“Maria, since your Vulva Potholders I have been seeing them (vulva, not potholders] everywhere! This is an antique botanical painting of Indigofera Tinctoria.”
This was the message I got, with the photo of the antique botanical painting, from Karen.
Vulva’s do seem to be in so many places in nature, beside women’s bodies.
When I looked at this botanical, I thought of some of the women and men who saw my potholders and decals as disgusting. I wondered if they would think this flower disgusting or shameful.
And then I wondered what the difference is.
All I could come up with is our history of seeing women’s bodies as something to be admired and ashamed of, at the same time.
Last night on the way home from Bellydancing I heard an interview on the radio with golfer and writer, Anya Alvarez. She wrote an article about how women professional athletes have a different dress code and standards then men.
“… we also see this happening in society where women are told to be feminine but don’t be too provocative because you don’t want to sexualize yourself too much. But then they’re also being put in positions where they feel like they do have to sexualize themselves. So they’re constantly walking this tightrope and being criticized from all different directions no matter what they do.”
It didn’t occur to me when I made my Flying Vulva Decals that some women wouldn’t want to put them on their cars or in other public places. But I’m seeing that many people don’t feel comfortable with this statement of women’s freedom and power.
I think some of the confusion comes from just what Alvarez is talking about. Walking that tightrope of wanting to be who we are, and express ourselves freely, but feeling like we don’t want to “over do it”. We don’t want to be “one of those women.”
Joan told me that as much as she likes what my Flying Vulva stands for, she sees it as divisive. Putting it on her car could be polarizing from her neighbors who may feel differently.
I think this speaks directly to the climate of our country, and our increasing inability to have open and civil discussions about the things we disagree about.
My Flying Vuvla also makes some people uncomfortable because it’s a representation of a woman’s sex organ.
But really, it’s far from an anatomically correct image of a vulva. For one thing, it has wings!
To me it’s a beautiful and powerful symbol. In the same vein as the ancient goddess art found on pottery and in statue form all over the world. Except that my Flying Vulva is of our time, incorporating the feminist movements of the past hundred and fifty years or so.
In her message to me on Etsy after buying a Flying Vulva Decal and Potholder , Anne wrote….”Finally I’m getting the flying vulva decal and potholder. Maybe I needed courage to do it? I am just drawn to the power in this.”
Yes, it takes courage to stand up for what you believe in. It takes courage to tell our truth and put it out into the world.
My Flying Vuvla is not an attack on anyone. It’s a statement of women’s freedom,strength and power, in a world where women have been seen and treated as less then men instead of as equal human beings.
I’m curious to know how you feel? Would you put a Flying Vulva Decal on your car or somewhere else in your home? (Lori is putting it in her kitchen window). Do you see it as an empowering symbol or something else?
I’ve already had some very civil and interesting conversations with people I agree and disagree with, I’d love to have more…..