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.
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.)|
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?