ISSN : 2266-6060

Understanding on the slidewalk

Paris, December 2023.

Dismayed by the lack of realistic representation of the clitoris in courses taught both in secondary schools and in caregiver training, in 2016 Odile Fillod modeled a 3-D printable genital organ based on scientific literature. This small, flexible object in two shades of pink, designed in the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie’s fablab and duplicable with a printer, participated in drawing the attention of wide audiences to an organ less documented than its male equivalent and thus to phallocentric visions of women’s bodies and sexuality. Continuing a feminist tradition aimed at showing the political dimensions of private life and putting the shaping of bodies and sexuality on the agenda, in a couple of years the 3-D clitoris has become a medium for transmitting knowledge about pleasure and sexual desire in humans, as much as a feminist symbol. To ensure that the clitoris is part of everyone’s consciousness, in addition to the necessary overhaul of school textbooks, feminist collectives and artists regularly create stencils on sidewalks.
Let’s be optimistic in 2024: the availability of masters under a cc-by-sa-nc license, the low production cost of the surface to be cut out, the simplicity of the gestures – affix, apply the paint, peel off and start again further on – and the practices of graffiti removal now focused on walls mean that, perhaps in the 21st century, awareness of the female sexual organ will be part of the categories of ordinary understanding of members of society. Scriptopolis is already looking forward to discovering the next generations’ doodles!

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