One exclamation point per customer, please.
But I’m glad you brought this up. As luck would have it, I am the world’s foremost bottle historian.
Let’s suppose that when you say “bottles are totally phallic!!!!”, you mean what most people mean these days when they say “bottles are totally phallic!!!!”, which is that bottles appear to share the relative exterior dimensions of (those of you who identify as wymyn, look away, quick) throbbing weeners.
I propose that this interpretation of bottle symbology is a product of misogynist dudelio-normative culture. I futher propose that weener supremacy in the collective unconscious invisibly and insidiously aligns women’s responses to phallic mythology with those of the dominant paradigm, thus producing both inaccurate bottle metaphors and an oppressed sex class.
Consider the typical bottle. Its cylindrical shape is the exemplar of form following function. Such bottles as might be described as “phallic” are of a circumference complementary to the radius of a human grip; once this dimension has been established by trained bottle engineers, the height of the Y-axis is merely a function of the volume of liquid to be contained. The overwhelming majority of bottles are not designed specifically to recall the phallus, and it is hard to imagine, say, a Heinz ketchup bottle as imbued with the massive force of male generative might.
If we must go around assessing the similarity of common objects to human genitalia — which practice I would discourage if only for the subversive gratification that inheres in trend-bucking — I, viewing the object in terms, not of the default male human, but of the default spinster aunt, would argue that bottles are much more accurately interpreted as vaginal symbols. Particularly in the ideal sense, since some bottles — for example, the Crown Royal whiskey bottle, or those amber bottles that druggists, giving uniform satisfaction, used to fill with a little cotton and a lot of opiates — cannot properly be regarded as phallic at all. However, all bottles, in order to be bottles, must surround cavities.
Yet this vaginal interpretation, though more deft, svelte, and apt, is disallowed in the popular imagination. That’s because the popular imagination is grievously constrained by the brute force of one of patriarchy’s most ignominious minions. That’s right. I allude to psychoanalytic theory.
‘Phallic symbols’ — that is, objects onto which the terrible awesome power of the conceptual phallus is projected by bastard Freudian/Lacanian dilettantes as justification for dudely supremacy — are on my last nerve. Whenever some dude gazes benevolently upon the Hancock building and sees this “master signifier” — as he was encouraged to do by his stoned freshman psych T.A. — not merely as gendered, but as a mirror image of himself, my obstreperal lobe sprouts a new blister. Likewise, when some bedheaded rocker straps on a Les Paul, leaps onto a stage, and treats the guitar as a musical sperm donor: same thing, but in this case my butt cheeks clench up, too.
In other words, until somebody comes up with a way to prove the efficacy of Freudian theory, which is contingency is remote, since Freud famously and completely ignores female sexuality except when he contrives to “explain” it in terms of such bogus shit as “castrated identity” and “penis envy,” I’m gonna call it antifeminist booger chips. If a vegan may invoke boogers.
Phallic symbols, except when identified within excruciating scholarly 20th century texts, no longer have anything but B-list cocktail-party-calibre meaning; they’re just excuses for dudes with arrested development to see sex — either their own hetero dude sex or their own homo dude sex — everywhere they look, and to point it out, and to crack jokes about it, and to remind you and themselves that the collective phallus owns your ass.
Because let’s face it, when it comes to genital mythology, all you got is vagina dentata, and no government ever built a monument to glorify that, so it kind of pales in comparison to the prick-power of Washington Monument or that stupid German smokestack with the word “DICK” painted on it that boys think is so hilarious.
Of course, you are a product of our vulgar dudelio-centric culture, and I will not blame you (although I will die a little inside) if, whenever you see a bottle of grapefruit juice, you instantly fixate on dongs.
Not only won’t I blame you, but I’ll throw in a bonus: as a newly born-again evangelical pro-life activist, I absolutely won’t pray for you, either. No need to thank me, for, as you may have heard, the new evangelical pro-life position is that we don’t worship non-existent ghosts anymore. We also accept that the universe is constantly expanding, that humans evolved from sponges, and that compulsory pregnancy strips away women’s personal autonomy, a condition we consider unjust and inhumane. Vive la revolution!