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Lauredhel is an Australian woman and mother with a disability. She blogs about disability and accessibility, social and reproductive justice, gender, freedom from violence, the uses and misuses of language, medical science, otters, gardening, and cooking.

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14 responses to ““Prehistoric pin-up”? Paleolithic fertility carving dubbed “pornography””

  1. Ouyang Dan

    *facepalm*

    What is the most saddening for me is that it reminds me of my favorite statue depiction of the Goddess (Pagan/Wiccan). A beautiful round fat woman whose pregnant belly is the Earth and her breasts ripe w/ life. It is joyful and beautiful, and my favorite depiction of the Goddess as Mother.

    Some things are not about the Male Gaze, and not meant for sexual consumption. Some are meant to celebrate the beauty that is the life giving capabilities in many women. Life, as part of a cycle, not some cheap pin-up for male arousal.

  2. orlando

    How apt that I have just finished reading Alice Walker’s “Possessing the Secret of Joy”. Which makes this appropriation/trivialisation feel even more like a contamination.

  3. SunlessNick

    Grue.

  4. DeusExMacintosh

    Hint for the boys: pornography is NOT “worship of the feminine”, it’s about the male obsession with their own dicks.

    When Freud came up with the idea of “penis envy” did he also say anything about phallic narcissism or is that considered right and an appropriate response?

    DeusExMacintosh’s last blog post..Home Secretary criticises police-bashing

  5. edyong209

    Erm hi. I sheepishly acknowledge that the “prehistoric pin-up” headline was inappropriate and trivialising. I’ve now changed it to something less rubbish.

    Apologies.

    Ed

  6. Meg Thornton

    I want to just point to one thing: whoever created that figurine was involved in a work of sacred art. This makes it equivalent in meaning to mediaeval cathedrals, the various madonna and child paintings, the various statues of the gods, goddesses and heroes of the classical Greek and Roman cultures, and the dreaming paintings of the Aboriginal people. To be looking at such things and saying the equivalent of “cop the norks on that!” is to belittle the religious beliefs of the creator, and to effectively deny their religious content.

    I wonder how many of the people who are describing this particular figurine (as well as all the other such figurines) as “ancient pornography” got annoyed by “Piss Christ” or the “Black Madonna” statue? How many of those writers would respond to the belittling of whatever it is they hold sacred (be it money, country, god or family) in a highly emotionally charged fashion, and get thoroughly offended?

    The creator may well be long dead. The insult is still there. It was sacred once, and should be treated as sacred now.

  7. Mindy

    It may well have been a talisman worn by pregnant women to help them birth safely (through a large vagina) and have plentiful milk. If there is a connection between cave paintings being to help “bring on the animals depicted” for hunting, then I can’t see why this couldn’t have been about getting women safely through childbirth and ensuring a good milk supply.

  8. Rebekka

    “How we interpret it tells us just as much about ourselves as about people 40,000 years ago.”

    The other comments, I absolutely agree, were rubbish. But this one from Conard is pretty standard theory of history – history *is* interpretation, and we can only see the past through the lens of the present, no matter how hard we try to put aside our assumptions. I think that Conard is commenting on this, as any historian might.

  9. Rebekka

    It wasn’t clear to me, but that could have been comprehension fail on my part – it’s been a long week!

  10. Rebekka

    “I wonder how many of the people who are describing this particular figurine (as well as all the other such figurines) as “ancient pornography” got annoyed by “Piss Christ” or the “Black Madonna” statue? How many of those writers would respond to the belittling of whatever it is they hold sacred (be it money, country, god or family) in a highly emotionally charged fashion, and get thoroughly offended? ”

    I’ve just been reading about a Renaissance art movement that was all about showing Jesus naked with an erection… I wonder what the people who got annoyed by Piss Christ or the Black Madonna would have thought about that.

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