Elevate Difference

Good Karma Pendant

The Good Karma Pendant from The Pretty Peacock is an interesting metaphor for my current relationship with feminism. At some point during my teenage years, I discovered the identifying term while reading Gloria Steinem's Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions, which I'd found in a secondhand bookstore that I frequented. Picking it up like it was the first breath of life: painful yet invigorating.

An introvert who frequently and necessarily seeks solace in worlds of fiction—the kind novelist Jonathan Franzen wittily describes in his brilliant work How To Be Alone—Steinem's collection of essays about women's oppression was a turning point in my intellectual and bibliographic progression. Non-fiction became my priority, relegating fiction to a pile of things I believed I no longer needed. I learned from Steinem that I didn't need to escape the world; I needed to mold it into my utopic vision in order to be fully present in my existence within it.

Perhaps it goes without saying that I was painfully naive. I imagined that, like novels themselves, the world I would create for myself and others was one of equity for all. At the time I knew little of dynamism and fluidity and the absence of a singular truth. I named the world I'd fuzzily conjured feminism, named those who inhabited this egalitarian world feminists (even if they didn't refer to themselves in that way), and stood behind my ever-evolving creation like a shield. I put that name front-and-center. I dared anyone to take it away from me... until the day I took it away from myself because I no longer wanted a weapon, and I was tired of the fighting that came mostly from within the ranks.

Crises of faith are always unexpected and expectantly difficult, but (re)birth is a spectacular thing. The Good Karma Pendant reminds me of that organically produced beauty. Nestled in the carved flora on the front of this eco-friendly pendant is a speck of feminine pink, a tourmaline birthstone gem—October, the month of my mother's birth—embedded along a curve of circular fine silver. It stands out like a flower among the weeds. With a sterling chain that is linked and adjustable, there is no one size fits all. On the back, obscured from view when you look from the most convenient direction, is one word: feminist. All caps. Forcefully impressed into the metal by a steady hand. Most of the time I am the only one who knows it's there... sticking around to see what will be revealed next.

Written by: Mandy Van Deven, October 20th 2009

Thank you, Madeleine! You are very kind.

Beautiful use of metaphor... all those fiction books served you well