Painting a picture

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I’ve spoken before about the language we as a society use when talking about penises and how it paints a picture regarding our perception of penises and the people who have them.

From words like “pole,” “hammer” and “pipe” to descriptions such as “meat rod,” “pork sword” and “love gun,” the way we refer to penises perpetuates the idea that male genitalia – and the men attached to them – are dominant, aggressive and even violent.

Perhaps without realizing it we have created a narrative around penises that they are like hard, cold, inanimate objects, weapon-like tools used for seemingly destructive purposes.

But imagine if we started talking about penises the way they’re referred to in East Asian literature. The “jade stalk” and “coral stem” are common terms for penis in Taoist philosophy from Early and Medieval China. These descriptions conjure up different inferences about the penis and it’s capacities.

Consider even the above depiction of a penis as the pistil/stamen of a flower. What does this depiction infer about penises? What connotations about penises might this image convey?

I enjoy sharing artwork like this because it goes against the grain with regards to mainstream and stereotypical ideas about male bodies, men and masculinity.


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