The window display at Iceblink in June 2019. Sarah Pruys/Cabin Radio
Yellowknife clothing store Iceblink’s latest window display, brimming with symbolism and statements, is turning heads with its pro-choice message.
Store owner Judy McNicol says she was inspired by recent debates and decisions in the United States, where she observes a woman’s ability to make decisions about her own body to be eroding.
While McNicol doesn’t necessarily feel the same thing could happen in Canada, she believes in starting conversations and raising awareness, she told Cabin Radio.
“I think it always has to be about choice,” she said. “And I think that every woman, obviously, has the right to choose what happens to their reproductive organs.
“And it has to be said all the time, everywhere. It doesn’t matter where we are, time or place.”
White t-shirts hang in the window on Franklin Avenue, the city’s main street. On those shirts, black, bold lettering carries pro-choice statements, facts, and quotes. The shirts are weighted down with fishing weights, symbolizing the idea of being caught or trapped, McNicol explained.
McNicol pointed out smaller, symbolic details she included: hangers on which the t-shirts are displayed; birch rope connecting each shirt like an umbilical cord; rope wrapped in saree silk to illustrate oppression and archaic laws worldwide.
She also placed a mannequin in a cage – in what she calls a “virginal, pure dress” – with the statement: “Politicians shouldn’t make laws about our bodies.” Blood, made from strips of fabric, pours out of the mannequin.
McNicol said, to her amazement, she has received only positive feedback so far.
“I hadn’t expected as much of a response,” she said. “I
just do my windows … and I don’t really do it for whatever reaction I get. But the positive reaction and response that I’ve had has actually been incredible.
“I did expect there to be quite a lot of negative feedback but, so far, I haven’t heard anything. And I welcome it if there is – it’s really there for discussion. I want to get people talking.”