Plato and the Vagina, A Narrative

Arguably I’ve spent too much time lately reading theory; however, since I am returning to graduate school in January, it’s good for me to know what all the cool-kids are thinking and more importantly, how they are speaking. Hence the brush-up on theory.
Georgia O'Keeffe
Today while reading a short tome on post-modernism (yes, another one) I came across this sentence. The context was feminist art. Christopher Butler writes about Judy Chicago’s installation art pieceĀ The Dinner Party, which is a triangular dinner table with 39 place settings, each set with a plate and a butterfly, lobster, flowers and others that for all intents and purposes are vaginas. Butler says, “isn’t there a disturbing ‘essentialism’ involved in allowing vulvic imagery to stand for women?”

This sentence actually requires an enormous amount of historical unpacking, straight back to Plato and his “forms.” The author, in essence, is saying, why should the vagina stand in as the form, or formal representation of women?

My reply is simple.
Trajan's Column
You see the photo over to the left? You know what it is? It’s called Trajan’s Column and it kinda looks like a big dick. But maybe I’m being to ‘essentialist’ and you should use the search term “phallic architecture” and see what pops up!

My point here is this: I’m all for feminism in any form or essence.

I’m all for anything that draws attention to the plight of women around the world (and now increasingly here at home in America) denied basic freedoms “essentially” because of their biology.

A woman that cannot make her own reproductive choices is in no way free.

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