By Helen Ubiñas (The Daily News)
IN A NUTSHELL, this column is about penises.
But hang on, there’s a reason for it and for Philly resident Alex Millard’s front-and-center Kickstarter campaign to get fellow women to draw that body part.
Long story short: The idea is to reverse the usual eyeballing of women by men and turn the woman’s eye on a world that is, shall we say, phallic-dominated. There is a serious, perhaps therapeutic purpose to it.
“Almost every person on the planet has encountered the penis in its real or figurative form, consensually or nonconsensually,” says Millard, a freelance writer. “Penises and their various manifestations dominate our architecture, slang and organizational structures.”
What, you thought the gentleman’s agreement that for years kept any other building in Philly from rising above Billy Penn was for other reasons besides making sure “his” was bigger than “theirs”?
The seed of the “Women Draw Penises” campaign was planted when Minal Hajratwala, a Facebook friend from India, brought up the widely popular Kickstarter project “Gay Men Draw Vaginas.” That project capitalized on the idea that people have no clue what lady bits look like. The results will soon be turned into a book of vaginas drawn by gay men.
“We were thinking about how penises are absolutely everywhere by contrast and how it might be nice for us to portray a non-male-centric view of penises,” Millard said. “Not what media portrays, not what men portray. But what our experience has been as non-males.”
The idea is to set on its head the male tendency to objectify women’s bodies.
The group had some laughs sharing funny pictures of penises as superheroes, as cartoon characters and gender-bending drag queens. But soon enough, the conversation took a serious turn.
“Drawing penises can be a really hilarious experience, but I also think it can be therapeutic,” Millard said. “And I think there are people who have had penises pushed upon them and to be able to say I control this and what this looks like is definitely a place of power.”
Millard and Hajratwala worked together on the campaign urging women (and those who identify as women) to draw penises and submit their drawings along with six-word stories of their penile encounters.
Levels of support included “The Climax,” for people who pledge $25 or more, “No Shame in Paying For It,” for people who pledge $200 and up and the “Put a Ring on It” level for those who pledge $1,000 or more.
Read the full story from The Daily News.