nevertheless, she persisted.”

#ShePersisted almost immediately began trending on Twitter.

Warren had been trying to read a letter written in 1986 by the late Coretta Scott King ― civil rights hero and widow of Martin Luther King Jr. ― that criticized Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), then a U.S. attorney who had been nominated for a federal judgeship.

King’s letter was posted online by The Washington Post stated: “ “Mr. Sessions’ conduct as U.S. Attorney, from his politically-motivated voting fraud prosecutions to his indifference toward criminal violations of civil rights laws, indicates that he lacks the temperament, fairness and judgment to be a federal judge.”

The letter concluded:

“Based on his record, I believe his confirmation would have a devastating effect on not only the judicial system in Alabama, but also on the progress we have made everywhere toward fulfilling my husband’s dream that he envisioned over twenty years ago.”

But McConnell invoked Rule XIX, forbidding Warren from speaking on the Senate floor as the body considers Sessions’ nomination for U.S. attorney general.

The statement and hashtag have gone viral with many expressing their thoughts and feelings.

Courtney M. Privett, a fiction writer currently living in California, decided to express her emotions through her art. Privett, who has an engineering degree and worked as an analytical chemist until she became a stay at mom home, was angry when she saw the news.

“I’m the author of ten novels, and I use both visual and written art as a way to confront my fears and frustrations,” she told DIVERGE. “Art is therapeutic for me.”

She explained that she was making breakfast for her 2 and 5-year-old daughters and reading the news when she read about Mitch McConnel’s vote.

“A thought jumped out at me — I don’t want my daughters to hear the same things I have. I’ve heard derogatory commentary about my gender as long as I can remember.

I was the nerdy girl through school, and often the only female in my college classes. I heard commentary specific to my gender on job interviews, and then at my job itself. One little word at a time doesn’t seem like much, but over the years the wall of words starts to wear on you and makes you question your own worth. These comments come from both men and women, and from parents, friends, and strangers. They are woven into our society in such a way that most people don’t recognize how widespread the problem is.

I chose to face the woman in my drawing away from the viewer. She’s facing the commentary head-on, but she’s standing tall and not backing down. I gave her long brown hair as a reference to how I looked coming out of college, but she could be any woman. She is all of us. She walked through her own personal gauntlet and nevertheless, she persisted.”

Below, you can find some of Privett’s other political artwork.

For more of her work, she can be followed at:

Twitter: @CourtneyPrivett

Instagram: @courtneymprivett

Blog: http://evergreenandindigo.blogspot.com

To see artwork inspired by Courtney’s image and current political events, check out http://divergenow.com/dialogue/2017/02/4385/!