Well not mine actually – its just that I liked the headline. The Guardian’s article Me and My Vulva gave me pause for thought. And for the first time in a while encouraged me to put pen to paper.
Photographer Laura Dodsworth, in a book and accompanying film for Channel 4, tells the stories of 100 women and gender non-conforming people through portraits of their vulvas. How you can be “gender non-conforming” while in possession of a vulva is left unexplained. Perhaps because it is un-explainable?
Anyway it’s all very jolly and lest you are unclear exactly what a vulva is, fear not – many of the 100 vulvas so expertly photographed by Ms Dodsworth are displayed for all to see in the article. Bunched together, the group portrait looks rather like a Persian rug – all very geometric. And I shall resist the temptation to make the obvious jokes about rugs.
One of the motivations for the study appears to be that vulvas are not easy to look at. In the words of Ms Dodsworth “Let’s be honest, it’s tricky to witness our vulvas for ourselves, legs awkwardly astride pocket mirrors, bums shuffled up close to full-length mirrors, or taking a selfie with the unflattering lens of a smartphone.”
Much the same could be said of one’s bottom. Presumably she will be making a gender non-conforming follow up: “Me and My Rectum”? And perhaps a gender non-conforming male could make something similar? Although if he (it?) is gender non-conforming perhaps he could not be said to be male? How confusing! But just imagine the fun – you could have a quiz show and get prizes for guessing which rectum photos came from a non gender-conforming male and which from a non-gender conforming female.
Better still, Ms Dodsworth has collected “vulva stories” to accompany the photographs, some of which are reproduced in the Guardian.
I am shocked by none of this. Certainly not! Perhaps mildly amused best describes how I feel about this latest contribution to 21st century culture. Good old Guardian eh? Its not all communism and Cold War these days.
Womanhood: The Bare Reality is published by Pinter & Martin on 21 February; 100 Vaginas will air on Channel 4 on 19 February.