By Susie Moloney
Women and girls made some great gains in 2013. Most notably Alice Munro, the 13th woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Yet, she wasn't the only one making us cheer! Oh no! We had Wendy Davis, who literally stood up for the women in Texas. Her effect was so powerful they changed a law so that no more Wendy Davises could do that ever again. Hm. Maybe that wasn't so good. And how about that Malala Yousafzai, the young girl who was shot in the name of education for women, she stood up too—and became an inspiring international symbol of how incredibly lazy and unresponsive the rest of us are in the face of global oppression. General Motors has its first ever woman CEO. And Jennifer Lawrence. Ah, Jennifer Lawrence.
But it was also The Year of Weird. Vagina knitting, burger napkins for beauty, fake penises in our panties for safety, rape-prevention underwear, and vaginas. So many vaginas.
I give you, a recap of Weird for Women 2013:
In 2013 We Definitely Had Vaginas
This was a good year for the Vagina. Vaginas were omnipresent in art, literature, theatre and music. She came out of hiding and really put herself out there, you could say, this was the year that the vagina Leaned In. Art gave us some of the greatest celebrations of our lady parts. In fact, The Year of the Vagina could easily be summed up with this particularly overwhelming work of art: The Great Wall of Vagina.
Nearly 30 feet long, 400 vaginas strong, it is truly a Great Wall of Vaginas. Brought to the world by American artist Jamie McCartney, The Great Wall is a series of 3D vaginas. Models ranged in age from 18 to 78, and each piece (ha) was made using an adapted scanner, giving you that HD quality than one expects from great vagina art. The artist says, “For many women their genital appearance is a source of anxiety and I was in a unique position to do something about that.” Hm. Do vaginas cause us girls all that much anxiety? I think there's a list of GOP, however, who might need to experience the “ ... humour and spectacle ...” Perhaps if they see how very friendly a Great Wall of Vaginas look, they won't be so quick about regulating them.
Note: McCartney is also the artist of Pussy Cat. Don't look. Really. Don't look.
More in vagina art...was Casey Jenkins who, in a 28-day performance piece, knit a scarf (was it a scarf?) from skeins of wool that she daily inserted into her lady purse. That was pretty cool. She knit through a whole cycle, which you can track through the rows. It was weird. It was cool. It was also hypnotic and calming. Jenkin's voice is soothing. I bet it tickled.
What We Did With Those Vaginas
We had orgasms. While reading books.
While technically “Hysterical Literature,” a video performance series created by NYC photographer and filmmaker Clayton Cubitt, began in 2012 went crazy viral in 2013. There are eight videos to date, each featuring a woman and a book, and unseen, a vibrator-wielding “assistant,” under the reading table. The model reads a book out loud while being systematically distracted by what's going on under the table. It goes like this: there's some initial giggling and wiggling. Then a little more. Then a little more—Masters & Johnson laid out the actual steps—and then a little more until it's all over.
It's actually a little like a book—long boring parts, and then it gets really good at the end.
This Is Probably Not Beauty
Japan, long a leader in fashion, has come up with the ultimate fashion accessory in 2013—a burger wrapper that hides your fat ugly mouth so no one can see you enjoying a delicious, juicy cheeseburger. Developed by a burger-and-fries chain Freshness Burger, they see it as an answer to their all-consuming problem of getting women to eat their classic burger dubbed “the big one.” This is the antithesis of what men are usually trying to get women to eat, albeit, it's usually an exaggeration.
The “Liberation wrapper,” is a fold of paper that fits over the burger, a corner of which rises up over the centre of the female diner, liberating her big ugly mouth to consume nutritionally dubious food. Apparently in Japan, it is preferable for a woman to have something called "ochobo mouth," essentially, a small mouth. Likely one capable of few complaints or suggestions that it might be time for a feminist movement in that country. It's spanx for the face, hiding the bigness. Helpfully, the chain has a pretty set of eyes and nose printed on the wrapper so that other diners can tell it's a lady eater, without being able to tell that her big fat talky mouth is open, possibly getting ready to say something.
Further in That's Not Beauty:
They photoshopped Jennifer Lawrence. Ugh. And the CEO of Lululemon thinks you're too fat for his yoga pants.
This is Probably Not the Answer to Rape Culture
In 2013 news that is not only weird, but uncomfortable, we are now entirely responsible for our own rape prevention. Thankfully, the Anti-rape Industrial Complex has been formed to help us keep men out of our pants.
Those wacky Thais--what with their famous sex tourism (with many consumers coming from the West) and all--have come up with a boner (ha! That'll be even funnier in a second) invention to ward off the steamy gaze of uncontrollable, rapey men. What is it? It's a fake penis, built right into your underwear! It's quite a large one, too, so there's no subtly involved. There is no mistaking that you've got an huge penis inside those trippy little capri pants, those short-shorts, even that mini-skirt. And more importantly—you can go ahead and wear the tight, short, revealing clothes, because the very sight of your enormous dick sticking straight up, straining at the fashionably narrow waistband of said garments, is more than enough to ward off the sexual feelings of ravenous men everywhere!
Oh god, please, watch the here, and yup, they met their goal.
I predict that 2014 will not have a Great Wall of Penises. Or underwear that he can't remove when he wants to rape someone. Or a wrapper to keep his big fat mouth shut.
Happy New Year!
Photo: © dreamerve - Fotolia.com