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Aug 16 2009

Another amateur pornographer deludes self he’s an artiste

This amateur pornographer, known on the website Deviantart.com as “Pelicanh,” snaps photos of naked ladies, stands back, basks in it, and calls it art. Furthermore, he puts it on the World Wide Web and gets thousands of hits a day. Furthermore, he is eager to demonstrate to his followers his superiority in the field of female genital identification (though he obviously can make no claims in the ellipsis or the ALL CAPS or the insertion-of-too-many-letters-in-the-word-way departments). To wit:

“Anyone taking even a casual stroll through my gallery will see a lot of pussy photos. Let’s just call them what they are, OK? NO….they are NOT photos of “vaginas” – learn your anatomy, people.

I’d LOVE it if there was a sweet and endearing name for them, ya know. “Pussy” sounds pretty “Playboy-ish” to me but it is the best I can do because it ISN’T a vagina photo and that sounds waaaaayyy too medical to me anyway. There are at least a billion names for that part of a woman’s anatomy but that’s not what this journal is about. SO – get over it, I’m gonna call it a pussy.”

Well, sure, you’re a pornographer. This means you think “pussy” is “anatomy.” But even if you didn’t, obviously you’d have to call it “pussy,” since degrading women and telling them to “get over it” is one of the Inalienable Rights of Man.

However, were you not a wart on the corn-hole of Dude Nation, you might know the difference between a pejorative slur and actual nomenclature, or possibly even that vagina is not a “medical” term. It might also dawn on you that a “sweet, endearing name for them” would be useful only to you and your efforts to distract their owners, through some kind of phony sympathetic display, from the fact that you are a dehumanizing, exploitative prick. “That part of a woman’s anatomy” has already got a name, pencil-dick.

Anyway, this Pelican guy, in an essay titled, apparently without irony, “Pussies – Art or Porn!!??”, reveals that his life’s most cherished dream is to release nude models from their self-imposed prison of vulvular self-doubt. See, he has taken a poll on the subject. He is “saddened” to find that nude models invariably aver that they consider to be ugly the body part to which he alludes as “pussy.” Their views on the matter have apparently induced in these models a certain reluctance to flip him the wide open beaver on demand.

Unacceptable! Pelicanh vows magnanimously to take matters into his own hands, to educate these tragically deluded women on the subject of the “beauty” of their “pussies,” presumably for the betterment of all womankind, but in reality so he can persuade more of them to give it up for the camera.

I set myself a small mission to MAKE people look at them, accept them, see the beauty.

Make people look at pussy! What a noble mission! Because men usually experience such difficulty looking at pictures of naked women on the internet. Pelicanh has undoubtedly secured himself a spot on the short list for the Nobel Peace Prize for his dedicated work in this field.

A vulva, according to Pelicanh, can be one of two things:

1. Beautiful art, or
2. Porn.

It doesn’t occur to old Pelicanh that a vulva might have aspirations that rise above being photographed by some perv for public display on his perv web page, where viewers are “made” to look at “beauty.” Aspirations, for example, that do not involve complicity in dudely “art” projects, dudely perceptions of “beauty,” or perpetual availability for pornsick voyeurism. A vulva might want to just hang around. Hit the links. Go to a museum. Menstruate. Enjoy a taco. Chillax on the chaise with a marg and a copy of I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew.

The “It’s beautiful so it’s art, not porn” argument always hilarifies me. Haw!

What could it be about a vulva that makes it the universal Holy Grail of a certain species of male shutterbug? Why must these vulgar specimens insist on its unique “beauty” when, in fact, a vulva is precisely as “beautiful” as an elbow or a nostril? Why do they so vociferously declaim that they are not pornographers even though their “work” depends entirely on the gross imbalance of power between dudes and women, specifically on flattening women into 2-dimensional sex graphics?

I’ll tell you. When a dude photographer snags a beaver shot, he snags a trophy. Boo-ya. A photograph of a disembodied vulva is not, as is one of an elbow or a nostril, a politically or socially neutral concept. It is the graphic representation of the universal belief that women = sex, and a symbol of male dominance in a rape culture. And naturally it is customary, in the world of oppressive human endeavor, to imagine that beauty attends that endeavor, so that one may justify the oppression.

In the continuum of pervy sexist tools, dude photographers stand alone at the pinnacle of sleaze.

[Thanks, Windswept. I think.]

66 comments

1 ping

  1. Valerie M

    Great post – thanks Jill!

  2. wiggles

    I looked. That’s just generic porn. I could see an argument about depicting female genitalia in an O’Keefe type fashion and normalizing vulvas that aren’t brazillioned and labiaplastied, though I’d be highly suspicious of that argument, especially coming from a dude. But that’s not even what this is. What he’s calling “pussies” or “vaginas” are entire women. Arch-backed, pouty-faced, S&M-booted, pornulated women. Guy has to be all kinds of delusional to think he’s doing anything remotely out of the ordinary.

  3. ambivalent academic

    *GACK!!* I wish that I had something more intelligent to contribute here but I think reading that dood’s argument just cost me a few brains cells. Hopefully not an entire lobe, but I’ll wait to assess the damage when I’m done puking.

  4. virago

    Well, I didn’t see any pussy. I went to the guy’s website, and all I saw was a picture of an asshole under the name Pelicanh-Michael Helm. That was ugly enough!

  5. Kristyn

    You are entirely full of correct statements, as usual.

    I would like to add only one fact, which is one that I find very curious: the fact that a whole shit-tonne of presumably hetero guys think that vulvas are, in fact ‘uuuuggg-ly’!

    Back when I was younger and trying to get my poetry published, I unfortunately hang out with a lot of young male poets, a lot of the time. As all male poets believe themselves to be Beat writers incarnate (and a lot of shitbags THOSE guys were), this was a very painful but very eye-opening experience.

    The most common subject of discussion among these young men was, of course, their hatred, fear, and disdain of women, and the most common theme in that vein was their hatred of ‘the pussy’. (At best, the more ‘sensitive’ would refer to it as a ‘vagina’, never ‘vulva.’)
    Chalk it up to the vagina dentata myth, as one such dudebag did, or whatever, these guys seriously feared vulvas, calling them ugly and stinky and hairy and bleedy and oh dear so very, very -inhuman.-

    Since most of these fellows got laid on a pretty regular basis, with a revolving string of disposable, ostensibly ‘counterculture’ female fuckbots, I had a bit of trouble imagining how they handled it. Probably they felt the way I did when I had to deal with bratwurst, which is to say dirty, frightened, and revolted.

    But oh gourd, if I were to point out that dicks, cocks, penises, were also rather strange and icky body parts, they would flip their nuts. Dear God, not the cock! Not the rod! Not the sacred embodiment of their privilege! Not their, quite literal, godhead! The cock, apparently, is beautiful.

    Dan Savage, that same asshole who suggested that men might stop shooting women to death en masse if more bitches would just put out more often, has said something along the same lines on multiple occasions. At least he has the (flimsy, inexcusable) excuse of being openly gay.

  6. Notorious Ph.D.

    Well, without signing up with my own password for the “deviant art” site, I was blocked from seeing the pictures themselves. But I do note that the two galleries he has up besides “artistic nudes”** are “emotive” and “fetish.”

    Of course.

    **I suppose that, as a real artist, he has to label his work as “artistic” in case us rubes don’t get him.

  7. Jill

    Being gay is no excuse for anything.

    Signed,
    Jill
    Gay person

  8. Agasaya

    A lot of this crap appears to hearken back to male fears of their holy grail, the vagina. They want it but fear to have their precious protuberance swallowed by it (as if we wouldn’t return it intact). Many straight men act as if it were loathsome in its other aspects as anything other than a receptacle.

    We can live quite nicely without shmucks like this guy (a German/Yiddish term for penis, BTW) ‘defending’ the beauty of the vulva. If you’re afraid of it dude, choose another venue for your pleasure and spare some woman your ambivalence, not to mention your undoubtedly painful fumbling to avoid unnecessary contact with that ‘loathsome appliance’.

  9. humanbein

    The fantasy isn’t that dudes think their dicks are beautiful, it’s that they think women are entranced and caused to become violently aroused by the sight of these dicks. Any straight guy can openly assert his disgust at the sight of dangling balls and turtle-like protuberances between another guy’s legs; nota bene that our amateur pornographer doesn’t feel the need to assert anything at all about penises. It’s hearing the slightest criticism from a member of the sex class of the alpha and omega of sexual desire – the rampant male dink – that causes the instant wilting that bedevils them so.

    The constant porn viewing most males indulge in gives them at least a certain level of comfort with the vulvar regions that might not be shared by women less inclined to stare in a hypnotic stupor while masturbating at a stranger’s nether parts. It is this level of comfort that this deluded fool hopes to instill in women. It all boils down to “Why aren’t women insatiably sexualized like men?”, the most common male mystery about the opposite sex.

  10. Felicity

    It fails to surprise me that dudes like this loon try to find ultimate peaceful beauty in a VAGINA. There we said it in its non- objectifying terminology, so have a cry!

    May the rest of dude nation follow your gracious lead!!!

  11. Kristyn

    Dear Jill,

    I know. What I meant, and said in too flippant a way, is,

    At least Mr Savage probably never comes close to an actual unclothed vulva. Women of the world rejoice.

    However, and sadly, there is evidently an embittering trend whereby a small but significant number of gay guys really hate vulva, even though they never personally have to actually sexually interact with or so much as look at vulvas; and best of all these dudes don’t mind talking about their vulva-hatred … really loudly … all the time … at gay bars and other LGTBQI gatherings where lesbians, transmen, and other human beings with vulvas are presumably present and welcome.

    Oh wait. We’re present, but really not welcome, anywhere. ‘Why can’t we just all get along?’ is a just an endearingly naive hippie cry when it comes to the be-dicked and the un-dicked in P-world.
    We know who to blame. I’m sorry if you thought I was blaming us.

    Hugs,

    K
    A dykey dyke

  12. Dolly

    That guy drives me crazy… him and a whole lotta other dude-photographer/artists/cartoonists (*cough* sexist assholes *cough*) on DeviantArt. They’ve carved out a special “objectification of women = art” niche for themselves, and claim they’re being all “edgy” and “progressive” when objectifying women in art has been the trend for, oh, as long as patriarchy has thrived. And if you don’t like their work, you’re just a prude or too stupid to understand their complexmastergeniussuperartsyManbrilliance. Pelicanh’s also been guilty of the, “I just find women’s bodies more attractive than men’s, so that’s why I only photograph women.” Of course, if that were the case, you’d see him photographing a range of body colors and sizes, wouldn’t you? And maybe with clothes on, doing things that don’t involve sucking lollipops or hanging upside down. But what am I talking about? My va–oops, “pussy” makes my head confused and I can’t appreciate good “art.”

    (First time commenter, long time reader. Great post, Jill)

  13. sam

    “these guys seriously feared vulvas, calling them ugly and stinky and hairy and bleedy”

    Like being blonde has no relation to women’s intelligence, I think this sort of overt vagina-hatred has its origins in misogyny finding a socially acceptable outlet more than anything truly about the physicality of vaginas.

    It’s socially improper to say ask if someone wants to hear a dumb woman joke, so they call it a dumb blonde joke and pretend it’s not really misogyny and those jokes are okay to tell in public. It’s improper to speak openly of hating women and considering them animalistic and inferior, so misogynists can pour all that sexist hate into an “objective” discussion of an innocent body part that just kinda happens to only belong to women.

  14. nails

    Whenever dudes try to make women feel ‘beautiful’ they manage to talk down to them the whole time.

    The kind I hate the most is the “men like curves” talk whenever any woman in the media gets too skinny to be of sexual use to most dudes. As if the way dudes think we should feel is a replacement for the way that women actually feel. Not to mention that most would not hesitate to make fun of women who are completely average in size, just as I am sure pelican dude would freak upon trying to photograph an unpornified vulva.

  15. larkspur

    Jeebus. I remember it was like a million years ago, and I was just a youngster, and trying to figure things out. I was a fledgling feminist, but all confused about what that meant and why it still seemed really important to keep up the daily deceptions, like (for example) how embarrassing it would be if everyone knew you had your period right at that moment. Because they would picture your netherbits, and drip drip drip, and in all of the known universes, as far as I could tell, that was icky and totally, disgustingly womanish.

    One day I was talking with one of the first out lesbians I’d ever met, and we were sort of friends. (She was a feminist too, no doubt about it, but damn she was smart, and impatient, and could get very annoyed with a lot of the doctrinaire posturing that went on back then before some of y’all were even born. She absolutely refused to follow any party line. I haven’t seen her in going on 35 years.) Anyway, I got up my courage and asked her how she dealt with body issues, and self-acceptance, and she laughed at me and told me just how pretty she thought vulvas were, with nearly all of the important stuff tucked neatly and efficiently inside, with softness and juiciness right up front.

    I’m not relating this to be silly, although I may in fact be silly, but the thing is, I never thought my female body was capable of being neat and efficient. I only ever thought about hiding it, deodorizing it, not drawing attention to it, plugging it up ’cause it gets so darn messy, and (essentially) trying not to pollute the landscape with my body.

    Oh, a quiet revelation it was, to reframe that issue. My friend assured me that although she thought penises were all very nice, and that she could certainly understand the appeal of their sort of architectural elegance, she still thought that the dangly bits were a little weird, and not nearly so neat and tidy as vulvas.

    So yeah. Major cultural dissonance when you are in constant possession of that which is longed for and yet repulsive, lusted after and yet degraded – basically the center of the universe which must be destroyed.

    I so want to learn to beam laser-like power bursts out of mine. Trust me, it’d change everything.

  16. Oaktown Girl

    I just want to second what Valerie said up in the first comment – great post, and thanks!

  17. incognotter

    That was a great post, Jill. I wish you could explain that to Pelicanh in person, with us watching. It would be a hoot.

  18. CassieC

    I’m hoping my patriarchy-blaming credentials won’t be revoked after this comment.

    I had the patriarchy-induced certitude that my bits were repulsive for, let’s see, as long as I can remember. My boyfriends always were enthusiastic about my bits and not grossed out at all by my periods (even the virgins among them), but I never seemed to be as accepting as they were. For instance, I was uncomfortable them going down on me, ever, because, well, ick.

    Then one day, I forget how, I came across the internet site of this guy who had set up a bunch of vulvar pictures *in order to convince his girlfriend she didn’t need labioplasty or other porn-enhancing surgery*, and that she was lovely as she was. (The pictures were not of his girlfriend.) And you know what? That helped me a lot. It might have been like larkspur’s revelation.

    So I understand that this particular douche may not be making art. But some (maybe most?) women do need some external reassurance as to the niceness and normalcy of their parts, and, for me, pictures really helped.

    (I once also had a cool general doctor, who whenever he would do an examination of my private parts, would always say: “well that looks quite pretty” in the most non-creepy way you can imagine someone saying that. He was just being positive, I am sure, to make me and his women patients less embarrassed. And he said that while diagnosing me with STDs, no less!)

  19. CassieC

    update: went and looked at some pictures. Those would not have made me feel better about myself – they’re all sanitized and airbrushed and so on. So this guy fails plain old anatomical representation of females – let alone art. Sigh.

  20. virago

    Personally, I’ve only had one experience with a guy who didn’t want to go down on me because he thought “it was gross”. Of course, I refused to go down on him or anything else because I kicked him out of my bed. Oh, he whined the whole time that I was being unfair, but too bad. That said, any other guy I’ve been with never had a problem, and I never really saw my vagina as being “gross”. I saw that as the guy’s problem-not mine. Anyway, this idea that women’s vaginas are gross seems a contradiction when there are numerous pornsites baring the beav for any member of Dude Nation to masturbate to. Doesn’t make any sense to me, but than there’s nothing about the patriarchy that makes sense anyway. Male privilege, male entitlement, and general mysogany give a rather schizophrenic view of women in general. Can’t expect anything better when it comes to our private parts. IBTP

  21. norbizness

    What do pelicans ‘a’ through ‘g’ think of this bit of theorizing?

  22. Sophie

    I have taken a photo of my own beautiful pussy and it is just up there above this comment. I hope you feel better about yourselves for looking at it, I know I do.

  23. larkspur

    CassieC, I totally understand. Once upon a time, I watched some pornographic movies. It was hard-core porn with close-ups and money shots and all that crap, but fortunately it wasn’t the type of hard-core porn that’s vicious, or dependent on humiliation. I don’t recommend it, but I did see the netherbits of lots of different women, and yeah, it made me relax. It’s sad, in terms of its presentation, but it was another bit of information to help me understand that we don’t all look the same, but we all look kind of cool.

    Always, always IPTP because it takes so much time and energy and luck to understand this, when we should already know, and we should be using our former self-hatred time to figure out how to overthrow the whole damn P.

    (The other pelicans laugh, because in previous pelican discourse, their former colleague just kept saying, “Huh? Huh? What? Huh?” while all the fish fell out. So they slapped an H on him and pointed him toward the nearest town with internet access, the end.)

  24. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    My best friend’s gran used to try to inculcate us with culture by taking us to the theater. During an intermission (I think the play we were seeing was “Equus”, circa 1979), we were perusing paintings in the lobby. Although they all looked different, there was something about them that was weirdly familiar. Some were full-blown and succulent-looking, others tended more towards asceticism. After returning to our seats, it dawned on us that we had beheld an exhibition of paintings of vulvas. I don’t know if we’d've more readily recognized representations of nostrils or elbows.

    On reflection, I don’t think it was porn, and not because they were “pretty” (some a them were downright disturbing in appearance, although not as disturbing as the play itself). Since I’m still thinking and writing about it 30 years later, I can only conclude it musta been art.

    Oh, and the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto has a multitude of peen painted on the ceiling. My sisters and I nearly cracked a rib laughing. But I wouldn’t say it was art.

  25. Pantsuit Sally

    “Anyway, this idea that women’s vaginas are gross seems a contradiction when there are numerous pornsites baring the beav for any member of Dude Nation to masturbate to.”

    Virago, that’s something that struck me as I was reading the comments here, and I think I figured out why: when women create art that could be called, in the parlance of our times, “vaginal”, it gets dismissed by the mainstream (read: dudes) for being either silly or disgusting. But then those same men will go on and on about how their trips to strip clubs are based on the highest noble calling- that women’s bodies are beautiful and should be admired, like a work of art. We’re swimming in naked female bodies, but for some reason people only think twice about it when the “artist” is a woman and the focus of the piece is not men’s boners- Joe Francis is just appreciating women’s bodies but wow, that Yoko Ono has done some weird shit.

  26. K

    Urgh, Deviantart. Anyone here a member over there? Because the site definitely needs more feminism. Recently one of the “Daily Deviations” was a photo of black woman’s nude body in chains. Not problematic at all apparently, just a nice “fetish” photo!

  27. Alonzo Riley

    Re Cassie C: You found a main vein to cut in the guy’s philosophy. Basically these women get their insecure egos repaired by relying on the photographers retouching skills. It’s trading one insecurity (largely personal) for another and letting someone else manage it.

    Another point though on the names and everything. I find it endlessly bizarre why we DON’T have names for, say, flat expanses of skin on the abdomen, maybe a squarish area four centimeters up and to the right of a different, heart-shaped expanse of flat skin. Once we bump into an abberation we have to call it an ear or a nipple or a cyst (a cyst being an example of a non-localized body part.) I wish photographers would go giddy for the curvilinear patch of skin at sector 47g, 513f of the right leg for a decade or so.

  28. kristinc

    Is there a site like 007b.com, but for vulvas? I want to say there is, although not one with as wide of a scope as 007b.

    Because, you know, it IS nice to have a nonsexualized look at the huge range of vulvular differences.

  29. procrastinatrix

    dodsonandross.com has a gallery of vulva pictures submitted by readers of the site or taken at their workshops. I’m not crazy about all of their advice, but I also love the youtube of Betty Dodson drawing the clitoris–it’s bigger than you think! (or, well, than I thought)

  30. Ron Sullivan

    Way back in the dawn of time, by which I mean the early 1970s, some feminist filmmaker made a movie called “Near the Big Chakra.” The intended audience was women, and as it was distributed mostly via feminist bookstores and the like, that’s probably mostly who saw it. It was just image after image of vulvas, and the stated purpose was to get the word out that whoever you were, yours wasn’t Eeeewwwww Abnormal.

    This dude’s way behind the times.

    (A bit later, someone made a similar movie for, presumably, men: “Dick.”)

  31. ElizaN

    It’s never occurred to me to wonder if mine looks normal. I mean, if it turned green I’d worry, but that’s about it.

  32. Twobees

    If he were smrt smart he would realise that having to justify his work means that the work isn’t what he thinks it is.

    Total and epic fail.

    Rationalising one’s own objectification by celebrating that objectification doesn’t change anything. It is still exploitative crap.

    No, I haven’t seen the actual pictures. I don’t need to. The artist himself doesn’t think they have enough merit to stand on their own.

  33. Jill

    Coincidentally, a rock’n'roll listserv I was on years ago eventually got on to the subject of ugly vs. hot vulvas. That this debate existed at all, and my astonishment at the male viewpoints expressed, is what turned me into a professional internet feminist, resulting in the blog you now hold in your hands.

  34. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    The Blametariat owes that rock’n'roll listserv an enormous debt of gratitude.

  35. Hedgepig

    Out of stinky brown stuff the beautiful lily doth grow, as the old proverb says.

  36. Windswept

    Big huge thanks for writing this up, I can never find words like you do.

    “Urgh, Deviantart. Anyone here a member over there? Because the site definitely needs more feminism. Recently one of the “Daily Deviations” was a photo of black woman’s nude body in chains.”

    Me, which is how I found this guy (as in, I always want to gouge out my eyes when his ‘art’ finds my front page about every day). But no matter how many feminists are on dA, magically few of their submissions are popular enough to make it to the front.

    Though in minor victory I made some protest-art involving a penis-owning doll’s crotch photographed in a close copy of one of this guy’s photos, and it appears to be one of my more popular things I’ve ever done (for both discussion-making and people agreeing in a HUZZAH! sort of manner against pelicanh and his ilk).

  37. Zack

    Kristen wrote, “whereby a small but significant number of gay guys really hate vulva”.

    Kristen, as a gay guy, I have to take exception to your statement. I think about vulva not at all, nor do I recall that I’ve ever heard “vulva” serving as a topic of conversation in the gay crowd with whom I mingle. And I certainly don’t hate vulva! Some vulva-equipped persons are my best friends!

    There are always exceptions, of course, but ‘small but significant number’ and ‘exceptions’ are not the same.

    Jill, I love your blog. It’s very educational to read about life and the politics of our world from someone else’s perspective.

    Zack
    A Gay Guy

  38. copykatparis

    Beautiful vs ugly??? Hell. (Thank heathen it got this blog going, which helps replace the sanity blown out of the obstreperal lobe daily. IBTP.) I’m still enjoying the phrase “turtle-like protuberances”, which for me is right up there with “turkey necks”.

  39. Jezebella

    I was thinking that “Dick” movie was by Yoko Ono, but I cannot find evidence of it despite at least sixty seconds of intense googling. She did do one called No.4 (Bottoms) of nothing but butts, and another called “Legs”, and one called “Erection”, but I think that’s just the one. I hope I never have to watch her film called “Rape”, because I’ve never made it all the way through “Cut Piece,” and the former is probably even more difficult.

  40. The Menstruator

    I never need a man to help me know or get any sort of familiar with my parts. I think it’s backwardso. A man needs to know his parts. Clearly we should make porn showing men getting their members cut off and ripped apart. Clearly we need to show men getting my hot period blood across their face when I get off, because that’s porn. High class porn. Fresh cut off dick, that gets me hot damn it.

  41. nails

    Zack- there are some really misogynist gay guys out there, despite sexism and gender role enforcement being a feature of oppression of both groups. You are probably less likely to notice/hear about it when you aren’t of the vulva having demographic (or since you probably don’t hang out with knobs who would say that kind of crap, there are generally warning signs with that level of misogyny). I don’t know if arguing over the number is extremely productive because it would take a really weird study to figure it all out.

  42. Kiuku

    Of course he has to call it pussy, because pussy is something for men. Vagina means it is a woman’s part, and belongs to her. Pussy is something he can get aroused over. It can’t be called a vagina because that means that it is actually there for something other than his penis.

  43. Sidonzo

    I have an account on DA. I actually am in the process of making a comic about sexism, rascism and war using my favorites insects, wasps (well human-wasp hybrids at least).

  44. Eli

    Personally, I agree with Pelicanh. He may not be the best example of a ‘feminist’, perhaps not using the words feminists prefer to use, but even on all the comments on this page, hardly anyone refers to the ‘vagina’, preferring instead to call it a ‘vulva’ or leave it without a name altogether. Perhaps that is why we don’t have as many synonyms for our feminine anatomy – it is a mystery to the male population, whereas ‘boobs’, ‘breasts, ‘tits’, whatever you want to call them, seem pretty straight forward to the average guy. Similarly, the ‘bum’, ‘ass’, ‘booty’, etc.

    If we can get past the first statement of Pelicanh’s personal preferences, to the actual argument, I think we will find that actually we all agree with what he’s essentially saying. This man finds beauty in the vagina. He photographs it from every angle, showing to the world something we instinctively shy away from. That is where the wild claims of perversion and pornography come from – since when has the image of a vagina been considered sexual in itself? At last, we are beginning to see that the nude body without a face is very natural and not sexual (unless it is intentionally sexual), so why can’t we see that a woman’s vagina, without an accompanying face showing lust, or fingers etc showing the act of masturbation, is not actually sexual in itself? Contrary to the very aim of feminism, we seem to be forgetting that it is inside the vagina where the most powerful feminine features grow, where children form, where life begins. Are we claiming that, once faced with a vagina, our only thoughts are of porn, that gratifying act which is nothing but images of unreal, unsatisfying, lust? That’s not Pelicanh’s fault. That’s us.

    Just one more thought – as I said previously, Pelicanh’s main aim is, whether you consider it true or simply for pageviews (oh, they bring so much to our lives), to show the world the beauty he sees in vaginas. To tell women that it’s ok to love their own, and not to hide from it, to see it as ‘dirty’, but to be proud of it. In many of the comments on this blog, other websites are mentioned, where numerous photos of vaginas are available. These are not the same as the photos taken by Pelicanh. The difference is, he is a professional photographer who, as he says, and indeed specifies on a great deal of his photos, chooses the aperture, the lighting, the positioning, and much more, in order to create a piece of art. If one does not like what he has done, well, art has always met with controversy, but I must say this; that if we degrade pictures of our vaginas, then we are degrading ourselves. We should be proud of them, not regard them as some reluctant property. I thank Pelicanh, and others, for spreading the word, participating and actively encouraging women to be proud of who they are.

  45. Jill

    The above absurdly lengthy comment was so hilarious in every way I just had to let it stand.

    Seriously, are Savage Death Islandists the only people on the planet who grasp the difference between vagina and vulva?

  46. Eli

    Almost as long as your ridiculously biased blog.
    Just saying.

    :)

  47. Laughingrat

    Right. Because it’s this blog, which posits the radical notion that women and other marginalized populations are actual sentient beings, which is biased–not a brutal, hate-filled culture predicated entirely on domination and submission. Whew. Thank god a big strong man marched in here to set us all straight! I just don’t know where I’d be without d00dly input on my ethical and intellectual life.

  48. Hedgepig

    Eli’s comment needs a health warning: anyone with a child forming inside her vagina should seek medical help immediately.

  49. Agasaya

    The pictures in Grey’s Anatomy are beautiful as to anyone who truly has a respect for the representation of human anatomy. Funny, they don’t look like this moron’s idea of ‘beauty’. Guess the actual anatomical representations aren’t sufficiently fuckable and no one was degraded in the making of that ‘art’. Likely takes the fun out of it.

  50. Felicity

    Grrr, ‘Just sayin!’

    Let the door kick Eli’s bumsmile on the way out!

  51. Jezebella

    Whew! It positively *reeks* of Fresh Manly Wisdom around here. Allow me to offer you all a recent Sarah Haskins video as a palate cleanser:

    http://current.com/items/90684794_sarah-haskins-in-target-women-youre-old.htm

  52. Pantsuit Sally

    Yeah, Jill- just who do you think you are, including your opinions on your own personal blog? You’ve got a lot of nerve thinking you can just write whatever you want here!

  53. sara

    haha, yeah he’s a creepy, perv who wants to seem cool by doing things different. little does he know, pictures of women’s “parts” have been being drawn or photographed for thousands of years. so he’s not a revolutionary…

  54. Hillary

    Eli’s comments are a masterpiece of unintentional hilarity!

  55. Eli

    ‘Thank god a big strong man marched in here to set us all straight!’

    I’m so glad you assumed that I’m a man because of my name, especially as I said that I had a vagina. xD And thank you, Hillary.

  56. other_orange

    When Eli says “This man finds beauty in the vagina,” I have to imagine that Pelican guy with a tiny miner’s hat on, peering up into cozy darkness.

    Seriously, if Eli has a vagina, I hope the expedition to locate and properly identify it is a success.

  57. Meg

    Who the fuck instinctively shies away from the vagina? Last I checked, tampons and dildos are still pretty popular with the ladeez, so obviously they’re not hiding from it, and if it was the men, I assume we’d have died out by now.

    The problem with Pelicanh’s explanation about “natural female beauty etc etc” is that it doesn’t mesh with his actual photographs. He’s not celebrating women’s vulvas, he’s celebrating the acceptably-trimmed vulvas of conventionally-attractive, feminine young women. There are fucktons of women who don’t fall into that category. The MAJORITY of women don’t fall into that category, in fact. If the purpose of his work is really to reveal women’s natural beauty, why not photograph a wider range of women? If the purpose of his work is to reveal women’s natural beauty, what’s up with the excessive makeup, shaved bodies, piercings, corsets, photoshopping and other unnatural contrivances? B/c Pelicanh and his fans don’t think that’s very wankable, natch, and that’s the True Measure of a sexy woman. Nobody wants to look at some disgusting, normal-looking woman without makeup or photoshopping, especially if she’s over 30, right Pelicanh? The recurring theme of *all his work* is that conventionally-sexy women, posing naked and in conventionally-sexily ways, are sexy. How subversive, lols.

  58. R. R. Bushéy

    This is an abuse of Feminism displayed for all to see. And it angers me greatly…

    In this day and age, it is unfortunate that for so many Women, Feminism has become nothing more than the flip side of the coin to Male Chauvinism… so many in their zeal and drive to eradicate once and for all a lack of equality, have become exactly that which they despise.

    What is equality, exactly? Here is the Merriam-Webster Definition:

    1.The quality or state of being equal.

    Rather a “no brainer” in MY book, but obviously it is a definition that in many peoples minds equates more with the definition of Superiority:

    1.The quality or state of being superior.

    The Pendulum of Life seems for many to have swung too far…

    You want equality? You wish to be acknowledged as equal? Then don’t fucking demean and humiliate those that are not of the same sex DUE to that differing of sex.

    Equality does NOT assure one of special treatment, merely because of sexual designation. You want the Toilet Seat to be put down by the men in your Life? Then you’d better fucking be prepared to raise it for THEM once you are done. THAT my dear friends, is EQUALITY.

    NO preference shown due to being a woman. NO preference shown due to being a man.

    If 75% of the men that you know are assholes, then stop thinking that it is because they are MEN, and start re-evaluating your choices in companionship.

    There are just as many fucking losers to be found in EACH sex.

    These days, so many men simply can not win… if they attempt to open the car door for you, they are assholes, and if they DON’T attempt to open the car door for you they are once AGAIN assholes…

    There is a BIG difference between Chivalry and Chauvinism…

    JESUS FUCKING CHRIST!!

    Feminism is SUPPOSED to be an effort to ensure equality for women, NOT an effort to ensure superiority…

    Treat others as you wish to be treated, and search out as companions those that feel the same. Period.

    I’m fucking SICK of the “persecution complex” mentality that I seem to see more and more of these days.

    And I am SICK of seeing some women do those of us that believe in TRUE equality a disservice by bringing their own negative and vitriolic bile into the equation, and claiming that it is in the name of Feminism…

    I swear to god, the next time I see a woman abusing her rights and claiming that it is in the name of Feminism, I am going to fucking kick her ass. Maybe I’ll even put on my strap-on first, to fucking make my point! So THERE! Ha!

    I happen to be a professional Photographer, as well… and the Artistic merit that is found on this mans site can not be denied…

    Get a life, or at least learn to love the feminine form… obviously this man has reached that point in Life… you would do well to follow his example.

    Expressing shame and/or a sense of victimization over one that feels free to express and appreciation for the Female body is doing only YOUSELF a disservice.

  59. Jill

    You are a man, R R Bushy, and, possibly because you are “a professional Photographer,” you are also an idiot. Only idiots think feminism is about “equality.” As it happens, feminism is about telling assholes who write corny rape-fantasy threat bullshit on my blog that they’re morons.

    Go fuck yourself, moron.

  60. Shelby

    @ R. R. Bushéy

    Is this is the same R R Bushey who has sample photographs on (its) website of pre-teen girls with lashings of lippy and mascara either lounging submissively on a bed or gazing into the camera with “I’m fuckable” eyes?

    Not a kiddie fiddler by any chance are you RR?

  61. Jezebella

    Eeeeewwwww. A moron AND a perv.

  62. Hedgepig

    And the next time I see a dudely idiot abusing the ellipsis I’m going to strap on my strap-on and fucking whip his fucking ass with it!
    No, wait, that’s right, I’m not a psychopath, so I’m just going to guffaw. By the way, thanks to Jill for letting some of these posts through. I think it’s good for us to know what you have to deal with. Also, it’s really funny.

  63. speedbudget

    Hedgepig: Ranting, ur doing it rong. I’ll help you:

    “And the Next time I see a dudely Idiot abusing the ellipsis…I’m going to Strap on my strap-On and Fucking whip his fucking aSs with It!”

    You have to have the Crazy Capitalizations. I know. Your ladyBrain got all confused. No wonder, what with your Vagina being your Vulva and all.

  64. Ashley T

    So i accused him of his shit…he said

    and i quote …

    “its because ‘feminists’ don’t understand art. this isn’t exploitation, porn, or any sort of degradation.

    its angry, pissed off women finding something else to bitch about. or the fact that they’re jealous that his models aren’t afraid to bare their bodies and show off their femininity for the world to see, no matter how big/small they are.”

  65. redpeachmoon

    love your site, and worry about your safety with so many deranged and angry male contributors. I applaud your keeping it real (and hilarious) but please keep yourself/selves safe!

    ps.. what’s up with the popularity of ‘douche-bag’ as a common insult?

  66. im

    I wouldn’t really know. I do know that it is VERY commonly used to insult men for having a sexually objectifying frat-boy mentality and actions.

    One possibity (not the most likely) is that its insulting them because douches are 1. used to penetrate the vagina in order to apply the materials they contain and 2. they are unhealthy and are used to provide patriarchy-influenced standards of smell to a woman’s genitals. (Of course, they cause various unhealthy, decidedly NOT nice-smelling results.)

    More likely, it’s because people find other people’s used hygenic implements and the like unpleasant. Thus making it pretty similar to asshole.

  1. Orientation « Buried Alive

    [...] a visual marker for arousal or appeal is a fetishizing act and does not differ you in any way from another amateur pornographer: Why must these vulgar specimens insist on its unique “beauty” when, in fact, a vulva is [...]

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