Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Feminists and Phalluses

While Feminists like to complain about representations of female bits being used in art and advertising, the Skyy Vodka advertisement previously discussed is the only mention of a phallic symbol on the National Organization for Women's website.  Phallic symbols not only feature in advertising, but also represent important emblems of national pride.  For example, our national phallus in Washington, D.C.

Barcelona's Torre Agbar

And, of course, the inimitable Gherkin of London

As an April Fool's Day prank, The Local carried a satirical article about French Feminists groups wanting to remove or modify the Eiffel Tower.

Feminists Want 'Phallic' Eiffel Tower Torn Down
...“For too long we have lived under the shadow of this patriarchal monstrosity," she said. "Every day, women in this city are forced to glare up at the giant metal penis in the sky. It may be good for tourism but as long as it stands there, France will never have 'egalit√©'."
“Since 1889, women have been forced to gaze up at this example of French industrial machismo and colonial arrogance,” said Caster.
The movement led by Caster has been dubbed 'Occoupez Le Tour', a French play on words meaning both ‘Occupy’ and ‘Cut off’ the Tower.
...Although feminist groups all agree that the tower is an outdated symbol of male dominance, not all are calling for it to be torn down. A rival movement under the banner "Tour pour Tous" (Tower for all) are calling for major renovations to change the design of the tower to make it more female friendly.
'Tour pour Tous' have already drafted in architects to design a new tower which would see the base altered to become rounder and a cross bar built between level two and level three of the tower...
The new look tower wold be given the more female-friendly name 'Le Tour Eiffelle'.

This brilliant parody does cause one to wonder: given that Feminists are so squeamish about lady bits being used in art and advertising, then why aren't Feminists similarly distraught over phallic symbols, particularly in cases where such symbols dominate a landscape, draw large numbers of tourists, and serve as sources of national and patriarchal pride?   Is it because phalli are not a feature of female anatomy, and no sexual objectification of females is perceived: which places the objects outside of Feminist jurisdiction and sphere of concern?  Perhaps their own sense of national pride, or their awe of majestic phalli, overrides their worries about sexual objectification and patriarchal oppression?  Or, could there have been something to Sigmund Freud's theories, and, on some level, it is penis envy which somehow prevents the Feminists from expressing outrage and indignation?

Thailand has numerous holy sites where phallic objects are prominent features.  Perhaps the best known is Bangkok's Chao Mae Tuptim Shrine.

Phalli also figure eminently in Bhutanese worship

And, Japan has its famous Penis Festival

The women in the crowd don't seem to be the list bit upset.  The reaction of most men, and perhaps at least non-Feminist women, would be something along the lines of: "Oooh, look! Penises!"

So, why should Feminists get so uptight about presentations of lady bits?

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