of equality and eradication: thoughts on National Women’s Equality Day


The girl who is sick of gender inequality (above). Photo by Kristin Coffman.

Last night I spent an hour curled up in the driver’s seat of my car in the shade of my local Rite Aid, bawling.

I had intended to make a quick trip of it– walk in, pick up my birth control, and get on with the rest of my errands. A young man at the pharmacy counter greeted me pleasantly and asked for my information. He hesitated before sheepishly explaining that my insurance wasn’t going to cover my medication.

“It won’t be covered until September 1st,” he explained nervously.

This was a problem for me. I needed it now if I wanted to skip my period and forgo the excruciating pain, nausea, and headaches that have plagued me for years.

“You can pay out of pocket, but it’s going to be $39 for one month,” he continued.

Here’s the thing: I already paid for this medication when my insurance payment was deducted from my paycheck. It is legally mine. Yet here I was, listening to some male stranger tell me that another complete stranger had decided that I was due for my period, that I didn’t get to skip the placebo pills this month. Some unknown person was sitting at a desk somewhere out there, saying that I shouldn’t be allowed to have more than one month’s supply at a time. Heaven forbid that I, a woman, would want to go more than one month without getting pregnant. The notion that a 25-year-old woman wants to have a career and her own life is so absurd to my insurance company that they can’t justify the cost to provide me with more than one month at a time.

In college, our university pharmacy let us take home an entire years’ worth at a time. Plan B was as accessible as ibuprofen, and paid for with our tuition. It made sense– we were in college to learn and to become functioning members of society and tax-paying citizens. Childbearing and homemaking were not on the university’s agenda. Everyone, male and female, was on the same spectrum for the first time, if only for a moment. We had everything we needed.

Exit college, and we are once again introduced to the “play like a boy” mindset. Women are asked to dress like men if they want to be taken seriously. We are paid less for the same work. We are hired less because we may someday require maternity leave. We are encouraged to flirt our way into success. We are largely pressured by the male population to deny these things, because agreeing with our oppressors yields more rewards than ruffling feathers.

What consistently baffles me is the amount of pushback I get on these topics from people whom I believe to be quite intelligent otherwise. These outspoken woman-haters don’t seem to realize that they are arguing against equal rights for their female loved ones.

The very fact that National Women’s Equality Day exists necessitates change.

It is very seldom when I experience a single day without having to modify my life in a way men will never have to.

Men will never know how uncomfortable and frightened I felt last month when I was gassing up my car, the attendant leaning inside my car, violating my space. These days, I crack the window only enough to slide my card through it.

Men will never have to feel like they cannot go on a hike alone, or even on a walk around their block alone at night, without putting theirselves in harm’s way. Should I do something like that and danger befalls me, they would say that “I asked for it,” or that “I should have known better than to do it.” If a man is harmed, the blame is on the perpetrator. If a woman is harmed, she lacked common sense.

Men will never have to know what it is like to lose ownership of their own body simply by existing. My body has been used for another man’s pleasure without my consent more times than I can count–both physically and mentally. Women–if you’ve ever been catcalled, groped, or even stared at, this applies to you too. It is my belief that every woman has, at least once in her life, been utilized without consent in a sexual nature.

Cisgender men will never feel victimized by the government or by people who hold power, simply because they host certain body parts. They will never feel the burning humiliation of being objectified by an authority figure or law enforcer.

Men will never need to create a national holiday recognizing their systematic oppression.

I want to say “happy National Women’s Equality Day” but the fact is that, because it exists, it is not a happy day at all.

I encourage women and men who support the happiness and well-being of women to do one thing today. It’s easy. If you want to participate in this day, all I ask is that you recognize the lack of equality we live with. It sounds easy, but most men that I know will instinctually contradict me.

If you want a woman to hate, go ahead. Hate the living shit out of me. I can hold my own.

But take this time to think about your mother, daughter, sister, cousin, niece, or female friend who is being hurt by the perpetual aggression towards women. Think about how they’re living in my world too. Someday, a man may grab her or cat-call her or turn her down for a job or rape her or tell her she doesn’t matter. I guarantee you, it has already happened. Acknowledgment is the first step.





‘i hope you don’t mind me writing’ album review


While basking in the ocean air on the Oregon coast last week, a song caught my ear from a nearby seafood restaurant. SoundHound retrieved the song as Lucy Spraggan’s ‘Fight for It”. Nothing gets me going like finding new artists, so I was excited to have a new name to scout out. I was enchanted instantly with her ethereal vocals and almost Ingrid Michaelson-like sound.

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Before I knew it, I was cruising through her Spotify listening to her most recent album “I Hope You Don’t Mind Me Writing” and I was blown away by the thoughtful words, and unique sound. My big thing with musicians is difference; how are you setting yourself apart from other musicians? Lucy has this airy feel that is so delightful but also so entirely her.

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If you need a calming album to get you through your week, I’ve got just the link for you. Check out the album below and follow her on her social accounts to stay up to date with what she has going on!


Instagram stalk HERE

Hit the official website HERE

put your records on


Happy National Vinyl Record Day from the ladies of V+V! I couldn’t help but make a trip to one of the coolest vinyl shops in the Portland area, none other than Jackpot Records. Located on Hawthorne Blvd on the east side of town, they’re getting ready to celebrate their twentieth anniversary next month. At this rate vinyl will never go out of style (thank god).


A special thanks to the incredibly talented Joaquin Sabarots for capturing these magical photos!

poems for the people


Rupi Kaur’s book of poetry was real, raw, and uncovered the painfully honest yet undeniably true side of poetry. My love for “Milk and Honey” and all things poetry inspired me to attempt my own version of these strategically sketched  short works of art.


a poem for the people who were told all they are is a “pretty girl”


a poem for the people who have felt pain you cannot see


a poem for the people taking back themselves


over the moon for under aurora


My infatuation with Under Aurora began when I stumbled across their Women We Love Organic Hand Lotion. Brought to life in collaboration with illustration pro Leigh Cox, this product struck me as being such an inspiring way to celebrate creative women with visions and dreams. Cue the unwavering heart eyes for everything about this brand.

When I delved in to Under Aurora’s shop, it’s no wonder I was hooked. By blending plant-based ingredients, essential oils, cruelty-free testing and eco-friendly packaging, this vegan beauty brand struck a cord with me and I just haven’t been the same. From “The Poet” Botanical Body Spritz to the lemon zinger Brightening Face Scrub, these products compliment my energy, my creativity and my own sense of beauty. See why these are my favorite products below.

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gettin’ pretty with finola jewelry



I’m so excited to finally share with you Vol. 4 of Smitten! I recently partnered with Finola Jewelry and Anastasia Gentry Photography to bring our V+V fans an exclusive giveaway.

Based in Cincinnati, OH, Finola Jewlery appeals to the type of woman who’s in tune with trends, but also values her own sense of style and strives to assert her independence as opposed to blending in with the masses. An example? Fringe and tassels are currently all the rage, and the Avai Blush Tassel earrings draw inspiration from this trend while rockin’ their own personality and flair.

I love that each handmade piece of jewelry from Finola emboldens every woman to embrace their style and individuality. See below for more from our shoot + head to our Instagram to win a pair of the Celeste Gold Tassel earringssmitten vol 4smitten vol 42smitten vol 43smitten vol 44smitten vol 45smitten vol 46smitten vol 47smitten vol 48smitten vol 49smitten vol 410smitten vol 411smitten vol 412smitten vol 413smitten vol 414

Dying for a pair of these earrings? Head to our Instagram to enter the giveaway!

all things vintage


My first blog post!! Hi V+V, I’m Matti, and if you know me, it’s very fitting that this post has to do with my love for all things thrifted. However, I was absolutely not born with a passion for thrifting, and finding hidden gems amongst piles of crap was a skill that took some time to master. It started with me being dragged to Goodwill almost every week by my mother (hi, mom) who honestly is the real master of thrift shopping. Once I started to strike some luck at Goodwill with random stuff like cool jackets or shoes, it sparked my interest in the world of second-hand shopping.



yes, I might have a jacket problem. but the best part is that almost all of these were under 20 dollars. goodwill is THE best place for coats/jackets.


light fixture from the garage sale warehouse.

I got the idea to do this post a couple weeks ago when I got so excited about my recent haul from The Garage Sale Warehouse that I spammed my Instagram followers with an excessive IG story depicting all of my glorious finds. To share the good thrifting mojo, here are some of my greatest thrift-shopping accomplishments and where to get the best goodies in Portland, OR.


both bags from house of vintage. stool from the garage sale warehouse.


top from goodwill. earrings from buffalo exchange.


pretty stripey pants from goodwill. shoes from house of vintage.


bench, basket, & plant (yes I somehow thrifted a plant) all from garage sale warehouse. blanket from house of vintage.


basket from garage sale warehouse.


fan from lounge lizard. tray and macrame plant hanger from garage sale warehouse.

Are you sensing a trend here? The Garage Sale Warehouse is like a second home to me. It’s a magical place that everyone needs to take a visit to at least once. Just warning you, it’s MASSIVE, and so is House of Vintage. A good and bad thing, the sheer amount of volume this warehouse contains can scare people off, but my number one tip is to take it one section at a time. I promise you’ll find something if you just take it slow.


luggage from an actual garage sale. plant basket from goodwill.

I need to talk about these luggage pieces for a second. I could not contain my excitement when I spotted these at a garage sale down the street. The guy was selling a bunch of his parent’s old stuff, and I hit the jackpot and got them for 5 DOLLARS A PIECE and in perfect condition. Don’t underestimate garage sales, people!


shoes and jeans from goodwill.


coffee art from garage sale warehouse. vintage ice crusher from a garage sale.

If you’re looking for clothing and accessories, House of Vintage is going to be your go to. This place has so. much. stuff. It’s a bit pricier, but most of the items are of higher quality. You can find anything denim in addition to cool bags, hats, and shoes, so you can’t really go wrong. I recommend Goodwill for kitchenware such as plates, cups, and bowls, as well as home furniture. Goodwill is also a disguised jackpot for amazing jackets at a price that you cannot beat anywhere else. The Garage Sale Warehouse is my favorite place to find pretty much anything. From wicker chairs to pillows to lights to art. This place honestly has it all.


bag and jeans from goodwill.

I hope this inspires you to go out and find your own vintage treasures. Once you start getting things at discount prices, you’ll get addicted just like I am (whoops). Let’s go shopping!