I’ve been creating these items for 10 years and I expected to find that everyone would just get a chuckle and we’d move on. But that didn’t happen. And it kept not happening. This wasn’t how I remembered life 20 years ago, say, when I was starting my first job. What happened?
Yes, some people do chuckle and then move on. But others are offended. Some have difficulty talking with me now. Business relationships took strange twists. I’ve been told, “I thought you were a good girl” or “you’re gonna get yourself in trouble”. Others just choke and don’t know what to say.
One male friend pleaded with me not to pull these items out of my pockets. A stranger turned one of my doilies over in an art museum out of embarrassment or shock, I presume, but then weeks later called to apologize. That was unusual.
On occasion an intriguing conversation comes out of it. A couple women have learned about their own genitals through these pieces — “oh, so that’s what it looks like!”
A perfect stranger simply explained that circumcision in his native country, India, is almost unheard of. As he spoke, he casually picked up my crocheted uncircumcised penis and waved it in the air like the baton of a band director.
The range of responses to these seemingly benign items has intrigued me to be more public and have this conversation on a wider level with more people throughout the world. I want to see what’s out there.
So tell me — what’s out there?!