In Her Pants

Forty years after the rise of feminist art, Seattle artist Lynn Schirmer discovers something shocking.

Comments

1

Surrounded as we are by phallic structures everywhere, I can only dream of penguin-shaped monuments boldly gracing the horizons.

2
Thank you Jen!
3
So...I just looked at The After Dinner Party, and I feel as though I need to go to the doctor with the photo and ask some questions.

I feel so dumb, suddenly, about my body.
4
When it comes to feminist art, I'm definitely more of a Guerrilla Girls fan. I mean, it seems like for the past decade, feminist culture has devolved into, "Hey, check out me displaying my tits on MY terms!" As if that is honestly possible. So I see this giant clitoris and while I understand the artist's intention (I think), the first thought I have is, "Oh yay, another body part of mine for everyone to ogle!" Sorry, I don't understand the mindset or empowerment that comes from this.

I think there's obviously a lot to be said about the ignorance/disinterest in women's sexual pleasure, especially among women, for sure. But is drawing a picture of the clitoris the most interesting way to do so?
5
Fuck Yeah!!!!!
6
Jen Graves is the awesomist part of The Stranger.
7
It was either an orchid or a clitoris.

I guess I'm right on both counts. ;-)
8
Just a note on that Tompkins who thinks something is missing in the depiction - some women actually do look like that... so it is not necessary that the artist Courbet screwed up when making 'The Origin of the World'!
9
I was guessing it was maybe something you could wear on your face... and I suppose I was sort of right...
10
Hooray for me. I knew exactly what it was on first inspection.

I make my wife proud.
11
I did know exactly what it was! And I have been mystified by purported "female anatomy" drawings all these years, because SO MUCH is missing from them.
12
The only specific problem with feminism, is that it only deals with the alpha male. Men who are ignored by women, can't get laid, left to drool over porn, etc, are left out of the picture. It's only a problem between women and the alpha-male archetype. I for one don't see anything provocative about this clitoris outline.
13
To me this article looks literally like this statement:

"When the will the alpha-male look at my clitoris, if ever?"
14
Why are males being accused by the way? I doubt most males really care what it looks like. After all, women get nose jobs if their noses are too big. In many cases, men don't care if a woman has a lot of cartilage in her nose. Men are generally accepting of noses, but women want them smaller. Maybe the women hid this from themselves?
15
@virginia mason. This is an incredibly well-drawn, well-researched anatomical depiction to illustrate an equally well-written article! How on earth do you jump from that to "Oh yay, another body part of mine for everyone to ogle!" Why does this picture mean that anyone is going to ogle YOUR clitoris. A. They'd need ultrasound and B. You'd have to get it out in the first place.

I have no idea what circles you move in, but I'm pretty sure that's not going to happen!
16
@virginia mason. This is an incredibly well-drawn, well-researched anatomical depiction to illustrate an equally well-written article! How on earth do you jump from that to "Oh yay, another body part of mine for everyone to ogle!" Why does this picture mean that anyone is going to ogle YOUR clitoris. A. They'd need ultrasound and B. You'd have to get it out in the first place.

I have no idea what circles you move in, but I'm pretty sure that's not going to happen!
17
Oops! I posted the comment above twice by mistake! I was confused by the "can't be the name of a registered user" message. Sorry!
18
#15, I was being facetious in response to the artist stating she wants to project the photo onto the sides of buildings and imprint its image onto hats.

Basically, I feel like by definition, feminist art should be provocative, and this piece just leaves me cold. Even the commenters who like it, including yourself, have had nothing to say about it other than "Oh neat!" I mean, if the best defense you have of a piece of art that you like is that it's "well drawn," could the artist have done more with it? Like one of the artists interviewed said, "It reminds me so much of the feminist art of the 70s." It's a new body part, maybe, but nothing new is being said.

As for @12's statement, I don't know where you got that information from, but having just come from Comic Con, I think I can tell you there's not much difference in the gender roles of the geek world. 90% of the girls/women in costume there were dressed like male fantasy objects, hoping to gain the approval of guys who could not even be bothered to put on deodorant. There were also panels of women talking about what it is like to be a female comic artist in a male-dominated genre.
19
I don't think that to find The Dinner Party offensive, "you have to find labia offensive"... you could find the conflation of a whole person with one body part offensive. You could find the juxtaposition of real and mythological women offensive, insofar as the real become mythologized. You could find the mode of display offensive: "I'm on a plate! Consume me!" The spectacle/speculum approach to the feminine seems invasive: too much like the creepy psychiatric and gynecological histories it ties to subvert. Especially when it targets women who are dead, and don't have a lot of say. Would Georgia O'Keefe really want her name next to a 3D vagina?
20
Meeza still thinks it looks like Jar-Jar.
21
Great article, Jen. Touché, Lynn. I’m still struggling to understand Lynn Schirmer’s fascinating work that we exhibited at CoCA Ballard last year. At least now, I get what’s going on at the After Dinner Party. Illustrating your point, Jen, I’m shocked (and humbled) to say I learned something here. But does the fact that there’s lots of beautifully shaped erectile tissue necessarily dethrone the sweet spot we’ve heretofore (if mistakenly) known as the clitoris? There’s lots of erectile tissue in the penis, too. But in most genders, hutongs of tender nerve endings tend to concentrate in very specific neighborhoods. Or so I’ve heard.
22
I'm surprised no one has pointed out that the fabled "g-spot" is very likely just the center of the clitoris.
23
I'm surprised no one has discovered that the fabled "g-spot" is very likely just the center of the clitoris, right in the middle of all those pokey-outy bits.
24
I found it moderately difficult to masturbate to his article. More Va-jay-jay diagrams.

If you want to get a woman's attention in Seattle, hold up a platinum card and a wad on benjamins while driving by in your SUV. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A SLEATER KINNEY BUMPER STICKER WHILE LEAVING WHOLE FOODS.
25
I found it moderately difficult to masturbate to his article. More Va-jay-jay diagrams.

If you want to get a woman's attention in Seattle, hold up a platinum card and a wad of benjamins while driving by in your SUV. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A SLEATER KINNEY BUMPER STICKER WHILE LEAVING WHOLE FOODS.