Friday, February 21, 2003

Are you the victim of an erect penis?
Erin O'Connor is all over the snow phallus controversy at Harvard, here. The whole piece is worth a read and Erin brings her usual erudition to what may seem like nothing more than a silly story. The facts are basically this- a large snow phallus was erected at Harvard, then someone crushed it.

Now, the average person would probably look at a large phallus as a humourous piece of artwork and get a chuckle on their way to class. But not the over-sensitized Harvard students who destroyed it. According to sophmore Amy Keel, "no one should have to be subjected to an erect penis without his or her express permission or consent." But is a snow phallus really the same as being flashed by a stranger in Harvard Square. Pardon the pun, but hardly!

She goes on to say that, "The unwanted image of an erect penis is an implied threat; it means that we, as women, must be subject to erect penises whether we like it or not." The erect penis by itself is an implied threat? And what on earth is the threat? The threat of pleasure? One should pity the poor Harvard undergrad male who deigns to get intimate with Ms. Keel. Or, if Ms. Keel happens to be a lesbian, one worries for the partner who might brandish a strap-on as a means of sexual pleasure.

In the aftermath of the sexual revolution we have now come full circle back to a more Victorian notion of sex and sensibility.

Update: What if the penis was flaccid? Would Ms. Keel still find it offensive, or would it be symbolic of male impotence?


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