Clit one, purl one

At the end of last year, a very lovely lady named Robyn Merkel  (you can follow her on twitter if you want – @RobynMerkel) sent me an email alerting me to this particular story. I thought it would make the perfect first Sunday Times column of the year. Hope you think so too.

A MILLION MILES FROM NORMAL – By Paige Nick

CLIT ONE, PEARL ONE.

They say one should start the year as one wishes to continue it. A concept that has made me think very seriously about what I write about for this, the very first column of the new year.

You see, I’m often accused of having a dirty mind. People dramatically ask if I only ever write about sex. And I suppose if you want to put a label on it like that, then yes – Hello, my name is Paige and I often write about sex. I do write about other stuff too, but sure, it gets smutty here pretty often.

I blame the Internet. Click your computer mouse twice and you’ll find something curiously dodgy, click it three times, and you’ll find something downright pornographic.

So in light of the whole new year, fresh start thing, I was planning on not writing anything dirty for once, and instead writing about new year’s resolutions, or politics, or a funny thing my nephew said to me about crabs (sea crabs!). But I’m not sure I would ever be able to forgive myself if I didn’t instead write about the Australian woman who just racked up over four million hits on The YouTube with a piece of performance art entitled, Casting off my Womb. Where she sits in an art gallery filming as she knits with her vagina.

To be fair, she didn’t actually physically knit with her vagina, that would be freakish and require inhuman anatomy, she used a pair of knitting needles, but she placed the skein of wool inside her vagina and then spent twenty-eight consecutive days knitting a scarf out of it. Long scarf.

Aren’t you glad they illustrate this column with drawings and not photography? (Ha, this is my blog, not the paper, so you get a photograph, albeit a SFW one)

 

vagina knitting

She even knitted through her menstrual period, which is gross, period. But she says she needed to be true to the process, and it wouldn’t be honest if she missed out any part of her cycle.

I wonder what she’s going to do with the scarf once she’s cast it off? She should give it to her next boyfriend as a gift. If he hangs onto it he’s a keeper. But if he wears it she should ditch him immediately, that’s just creepy.

Crazy Jenkins, sorry, I mean Casey Jenkins says she did it for two reasons. The first was as a response to the societal pressures on women of her age to have children. Pressures which only increase as women get older. She says this kind of pressure results in a building sense of panic. And she just wanted to sit back, quiet all the noise (perhaps she shouldn’t have knitted out of her vagina then!) and really think about whether she wants to go on to use her womb to make babies, or rather a sweater, and maybe a matching hat? Post vagina-scarf knitting, she says she’s still undecided about having children, but she’s more comfortable with the decision. I’m sure, I’d be more comfortable too if someone finally removed the ball of wool that had been lodged in my vagina for a month.

The second reason she did it was to show people that the vulva is really just a sweet innocent, natural part of our anatomy and nothing to be afraid of. I guess there’s a third reason too, if you count needing a scarf.

People in internet-land have been “outraged” and “disgusted” and “horrified” and “revolted” with Casey Jenkins, and many wrote strongly worded letters and comments. While others simply put tons of exclamation marks in comment boxes below her videos. Well of course they did, the Internet wouldn’t be the Internet without all that porn and outrage.

Hey I get the whole pressure to have a kid thing, I’m almost forty with no kids, despite my cleaning lady praying for me tirelessly at church every week. But still, I’m not sure I get what knitting a vagina scarf has to do with society putting pressure on us to have ankle-biters. Although I am thinking about it and writing about it now, so maybe she wins?

It’s not that I mind that she did it and I won’t be throwing exclamation marks at her any time soon, she could poop out lego to make a statement on sexism for all I care, but I do think it’s kind of icky. Let’s maybe not tell the sheep what we’re doing with their wool now, they might boycott us.

So yes, I might have a mind that wanders into the gutter on occasion, and I might write about sex some weeks, but hey, things could be worse, at least I’m not out there crocheting a onesie with my fallopian tubes. Happy New Year.



2 responses to “Clit one, purl one”

  1. sylvie says:

    when I went to my first ante-natal class 100 years ago the midwife showed us how the baby was squeezed out through a knitted uterus – it was pink and gray and saggy – I didn’t go back…

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