Vagina and more
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Vagina warriors

Whether depicted as a kayak, a costume or a fruit, vaginas and their associated bits are fighting to be heard… These news flashes and more in this week’s Sex in the Press.

Kayak power

We’ve covered her before: the Japanese vagina artist known as Rokudenashiko or “Good-For-Nothing Girl”. In 2014, she was charged with obscenity for distributing data files that could be used to 3-D print her vulva.

“The arrest followed a crowdfunding campaign that helped Igarishi build a kayak shaped like her vulva and dubbed the ‘Pussy Boat’, which she rowed gleefully down a Tokyo river. Some backers were rewarded with vector files of her manko (Japanese slang for vagina). Igarishi’s past projects included vagina lampshades, a remote-controlled vagina car, and vagina smartphone cases,” according to ‘“Japan’s view of pussy is really weird”: vagina kayak artist releases manga memoir’.

She was found guilty and fined for distributing obscenity last month – the same month as Japan’s annual “Festival of the Steel Phallus”, which features a public sea of dicks.

“While this double standard is especially extreme in Japan, it’s easy to find, to varying degrees, around the world.”

The cover of Rokudenashiko’s book features “an outraged pink vagina figurine raising its fists in defiance” (pictured above).

Igarishi’s past projects included vagina lampshades, a remote-controlled vagina car, and vagina smartphone cases.

‘Vagactivism’

“A Brooklyn couple is making headlines for launching a new business venture in the costume industry: manufacturing Lycra and polyester tunics roughly designed to look like a white person’s vulva,” according to ‘What is the deal with this $149 vagina costume?’.

“Our intent is to draw attention to a topic that many people aren’t aware of,” said the creators who are giving $10 dollars for every vagina sold to an organization promoting women’s health around the world.

“Mic has filed this venture under ‘vagactivism’, which writer Nicolas DiDomizio calls ‘a delightful form of activism that champions women’s rights by destigmatizing and celebrating the vagina.’ So perhaps general genital pride is the idea – but that’s a dubious goal for a wearable stuffed animal that looks more like a hot dog than an actual vulva.”

Nice try.

You watch a hand slowly caresses its folds, eventually going in and causing a rush of juices to surge out in response.

Fruit revolutionary

Meanwhile, artist Stephanie Sarley makes highly realistic fruit art videos.

“In each video, a particular fruit – a blood orange here, a honeydew melon there – takes center stage, while a finger proceeds to sensually stroke and penetrate the sugary flesh. Despite the fact that you’re staring at a piece of citrus, you may feel a bit tingly as you watch a hand slowly caresses its folds, eventually going in and causing a rush of juices to surge out in response,” according to ‘You can start a small revolution just by drawing a vagina (NSFW)’.

“It’s important for me to portray that vaginas aren’t something to be ashamed of, protect, hide away or control,” says Sarley. “Vaginas are really important to me. That’s why I do all these split leg caricatures with all these cunts of different shapes and sizes. It’s just fun. It’s how I deal with all this bullshit women have to deal with on a daily basis.”

Right now everyone is turning a blind eye and pretending nothing is wrong.

Direct action

It can be argued that the vagina and its associated bits (the labia, vulva and clitoris) are stigmatised because old men in power are simply intimidated. These fears can help explain the global myth of toothed vaginas – which can perhaps be seen as the ultimate in vagina warriors.

“The myth of the vagina dentata (the “toothed vagina”) has served universally to perpetuate a morbid fear of women’s genitals,” according to ‘Vulvanomics: how we talk about vaginas’.

“And the threat of castration (more properly, perhaps, of amputation), although a fiction, can be used to justify the maiming of women’s bodies; to legitimise, or even to promote, practices such as FGM (female genital mutilation).”

The World Health Organization estimates that over 125 million women live with the after-effects of FGM “in the 29 countries in Africa and [the] Middle East where FGM is concentrated.”

Anti-FGM campaigner Jaha Dukureh – who was instrumental in recently getting the practice banned in the Gambia – hopes to end female genital cutting within a generation, according to ‘Time 100: FGM campaigner Jaha Dukureh makes prestigious list’.

“In every revolution one person has to stand up to be counted, then other people follow,” said Dukureh in an interview. “Right now everyone is turning a blind eye and pretending nothing is wrong – but once we stand up together, they won’t be able to ignore us any more.”

Even a kayak can make a difference.

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