My Project -The After Dinner Party - is Dedicated to Female Anatomy

Wed, 02/22/2012 - 09:27
Submitted by Betty Dodson

Dear Betty and Carlin,

I am writing to tell you of my project as your work played a part in its creation. Betty, your drawings are beautiful!

I am also an artist, primarily figurative, as well as a long time activist on a variety of issues, mainly child sexual abuse, human experimentation, and the sequelae of trauma. Just over a month ago, I read a blog about the work of Australian urologist Dr. Helen O'Connell on the internal clitoris. This information was all new to me and so I began to further research the story, which led me to your work of course. After speaking with several female friends, I discovered that it was news to them as well. I was disturbed that this organ had been disappeared from medical and common knowledge, so my project was born.

Here is a description.

After Dinner Party is a multimedia, multidisciplinary and multi-venue event utilizing creativity to familiarize the public with once obscure but newly rediscovered, and empowering, information about female anatomy. It consists of two kinds of activities: a curated art exhibit and celebration; and a loosely coordinated series of individual and/or mass public actions. The form and scope of the second portion is entirely dependent upon the energy and creativity of participants. The goal is to represent the shape of the clitoris, in as many art forms and in as many venues or public spaces as possible, all over the city.

The exhibit and party are scheduled for May 3, 2012, in Seattle, Washington. The other component could take place anywhere. I am seeking artists and participants.

Lynn Schirmer

Drawing, painting and sculpture

Dear Lynn,

I love your project. I also love to clear up women's history as I've been left out of so much of it due to women's embarrassment over masturbation and my Bodysex workshops where women actually viewed each others vulvas. GASP!

Helen O'Connell was not the first person to discover the internal clitoris. A group of self-helpers in LA joined in a collective they called "The Federation of Feminist Women's Health Centers" get the credit. They published a book with Simon and Schuster in 1981 titled: A New View of a Woman's Body with illustrations showing the internal structure of the clitoris with drawings by Suzann Gage. It was taken off the market the following year with no explanation.

You and I know it was the 1% corporate pricks that saw to it's disappearance. In 1995, several women in the Federation started making it available again. It's a land mark book that is lost to feminist history as academics like Helen take credit for something that was established here years earlier. It's a perfect example of how our history gets lost, hidden or repressed.

I am told when I go on TV not to use the word "clitoris" but G spot is fine. Guess what? It's my opinion that most of that information is crap! But men love it because it's an excuse to get back inside the vagina which is where the poor babes came from. The clitoris is a much smaller more powerful functioning phallus that makes their big pieces of meat look pathetic. It's no wonder the powers that be want to keep it hidden.

I hope you let the truth come out in your production.

In Sisterhood,

Betty Dodson

Liberating women one orgasm at a time