The following article was written by Maggie Conner and originally appeared in Pattern Magazine, Issue 9.
Feminism in Indianapolis is a hot topic, and Katy Jamison couldn't be happier about it. The visual designer for Sticksnleaves recently cofounded FeministTee.com, a t-shirt company that promotes social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men, i.e., feminism's textbook definition.
FeministTee.com took off after Kristen Cooper, Jamison's coworker at Sticksnleaves, asked her to design a t-shirt with a feminist message that she actually wanted to wear, because the only ones she could find were ill-fitting with awkward lettering. "She loved the result," Jamison says. "So we took that design and ran with it, and we found that people were really responsive to it."
Jamison and Cooper designed three FeministTee.com t-shirt styles: a v-neck and a long sleeve t-shirt for the ladies, and a crew neck t-shirt for men. The duo sells them at FeministTee.com, but also sells them on Etsy. Designs for tote bags and bumper stickers are also in the works. The purpose of the shirts is to spread the feminist message locally and help people understand what feminism actually means.
"I think the biggest debate is about the definition," Jamison says. "I think some people are confused and associate it with the first and second wave of feminism, which tends to be violent or militant. But essentially if you're a feminist you believe women and men should be equal."
Jamison is proud of the direction that Indianapolis is moving toward and is optimistic for the future of feminism. She hopes that both women and men start to take ownership of the word "feminist" in a positive way. Especially men.
"Men need to support women in order for women to climb the ladder and succeed," Jamison says. "It is so important to recognize women who are talented and try to bring them up to their potential. Our goal is to get people wearing the shirt so people can recognize there are feminists out there, both men and women. And if you're wearing it boldly across your chest, there's no missing that you're a feminist."
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