Touchy Subject

My housemate named this drawing – we talk a lot about feminism and female sexuality.

I think it is pretty obvious what this drawing about – masturbation.

 

17 thoughts on “Touchy Subject

  1. Thank you Lily Mae. This again points to the feeling I get that women are not yet liberated, nor free from patriarchal regimes that have been in place for 1.5 thousand years!!! The fact that a female artist can be banned from anywhere for drawing the female form is outrageous. Keep up the good work. Keep fighting the bastards – male and female – who continue to haul female power and pride and integrity down into the gutter. We are truly living in a very messed up uber conservative society. One where kiddies can watch “ho’s” and “pimps” on morning music tellie, or buy dolls that look like prostitutes who have had too much plastic surgery, but where actual art is inaccessible and the honest female form is vilified.

    I wish you were closer, I would have prints of your new work in the shoppe. You are undoubtedly one of the most talented and
    nnintelligent artists I know.

    Tani Jakins

  2. Gayle De Angelis on said:

    It makes me quite emotional to read your ongoing struggles in the public arena over the pubic arena. I keep thinking we’ve won these body-image battles, only to discover another generation of spunky gals have to fight them on their own turf. It’s also quite personal for me as well because of issues of multiple abuse I suffered as a child. Later in life, after an assault of body memories, I wrote a series of “venting” poems which I kept largely private. I showed them in confidence to my psychotherapist, who described them as violent and pornographic. I was speechless – where did the violence come from? Sexuality? porno? art?
    Keep up all the good works Lily. Miss ya!
    love from the old hairy armpitted women’s libber

  3. Peter Micocci on said:

    An Aptly named picture – I almost lost an old friendship over it! I had marl “like” on it in Facebook, not realizing it would post in the newsfeed of all my friends, amogst whom are some young relatives. Fortunatelymy friend appears to have been the only person who noticed it with the dozen hours or so that it was in my newsfood, and she wrote me a brusque request to change my privacy setting so that she would not have to see “the masturbation picture” every time she went to her home page! Of course I apologized profusely to her and publicly to any others who might have seen it and been offended; for instance, my young niece was unline when I get the rebuke in question. I took corrective action post-haste, and so far there hasn’t been any further repercussion, so perhaps I was lucky. It just goes to show what a hot potato the whole issue still is, at least in the United States, where
    nnattitudes still largely conform to a 19th century pattern.

  4. An Aptly named picture – I almost lost an old friendship over it! I had marl “like” on it in Facebook, not realizing it would post in the newsfeed of all my friends, amogst whom are some young relatives. Fortunatelymy friend appears to have been the only person who noticed it with the dozen hours or so that it was in my newsfood, and she wrote me a brusque request to change my privacy setting so that she would not have to see “the masturbation picture” every time she went to her home page! Of course I apologized profusely to her and publicly to any others who might have seen it and been offended; for instance, my young niece was unline when I get the rebuke in question. I took corrective action post-haste, and so far there hasn’t been any further repercussion, so perhaps I was lucky. It just goes to show what a hot potato the whole issue
    nnstill is, at least in the United States, where attitudes still largely conform to a 19th century pattern.
    Oops…forgot to say great post! Looking forward to your next one.

  5. Lana Gentry on said:

    As I was called to this piece through one of your commentors/mutual friends, I am completely taken with how extreme people’s views are on such a benign but beautiful work. Your title has fulfilled it’s prophecy and this piece in my estimation, should in no way at all be seen as pornographic, and I don’t generaly like to even draw the line given my feeling that some pornography can contain artistic merit.

  6. Anthony on said:

    The picture still appears on my facebook page, though it may no longer be in your gallery, which is a great shame.
    I was talking recently to a police officer who investigates “indecent images on computers” cases. Conversation went something like:-
    A:’So what do you say about pictures of naked babies?’
    PC: “Well, of course I’m sure they’d be indecent”
    A:’ Really? Have you been to the National Gallery recently?’
    (Incidentally, flying naked babies all over paintings are one of my pet hates!)
    Welcome back Victorian prudery -not to mention ignorance- cover up all legs…chairs and tables included….and NEVER use the word ‘bottom’ !

  7. Thanks everyone for your comments. It is great to have support and it is so important that people leave their responses here on issues like this.

    Siobhan, Cunt Pride indeed!! I hope you know how much our talks on issues like this inspire me.

    Tani, I will stand up! Thank you! I am tired of the ‘think of the children’ thing. I am thinking of the children, how we can educate them better so the don’t make mistakes out of ignorance. Also, if they are so concerned of what children see on the internet, there are measures they can take, and I don’t think children should be using facebook or any social network like that anyway, it does have adverse effects on peoples social behavior and they should learn to deal with the real world.

    Gayle, I am sorry it makes you emotional, it makes me feel emotional too. If you like to share those poems,
    Id be
    more than willing to read them. I am sorry that that happened to you.

    Catherine, I will keep up this work! As long as I have support, I can share it too!

    Peter, if your friend didn’t like it, they should alter the options themself. I guess in a way, they are censoring you too, and friends should not do that. If people are troubled about their children seeing it, it is their responsibility to control what they see. That being said, I am sorry your friend is offended and took out their feelings about my work on you.Thank you for your support despite the pressure.

    Lana, thank you for commenting and supporting my work. I’ll perhaps leave the pornography/ artistic merit comment as it is a whole different discussion.. One of which I am up for!

    Anthony, Doesn’t sound like this officer knows where to draw the line.. Which goes to show people who ‘police’ this are ignorant. How sad! Although, I don’t feel we are going victorian, as we promote all our clothes, ice creams,

    music
    with woman and men that look like they have just walked out of a porno movie. I think sexuality with intelligence is what is being censored. Especially if it is fro a female point of view. Female sexuality has and still is, the most touchiest of subjects.

    XX

  8. The touchiest of subjects indeed! I think the censorship of your work is absurd, ‘think of the children’ aside (and don’t they see much worse on tv anyway?). The points you made on your blog are very pertinent, even more so given the censorship of you latest image. That female sexuality makes people so uncomfortable is ridiculous, given that we live in a society so dominated by acutal pornagraphic imagery ie. in advertising. It seems that no one can view a naked figure without perceiving it as pornagraphic, rather than something beautiful, grotesque, or even purely formally pleasing (see the Bill Henson furore) which I think is a very sad thing. It just goes to show that women still, unfortunately, have a long way to go asserting their right to comfort in their bodies and as sexual beings.

  9. Mr. Fantastic on said:

    This image is courageous and honest. This draw makes me remember a photography form M. Angélus called “phallocentrism”, and guess what?? This photo was been removed from many spaces as well… do you know that HR Giger had some judicial problems because of some lithographic images about sadomasochism exposed in a restaurant in Switzerland??

  10. interesting the comments about children. lil t saw this on my facebook page and barely even noticed it. Perhaps that is because she sees me naked? The bare body is not in any way unusual to her. On the other hand, smash hits is not allowed in my home….

  11. Mick Summerton on said:

    Lily,
    Love your new piece and the way you pull no punches…

    However not sure i buy the argument about feminism…As male sexuality is likely hidden, awkward and taboo. Im sure you would be having the same problems if this was a photo of a guy looking for his prostate or retracting his foreskin…

    I think its reality people have a problems with. They don’t like confrontation, especially within their own home. I think most of your work
    even the non naked stuff is very harsh, abrasive and confrontational… Thus making digital market places harder for you than most… Welcome to social leprosy, the only way out will cost your soul…

    Are you surprised by the censorship? I’m not… We are from a country that doesn’t even have something as basic as freedom of speech… I guess most Australian are to busy glassing one another to ever need it…

    • I am sure I would be having the same problems if it was a picture of a man in terms of censorship, we as a society cannot seem to be able to see people in the nude, especially genitalia, without applying our blanket rules as to defining what is pornography… However, this is coming from a perspective about tailored pubic hair and designer vaginas, as well as it is more acceptable that man masturbate than woman do. So I can see your point, but I disagree. Woman’s sexuality is far more taboo than a mans. Woman know far less about their bodies, than men do about theirs, hence my original post.
      Yes, I was surprised that my image was taken down. Due to the nature of the situation, it was on may art page, and was clearly there for artistic purposes. This image wasn’t censored in Australia, it coped most of the negative dibby-dobbers from America. I’m not
      nsurprised
      when it is removed from places like myspace. However I do find it interesting the amount of scantly glad teenagers and allowed to be on there, among other questionable content.
      Thanks for your reply.

  12. Sarah Jane on said:

    Another beautiful and thought provoking piece, Lily. Well done. I’m truly sorry it has been removed by ignorant, thoughtless people. Keep drawing, keep painting, keep displaying, keep having the discussion. Teaching science, each year the task falls to me to teach sex ed, as I am the only one who is willing to have open and honest (and scientifically factual) discussions with my students (girls) about sex and sexuality. And each time I hear the cries and the gasps of shock, not from the students, but from the parents and older teachers, who are outraged that I dared mention anything more than straight penis in vagina sex makes a baby. Girls need deserve more than this. Lily, your artwork deserves better than this!

  13. stiaan on said:

    i am an art lover. i love all sorts of art, whether its poetry or a painting. but this, i dont like. why? because people allways have to take art to an new level, i have no problem with you drawing your own ideas and pictures, but when you come up with such an picture and paste it on facebook for everyone to see, now thats just plain stupid. you have also pasted an censored version of your picture witch in it i qoute “…if you are offended, please have the balls to contact me and tell me why”. please take a wild stab in the dark to why they were offended. i know i might sound as if i am attacking your artistic abillaty(if spelt incorrecly, please excuse) i have no doubt that you are a great artist, i just dislike the fact that you pasted it on facebook and expected no one to be offended. hopefully you have read my reply and thought about it. please if you have anything to say about my reply
    nncontact me on bruwerstiaan3@gmail.com i hope that we can converse in an orderly and well mannered way. thank you for your time. -Stiaan

  14. Firstly, please try and not be abusive next time you wish to share your opinion on things (such as ‘stupid’) as that is unproductive and therefore there will not be much of a discussion… which is the point of this after all.

    I don’t feel that you are attacking my ‘artistic ability’, but I do feel that you have made all sorts of assumptions about me and my intentions and I don’t really appreciate that. I never expect people to be or not to be offended by things, I do expect people to be tolerant when it comes to art; censorship is not tolerance and that is the issue that was at hand.

    I wont be emailing you personally as it is fine to discuss it here, this was also a very long time ago and my work and the issues I deal with have moved far from this piece and the time I made it in. I probably wouldn’t put an image like this on
    nfacebook
    these days, simply because of what I experienced through this drawing. But I wont take this down either because I think it was interesting what happened and how people reacted to it.

    Thanks for your time.

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