Archives for posts with tag: labias

Two main points in this blog:  First, I believe the most important job of your life is to learn how to love yourself unconditionally.  Adoringly.  Patiently. Kindly.

Second,  you will think differently about the word ‘heart’ when you’ve finished reading this blog.

This part of my story began in 1988 at a relationship workshop.  I remember exactly where I was sitting when the speaker said “When the lower heart is abused, the upper heart shuts down.”  It was an enlightening moment for me.  I’d never heard anyone call my vulva a heart or lower heart – yet I knew it was true. It also made sense that my upper heart would be affected by what happened to my lower heart.

As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I’d done all kinds of therapy to heal from what had happened to me. I’ve been a ceramic artist most of my life, and I knew as soon as I heard that quote that I would use clay as yet another way to heal: I would sculpt labia in clay.

It was an empowering and, yes, a healing process, resulting in my feeling more connected with my body, and more positive and loving toward my vulva.

I’ve never stopped. Sculpting labias in clay continues to be a joyful experience.  I lovingly sculpt each piece.  In creating these sculptures,  I realized that the True Origin of the Valentine is a woman’s lower heart. Our upper heart is shaped like a fist. While no two labia are alike, and all are sacred and divine, many have a “heart” shape.

Over 40 years ago I helped found a rape crisis center and learned and taught self-defense classes. With attention and services finally addressing sexual violence, we thought the incidence of rape, domestic violence and incest would fade away. They haven’t! (It would take another blog to discuss the intense backlash against feminism.)
This got me to wondering what if people did not need to fear rape, abuse and violence – We’d have so much more energy to dismantle patriarchal systems of domination. From this chain of thought I coined the phrase “Happy Labias = World Peace.” It’s clearer to me now than it was 40 years ago that boys are sexually abused at high percentages, and that trans people and people with disabilities are abused, violated, and assaulted (as well as murdered) at much higher percentages than cis females…violence affects us all.
“Happy Labias = World Peace”:  self-confident, self-loving, setting-boundaries, passionate people, everyone, everywhere, are needed to keep the planet from imploding. Our most urgent life task is to love ourselves so deeply that we can love the whole world, and put that love into action. Love is a verb.
As Audre Lorde wrote years ago:  self-care and self-love are revolutionary acts in themselves. I encourage your own self-loving revolt.

(For more Audre Lorde quotes: http://www.azquotes.com/author/9041-Audre_Lorde)

Have you heard the song “What the world needs now”?  Andra Day does a great rendition:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNQ3vgKNO1g

 

 

After watching the Vagina Monologues performances 3 days in a row earlier this month (Thanks Eve), I’m moved to continue the conversations she created years ago.  Did you know that since the Vagina Monologues have been performed over the past 15 years, over $80 million has been raised to stop violence against women and children.

38 years ago I took the very first women’s studies class offered at Grossmont Community College, and embarked on activism that I naively thought back then would end the violence. We started a rape hotline, learned and taught self-defense, and hoped there would be a day when rape was history. Imagine my horror when I returned to PSU in 2004, to discover that rape is as prevalent as ever, esp on college campuses.

The Vagina Monologues are a great venue for discussing continuing problems of domestic violence, rape, and other violence perpetrated against women and children.  (A footnote here that men are also battered and raped.)  Our culture is violent. Period.  What can we do to stop the violence? We can support ongoing programs with time and money. We can talk about the violence throughout the year, not just on V-Day.

Creating labia sculptures in clay has been about healing my past abuse. Recently one of my pieces was purchased to help another woman’s healing.  What a gift to be able to share the beauty I create to assist in someone’s healing – that’s why I do what I do.  If we can talk about our bodies, about our labias and our vaginas, we release old shame that was never ours.  I believe this is one small step in ending the violence. Empowered women fight back and do not tolerate abuse.

Women, with clitorises, have the only body part created solely for pleasure, with over 8,000 nerve endings of ecstasy.  That’s more than twice the nerve endings on a penis, which is a heck of a lot larger than a clitoris.  Oh, how I love rolling balls of clay into clitorises and placing them on sculptures!  And then rubbing them for good luck after they’re glazed.