Dankprofessor’s Weblog

A weblog examining sexual politics in higher education and beyond.

“Vag Club” depicts giant vagina at Harvard

The Harvard’s College Women’s Center is presenting an art exhibition which focuses on body issues. The Harvard Crimson reported that the “largest piece in the show is an over-sized photograph of a vagina, complete with pubic hair and a manifesto. The work, entitled “The Vag Club,” connects final clubs to the vulva and is just one of the many works that illuminates how art can address social issues at Harvard.”The dankprofessor was not surprised to learn that of all the art exhibited, “The Vag Club” has received by far the most attention. In fact, it is apparently quite difficult to avoid. As the Harvard Crimson reports-

“The Vag Club,” for instance, is not a reiteration of hackneyed sentiments about the body. As people walked by the over-sized photograph of a vagina, they expressed shock, enthusiastic approval, and understanding. Jenna M. Mellor ’08, who created the piece in response to an assignment for Visual and Environmental Studies 65: “Tactics-Art, Politics and Performance,” admits that she wanted her work to border on absurdity. “Vaginas do not always treat vaginas nicely. In fact it seems as though vaginas hate vaginas,” one manifesto statement reads. “Non vaginas promise to bring the vagina lots of wet vaginas with big tits,” another asserts. These strong declarations help elicit the reflective reactions that the artist had intended.

“I was shocked to see a vagina that big in my face. It’s not something that we’re used to seeing,” says Natasha Alford ’08, who calls “The Vag Club” her favorite piece. “But as somebody who frequents final clubs, I never really made that explicit connection, how body and spaces are connected. It was really thought-provoking.”

The “Vag Club” manifesto creates a linkage between the Harvard elite final clubs with their very restrictive membership which is sex segregated and predominantly male to the very restrictive policies regarding entry into vaginal space. As the Harvard Crimson puts it: “Both are exclusive sites to which access is desired by many but granted to few.”

However, it is unclear as to how far “The Vag” manifesto wishes to take this comparison. There has been much opposition to the sex segregation as practiced by the Harvard final clubs and some discard these final clubs as archaic fraternal organization, or to put it more bluntly, they are fraternities wrapping themselves in a pseudo-sophisticated rhetoric. In other words, final clubs should be demystified and discarded.

If one takes the vaginal comparison seriously then one could argue that vaginas should be demystified and be open to pedestrian entry. If such be the case, “Vag Club” art and/or manifesto is not really needed since pornography often effectively functions to demystify and pedestrian vaginal entry is considered to be axiomatic in the porn world.

—–
If you wish, you can write to me directly at dankprofessor@msn.com
Guest commentaries should also be submitted for consideration
to the same email address.

Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessorTM
© Copyright 2008

Advertisements

March 13, 2008 - Posted by | ethics, feminism, Harvard University, higher education, pornography, sex, sexual politics

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: