Friday, September 25, 2015


(Before you read this let me explain that I have been cooped up at home with a cold for four days and am phlegmy and stir-crazy.)

A couple months ago I took this photo in the restroom of one of my favorite restaurants. 

I am struck by the way in which graffiti of reproductive organs reduces them to their essential elements. In this case the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus. No cervix, no vagina. No parts directly involved in sexual intercourse, only those necessary for generating an ovum and housing it after fertilization. 

Why did the artist (named "Tooth" perhaps?) leave out the overtly sexual parts of female anatomy? I'm used to seeing simplistic penises, breasts, and labia scrawled on bathroom doors. But those are representations of the external, visible organs and tissues associated with sex. I never see graffitied prostates. What does this icon of (internal) reproduction stand for? Does a new generation of graffiti artists choose to imbue* pictographic female slang with new meaning?

Note the shading of the uterine wall. Another artist (I assume... Puzzy? is that a name or a misspelled label?) has added little red hearts and nestled a miniature uterus and tubing within the embrace of it's larger sister, who seems to be a lefty. It's kind of adorable. This little red icon of generation is like the Nike swoosh or the Stuyvesant Town fountain logo.

Nike's swoosh

Stuyvesant Town's fountain logo.
Local to the East Village and Gramercy areas of NYC.

Why does this uterine image haunt me? Probably because I don't know what it means. I assume it's a symbol of female empowerment. Its location in a restroom is degrading any kind of Womb-Power message, isn't it? It must mean something! The artist took time to include the finger-like fimbriae, for crying out loud.

"Tooth" and "Puzzy," who are you? Do I see you at the restaurant but not recognize you from your drawings?

*Yes I am using "imbue" from the French imbu - moistened, as a double entendre! And a tasteless joke!