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U of Cincinnati Students Freaked Out Over Vagina Art (NSFW)

Walking around campus, you may be shocked to see a professor whose class you “accidentally” slipped out on, or that couple who won’t stop the PDA, even in front of the much-crowded science building but how would you react to a series of photographs depicting vaginas hung up around your campus?

This past Thursday, students at the University of Cincinnati took the issues of female reproductive health and sexuality and presented a project that they hoped would increase awareness and discussion on campus. The photos, in the project named, “Re-envisioning the Female Body,” have been enlarged to be placed on 12 poster boards the size of billboards.

The photos have definitely succeeded in promoting discussion on campus. Controversial among the students and student groups, the temporary exhibition has even inspired one group, Students for Life, to find a lawyer. But Student For Life is not new to the concept of shocking photos on campus. The group has been known to show graphic pictures of aborted fetuses, disturbing many passers-by.

Being debated right now is the concept of whether or not the photos promote rape culture on campus. The two student groups responsible for the photos argue that the photos are being displayed to promote the integrity of the female body and respect for it. Students For Life is arguing that the photos objectify women, looking at them through the eyes of a rapist. The Vice President of Students For Life told news station WCPO that “all this display was going to do is promote a rape culture on campus.”

There has even been a Facebook page dedicated to those wishing to share their negative opinions on the project, called “Feminists at UC against ‘Reenvisioning the Female Body.'” The description reads, “We reject the essentializing feminism that reduces women to their vaginas. We consider this move a perpetuation of the violent dismemberment of women’s bodies in popular media,” asking members to post a photo opposing the display.

vagina

However, the groups who have set up the photos are standing their ground. A statement on their Facebook page reads,

“The idea and focus of this demonstration formed in response to the gruesome images brought to UC’s campus by the Genocide Awareness Project. Their billboard sized photographs equated mutilated fetuses with genocide victims in an effort to shame women, comparing reproductive choice to holocaust. Our demonstration serves to call attention to the vagina as a site of conflict in medical, legislative, domestic, and representational arenas. Its purpose is to incite conversation about the objectification, exploitation, and discrimination of women’s bodies in advertising, health care, reproductive rights, and queer identities. It points to the negative disposition our society holds toward the vagina, its representation and its claim in the public domain, while broadly calling to question our perceptions of what constitutes art, what constitutes obscenity, and what images our culture and our government deem worthy enough to enter visibility in shared and domestic spaces.”

The President of UC, Santa J. Ono, said that she will not have the photos be removed. She wrote, “[A]s the Ohio Attorney General has reiterated, we are a public institution obligated to protect the First Amendment, even—perhaps especially—when that protection results in disagreement.” See the NSFW images here.

What do you think? Should the photos be taken down as too obscene or kept up as reminder of women’s rights? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

[Lead image via]

    Comments

    Comments

    1. W.mabrouk says:

      Reblogged this on Culture and commented:
      The Vagina Art !!

    2. Keep them up. What’s to be offended by? It’s natural, it’s just part of the human body. It’s the Students for Life group that I find disgusting. If a woman wants to have an abortion, that’s her own choice and nobody else’s business.

      1. That does not mean it's pleasant to look at. Something being 'natural' does not make it 'art'

      2. Gary McCobb says:

        Agreed. The last 6 inches of my descending colon is natural, but I doubt anyone wants to see video of it prolapsed and dangling even if I call it art.

      3. Vic says:

        Art doesn't have to be pleasant to look at. The most powerful art is often difficult, even painful, to look at, because it evokes in us something that we are not willing or able to face on our own.

      4. Drea says:

        @TheResPublica must be gay….Whether it's 'pleasant' to view or not, in case you forgot, you came out of one…

      5. Hiya says:

        Either way, it's education and awareness, which is what higher learning is all about.

    3. topey2 says:

      Just stupid

    4. Guest says:

      I live here and to be honest it is pretty funny to see giant vajayjays everywhere on campus…

    5. Buddy Rogers says:

      Who exactly is offended by vaginas?
      Ok, there are about 2% of alleged males who squinge, cringe, turn up there noses, go ewwwww and run away faster than the Bladerunner at the thought of doing what comes naturally and procreating with them.

      1. Buddy Rogers says:

        So, it is not the vagina that offends most of us.
        To the contrary,
        It is the rolls of blubber that surround them.
        The thunderous thighs that look like a floppy columns of small curd cottage cheese that meet them
        The obscenely, obesely misformed derriers on the back side of them,
        The ZZ Top result of non grooming that revives the 1970s.
        THAT'S WHAT OFFENDS US…. TURNS US OFF

        Thank you for asking and putting the topic up for frank discussion with all it's warts, UC.
        You have liberated our most deeply guarded secrets that we keep supressed
        and given us the opportunity to open our minds minds and give you "straight" talk.

        We could never have bared our souls without your exposition giving us that freedom.
        You know what else is odd?
        After perusing a hook-up site for the last hour and going to the "women seeking women" section
        The majority of W-s-W posting are aparently offended by the same things listed above.
        Some of them put it in code: H/W/P and others flat out say "No Overweight"
        Go figure, huh?

    6. Buddy Rogers says:

      So, it is not the vagina that offends most of us.
      To the contrary,
      It is the rolls of blubber that surround them.
      The thunderous thighs that look like a floppy columns of small curd cottage cheese that meet them
      The obscenely, obesely misformed derriers on the back side of them,
      The ZZ Top result of non grooming that revives the 1970s.
      THAT'S WHAT OFFENDS US…. TURNS US OFF

      Thank you for asking and putting the topic up for frank discussion with all it's warts, UC.
      You have liberated our most deeply guarded secrets that we keep supressed {if we ever care to get laid again}
      and given us the opportunity to open our minds minds and give you "straight" talk.

      We could never have bared our souls without your exposition giving us that freedom.
      You know what else is odd?
      After perusing a hook-up site for the last hour and going to the "women seeking women" section
      The majority of W-s-W posting are aparently offended by the same things listed above.
      Some of them put it in code: H/W/P and others flat out say "No Overweight"
      Go figure, huh?

    7. publius says:

      Just to be clear, Santa Ono is a man.

    8. Buddy Rogers says:

      In the spirit of closed-mindedness and locked step monoopinionation most of my comments have been stricken from this board.
      You should all rest uneasy knowing the thought police have decided, as censors do, that you should not know what they do.
      What exactly are they afraid of?
      That you would agree with me and not them?
      That my comments make them look silly?
      That I might liberate you from their way of thinking?
      Ask yourself, children …Who ARE these people? WHY have they a need to "protect" you?
      WHAT do you really learn if you are prohibited to absorb all sides of an issue?

      1. this is why says:

        Like with all privately owned websites, the owner is not subject to first amendment restrictions. In fact, doing so would violate *their* first amendment rights.

      2. Buddy Rogers says:

        Did I SAY anything about 1st Amendment rights, Poindexter?
        I SAID they were censoring, closed minded and monoopinionated.
        My post was to inform the reader of that.
        Not to foolishly THINK I have the RIGHT to be printed.
        I fully understand they are PRIVATELY OWNED.

        Did you actually go to college?

        PS "first amendment restrictions" ?
        Are you of the same belief as a certain former Visiting Adjunct Professor of Law at UChicago that the US Constitution is a "Bill of Negative Rights"?

    9. Buddy Rogers says:

      So, it is not the vagina that offends most of us.
      To the contrary,
      It is the rolls of blubber that surround them.
      The thunderous thighs that look like a floppy columns of small curd cottage cheese that meet them
      The obscenely, obesely misformed derriers on the back side of them,
      The ZZ Top result of non grooming that revives the 1970s.
      THAT'S WHAT OFFENDS US…. TURNS US OFF

      Thank you for asking and putting the topic up for frank discussion with all it's warts, UC.
      You have liberated our most deeply guarded secrets that we keep supressed {if we ever care to get laid again}
      and given us the opportunity to open our minds minds and give you "straight" talk.

      We could never have bared our souls without your exposition giving us that freedom.
      You know what else is odd?
      After perusing a hook-up site for the last hour and going to the "women seeking women" section
      The majority of W-s-W posting are aparently offended by the same things listed above.
      Some of them put it in code: H/W/P and others flat out say "No Overweight"
      Go figure, huh?

      1. Kia says:

        I bet you'd be the first person to have sex with a woman with a body like that. hypocrite!

      2. Buddy Rogers says:

        My wife was was a retired dancer who I forbid to weigh more than 125 lbs.
        So you would very likely lose your shirt placing that bet. Provided you don't look as previously described.

        However, I was a tall, dark, lean and handsome bartender in a young people bar 35 years ago at the height of the sexual revolution and
        if you go to youtube and check out
        mickey gilley – don't the girls all get prettier at closing time
        I can give you sworn expert testimony that consumption of copious amounts of alcohol severely alters perception in the first four hours of the day and that song wasn't a million seller for nothing.

        surmiser!

    10. Jill says:

      I LOVE this and I don't think it promotes RAPE culture- unless someone is SO susceptible to suggestion that ANY representation becomes instant objectification. I see their point about reducing women to their vaginas, but to not acknowledge the exultation of penises and the cultural shame we have around vaginas is to ignore a serious dichotomy in aesthetics and assumptions about what is acceptable and what isn't. putting the images "Out there" in a non sexual way just balances the scale there. I am not sure about the fragmentation aspect? I worry about that, and I wonder if it is an individual thing… when I see a body part now, I personally don't see myself dismembered, I am very whole in my approach to looking at my own image and self….but I do know many women DO cut themselves up into parts in their own minds. "My butt's too big" My belly isn't flat enough" etc, but having images of what we are always HIDING and taught to be ashamed of can only HELP us. And having images that are unconventional and not aimed at perpetuating a beauty standard or a titilation agenda? that is pretty cool. The political aspect is one I had not considered (other than "the personal is political" and this is REALLY personal) – that the woman's body is a site of controversy. I think this installation is extremely useful for evoking the range of responses that likely equate to what underlies people's extreme viewpoints. Whatever it makes you feel is probaby your feeling about women, sex, female autonomy and even political equality. If it makes you feel "shameful" that is probably where your politics are coming from. If they make you feel happy -powerful or beautiful, that probably is reflected in your political views about women too.

    11. Rob says:

      This precisely defines the problem with "art" as defined by the uneducated masses. Anyone with any knowledge of art and the theory behind it will most likely define this as "not being art" because although it evokes a response and may have no other purpose than itself (both qualities that most laypeople use to define what they see as "art") it utilizes no interpretation from the artist themselves to reach these ends. Art is the artists unique and personal INTERPRETATION and REPRESENTATION of something with the intent to create a commentary or evoke an emotion and there is simply no unique representation or interpretation anywhere here. The only reason this is being considered art is because someone with too little to do decided to look too far into what hidden meaning must lie behind something which shocks the general public rather than taking it at face value as an artist's educated contemporaries would.

    12. Nick says:

      Keep them up. My theory being that if you expose people to 'the obscene' it stops being obscene and becomes trivial. Trivial things are easier to talk about.

    13. […] U of Cincinnati Students Freaked Out Over Vagina Art (NSFW) (collegecandy.com) […]

    14. randall says:

      hi people,i just saw the picture on the net & wanted to no more.And i can see it’s not to everyone’s liking.let me share something with u guy’s,im south african .as u all no.my beloved country went through the struggle for freedom & thank’s to Madiba we not only got it but he made sure all race’s and both man & woman be treated equal at home,work & in sociaty.with a people with so many cultures,tradition’s with 11 languages this wast’nt easy an still is’nt.but thank god we have law’s inplace that protect our woman & children,but the law can only do so much.rape an the abuse of woman together with being harrased for what they are wearing still causes nightmare’s for our modern woman.rape & HIV hit our woman hard,beside’s the men who follow tradition when it suites them.poverty pushes woman to sell the bodies,all this i think of when i find it hard to get a woman any woman of any race shape or size willing to go nude.So that i can create something that would make other’s see the meaning then the nudity.yes sex sell’s,and woman go naked.and yes there’s men who rape,don’nt blame the woman.weather they pose nude for an adult mag or not.it’s there bodies & the naked female form is most beatifull in all form’s.who care’s if it’s art or not,to those who dislike the photo.have u ever seen the raped & torn & broken virgina & body of a violated woman.that’s the photo’s u should see & be outraged that it happend.personaly i feel the woman chosen was perfect & hat’s off to her and who created it.a sexy body would draw attention away from the point,i’d hate to think what would happen if the woman was BLACK

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