Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday Sharing

Tomorrow is the last day of September and the last day of my commitment to write every day. To be honest, I didn't meet the challenge amyway. I dropped a few days when I went adventuring in Chicago and the wilds of Illinois. It was totally worth it, and someday you'll get that story.

Tonght I want to share with you a few items readers sent me this week after all those inspiring vagina conversations.

First, a pair of uterus earrings.

I was really stunned glad when I saw these sold 5 years ago, so thank you, grilled cheesus, nobody can buy them for me. I think this is the tackiest thing I've ever seen, and I remember the 80's. I've seen seen some tacky. Not only is this more than a uterus -- it's the entire female reproductive system -- but it's the ugliest thing I've ever seen. These earrings prove there's a reason the uterus and Fallopian tubes are hidden away inside a woman's body and that they aren't made out of Shrinky Dinks.

The reader who sent me this will receive a vagina-shaped whoopie cushion in the mail. Thanks for playing.

Another reader sent this example of vaginas and the use of metaphor. 

(I have no idea where this came from.)
These look nothing like the photos I posted the other day.  Obviously gay people need to see those photos more than most of us do.

And finally, a reader sent a link to this art exhibit called The Great Wall of Vagina. The panels consist of rows of molded casts of women's lady bits. The artist is a guy named Jamie McCartney who says he's trying to show women that our vulvas all look different. Or something like that.


I'm going to admit I'm conflicted over this body of work, as is the friend who sent me the link. My first reaction is that I'm not sure how this is art any more than the plaster cast of my hand I made in kindergarten is art. Or the imprint of my teeth my dentist made when I needed a crown. They look more like forensic artifacts than art.

My second reaction is strongly that I don't need some guy trying to fix my vulva dysmorphia by getting a bunch of women to take off their panties to he can cast molds of their pussies. I don't need a man to do that. Back the fuck off and don't try to fix us as if you're doing us a big fucking favor.

As I said to my friend, this has a Hugo Schwyzer feel to it. There's a difference between men supporting feminism and men taking it over because they want to "help" us. And it's like art: I can't define that boundary very easily, but I sure as hell know it when it's been crossed.

You want to make this about women? Make your show anonymous. Don't fucking get famous doing something feminists have been doing for decades, which is to show real women's bodies to women. Why the hell didn't any of them get famous? Because they're not men, and the real problem is much bigger than how women perceive their vulvas. I really don't want a man to get a bunch of kudos for this.

It's patronizing. How about you get famous for casts of penises or ball sacks or beer bellies? Why not help out your own tribe by showing a wall of their genitals with the color sucked out of them? Is it because pussy sells?

Or is it because you wouldn't be able to come up with such a clever title? The Great Wall of Vagina? Really? Is this a serious show or is it not?

Third (or maybe it's fourth or fifth), this isn't what real vulvas look like. I posted a photo of real vulvas. Yes, they show the many varieties of lady snowflakes, but they are a representation. Maybe that's what makes them art, but it's also what makes this feel so patronizing.

You're saying women should see ourselves as we really are and appreciate our differences, but you've given us colorless, mashed vulvas masquerading as art. That's not what I see when I put my head between my legs.

And yet, some women seem to be impressed by it. They seem to be soothed by it. They seem to be reassured and normalized. Empowered. That is, I suppose, a good thing.

I don't feel empowered by a man showing me what vulvas look like though. I like those college girls in Australia doing it, owning their power, slapping it on the cover of their newspaper. I don't see how women gain any power or authority over their own bodies by seeing this guy's pussy casts.

Oh, dear. It appears I've gone off on a rant. Maybe I'm not as conflicted as I thought.

What do you think? Have I gone off the deep end? Do any of my women readers feel empowered by this wall of vulvas?


  1. I didn't think of it as art, but I did find it interesting and comforting, but that was when I thought "Jamie" was a woman. I kind of feel the same way you do upon learning that Jamie Mccartney is a man, and yet, I'm not sure I'm not being sexist and overly sensitive. I could see myself making art out of penises, being a woman, and that would be okay, right? Okay, maybe not. I really have no desire to make penis sculptures, but if I did, would it be patronizing or kind of hot? What if they were rainbow colored penises? I'm having a flash of inspiration here. I'll get back to you.

    1. I don't think we can be sexist unless it gives us power. We're certainly not there yet. I see what you mean, but .... why would you make art out of penises? To show men how lovely their penises are? They already know that. And they don't need a woman to show them.

      But do feel free to show me the rainbow penises you come up with and maybe I'll even post them. LOL

    2. I've never thought penises were lovely. I've always thought they were the funniest thing I ever saw. I think I wouldn't make erect penis sculptures. Way too many of those. Flacid penis sculptures is the way to go!

    3. Never mind. There is lots of flaccid penis art. I checked. Not a fresh idea at all. Darn.

    4. Penis art has been done. By men. So has vulva art -- by men. I think crafts are more the way to go. What about selling little head knitted caps on etsy?

  2. Carol, you may have gone off the deep end, but isn't that where the swimming's best? 8-)

    1. Ralf, I have never been afraid of swimming in the deep end. It's more a problem of finding someone who's brave enough to to there with me. ;-)

  3. I'm also not a fan of this piece. I agree that it is patronizing, and he just sounds kinda like a douche bag. (I don't think I've ever used that word before). I mean, seriously, why did he think he was in a "unique position" to "help" women with their vulva anxiety? What does he think he knows about women's anxiety? Why does he think he has that insight? It would be like if he had pictures of 400 people's eyeballs and said he was in a unique position to talk to everyone about the miracle of vision. It just ain't the same.

    And yes, it is nonsexual...because you're looking at plaster casts that you can't even tell what you're looking at. You know those toys that have all the little plastic pins that you put your hand or your face or whatever in, and then you see a print of that thing? (Like this: This project is like 400 of those little pin toy things, and we're supposed to think it's revolutionary.

    I did feel slightly validated about my douche bag assessment when I read about his other projects...including the one in which he took casts from his dead father. I mean, there's weird...and then...there's this guy.

    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one who was disturbed by this guy daring to educate women about our bodies. I too wondered why he was in such a unique position. Because he got a good deal on a bunch of Clone-a-Pussy kits?

      I didn't even think about those pin toys, but I see what you mean. They really do look like those! (I wish I'd thought of that.) Also, a guy I used to date had one of those, and I'll bet my handprint is still on it. He wasn't into housekeeping so much.