My written response to “The Institution of Sexology”: An exhibition at the Welcome Trust

Seeing the vaginas/vulvas portrayed in this space I feel strong genital dysphoria. I am not the ‘woman’ that is being portrayed here. What is it that I find so upsetting about these portrayals of the female body?

The chopped-up-ness? There is never a full body or person, only the vagina severed from the rest of the image. As if all vaginas were represented by this one image.

I feel dirty and disgusting.

Images of the biological, anatomical, scientifically observed genitals MAKE ME FEEL HORRIBLE. I feel violated and nauseous.

There is no poetry here.

My body has had readings forced upon it that I did NOT invite.

I feel in danger of my body being repossessed. Re-owned. Chopped up, dissected, voyeurised.

My body is poetry, it is artistic, I am it. I define it, learn about it, derive pleasure from it. It is ephemeral and enigmatic. It is lived flesh, it is not object.

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