Every day, women hear language that dishonors their genitals and humiliates their sexuality. Common profanity, rife with gendered metaphors, makes it nearly impossible to curse without attacking the feminized body. In this landscape, sex has a clear winner and loser. The penetrator is always victorious over the penetrated.
From her first sexual experience, our language specifies that a woman is reduced. She is "deflowered". The church is no safe harbor, with its embrace of the female on a condition of impossibility. The idealized woman must exist in a perpetual state of reproductive virginity. Language is made manifest in violence and often enacted through the genitals. The social stigma of rape from society is the second act of violence.
Thus, a woman finds herself in a bind, unable to have a sexuality without losing her honor. Unable to inhabit her body without danger.
In this context, it comes as no surprise that the true anatomy of the clitoris, was proven in 1998, 29 years after a man walked on the moon. Indeed, one might say that the clitoris has yet to be discovered, as its complete form is unknown to almost everyone, including doctors. The clitoris is equivalent in scale to thepenis. Like an iceberg, most of the organ is internal. Like the penis, the clitoris is comprised of erectile tissue and an abundance of nerves, 8000 in the glans alone as compared with 3000 in the glans of the penis. The clitoris and the penis are homologous organs, both originating from the same embryonic tissue. The clitoris, not the vagina, is the female and sometimes non-binary and trans masculine sexual organ.
All female mammals have a clitoris. It is the only organ that exists solely for pleasure. By the logic of nature, pleasure is the clitoris' function and evolutionarily mandate.
If the phallic can function symbolically, so can the clitoris. As a signifier, the clitoris expresses a right to human thriving and those pursuits beyond mere survival: the arts, intellect, and pleasure. As a symbol, the clitoris upholds the dignity of those whose gender and sexuality has been weaponized against them, particularly women and queers.
For this series of sculptures, I worked with clay, a primary medium of art. This material served as the perfect vessel to communicate a fundamental truth of nature.