The Meaning Of My Flying Vulva Potholders, Sold Out

 

Flying Vulva Potholder, they’re sold out, but I will be making more.   for sale in my Etsy Shop.  Just click here

One day last week, the idea of the Flying Vulva came to me and I immediately knew it was a powerful image.

At the time, I couldn’t articulate why, besides that the wings were obviously a symbol of  freedom.

I knew enough about the stylized  and symbolic images of vulva’s from seeing them represented in the ancient Goddess culture.  To make the image my own, I looked at photographs of vulva’s.

I think what surprised me the most was that it made me realize that I haven’t seen a lot of vulva’s in photographs or in person. (After seeing “Fried Green Tomatoes”  I did look at my vagina in a mirror, but hadn’t thought about doing it before then)  It’s true that unlike breasts and penises they’re hidden, but I was actually surprised to see how different vulva’s can be from one another.  It just seemed to me like I should have known that.

Seeing the pictures of vulva’s I was immediately reminded of the images of  Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Our Lady of Guadalupe

I saw the  clitoris as her head and the clitoral hood her shawl.  She’s surrounded by labia and her red dress  is the vaginal opening.

I used the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe to help inform my drawing.   I made the clitoris a  golden spiral (an ancient symbol of energy found all over world).   And the whole vulva is nestled in the pubic triangle which the wings sprout from.

Once I came up with the image of what the Flying Vulva would look like, I could see that the idea of the Vulva having freedom could be interpreted in different ways.

There’s the freedom of a woman to have control over her own body. There’s sexual freedom.  The freedom of orgasm.  Which for a woman, most often occurs by stimulating the clitoris (a part of the vulva)  and not during  sex involving the penis and vagina.

This idea is at the heart of Female Genital  Mutilation (FGM).

In some cultures, parts of the vulva are cut and removed so  men can still have intercourse with woman and women can still bear children, but sex is no longer pleasurable and is often painful.

It comes from the belief that there’s something dirty, disgusting or amoral about a woman’s body and her enjoying sex.

Of course a woman or girl doesn’t need the threat of cutting off  her genitals for this attitude to prevail. We’ve done it in our society though our beliefs and attitudes toward women.

I saw it  very clearly on my Facebook page and in the comments on my blog when I first posted a picture of my Flying Vulva.

The Flying Vulva is personal and political.

For me it’s a symbol of this new wave of feminism I see happening around me.  Where women have a voice  not as a woman trying to fit into a  man’s world, but as a woman bringing what it means to be a woman into that world.  Changing that system to adjust to her point of view too.

It’s already happened in places like the Me Too Movement and women Senators being able to breast feed their babies on the floor of the Senate during votes.

I see it happening in all the women who are running for political office this year.  And I see it happening in all the small businesses that are run by women.

I even see it in the  Co-op in my small Upstate NY town of Cambridge, where the managers position is held by two women, who work collaboratively, each trusting the other to do what they do best. They don’t need a King who supposedly has all the answers and they don’t want to be the Queen either.

And what a perfect vehicle the Potholder is for this symbol. The potholder in the tradition of Women’s Work,  to remind us of our everyday power.

This is where my Flying Vulva came from.

I have 8 Flying Vulva Potholders for sale in my Etsy Shop.  They’re $25 each + shipping.

I have 8 Flying Vulva Potholders for sale in my Etsy Shop.   My Flying Vulva Potholders are sold out, but I will be making more.  They’re $25 each + Shipping.  You can see them all and buy them here or by clicking on the big orange Etsy Icon on the top of my blog.

18 thoughts on “The Meaning Of My Flying Vulva Potholders, Sold Out

  1. I love the way you are expressing women’s freedom to be sexual beings and enjoy it. You represent this new women’s movement in artist terms so well. Thank you for letting women be proud of their sexuality and not ashamed of it.

  2. I love the strength and beauty of your flying vulva image! Thank you for putting this powerful feminine energy out into the world.

  3. Okay, I agree with you on the political stuff, and the artistic stuff. Genital mutilation is horrible and I will have nightmares now that you brought it up. I’m pleased that the potholders are selling so well. But I just thought of the handle of a cast iron skillet scorching that potholder vulva, and I’m pretty sure I should not attempt to sleep at all tonight.
    Art is not a pretty business, is it?

  4. When I first saw these I was like “wow!” My face reddened. Then I thought “of course”! I felt like I knew what you were saying. Then I read this and I was right. I love this and the freedom it conveys. Women need to love every part of themselves and the vulva is powerful in so many ways. Nothing to be embarrassed about at all! Something to be proud of! Awesome!

  5. I love how you describe your reaction Anne. And I’m so glad I was able to relay my feeling and that you got what I’m saying. means a lot to me.

  6. Oh Mary Jean, I can so understand why your mind went there. I have to say, I never thought of that. I think at another point in my life I would have. But it’s true what you say, Art is not always pretty. Sorry about the nightmares, too. I so get that. All of that is actually one of the reasons I find this image so important and powerful. For me it’s the opposite of the nightmares. It’s taking back my own thoughts and beliefs and making them mind instead of what I’ve learned up to this point.

  7. It’s interesting to read the reactions of folks, all women so far and all positive, on your post compared to the reactions on Jon’s post on flying Vulvas. There some men posted positively and some women were very negative. Just saying…

  8. Maria, I love them! I have not always loved that part of my body, and as I have aged, loving any part of my body is getting difficult. But looking at this art, I can smile and think how liberating it is to have that wonderful imagery of freedom. And, your reference to the movie Fried Green Tomatoes, made me think of another wonderful phrase that was used to bolster the womanly spirit,”Awww.TOWANDA”

  9. BRAVO! And now I suggest you tackle the issue and sexualization of nipples. We have made visible nipples shameful and embarassing, so much so that women agonize over what to wear so they won’t show. we wear uncomfortable bras and sweaters when it is too hot just to cover up the nipple…because everyone associates a hard nipple with sex, instead of cold. You can make a potholder set; one vulva and one set of nipples! 🙂

  10. Wow Jen, I have to admit that’s not something I’ve thought of before in that way. Like there was something to be done about it. Thanks for bringing it up. I’m going to be thinking about that…..

  11. It is interesting Marcia. I did get some negative reactions on Facebook and in email, but even then, after a discussion most of the women were seeing the other side of it. I know Jon and I share many readers, but he also has many I don’t have and a much larger following on Fb.

  12. Your Flying Vulvas are delightful! Women and girls need positive images like these. Thank you.

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