Question #179: So, what is it about the penis exactly?
August 25, 2013
I have to say that this is one of those conundrums for me.
In my quest to continually question the imbalance of our existence – I wanted to explore why we continue to shroud this illusive appendage in such an opposing way to women’s objectification.
I was listening to Triple J the other morning and comedian Wil Anderson was on the radio.
He was discussing the rule with men – that you never look at another man’s penis whilst at the urinal.
OK I get that. It would be an invasion of privacy.
But it just made me wonder – what’s the big hoo-ha about the penis, anyway?
Why all the mystery?
At the beach last summer, I saw quite a few three-quarter length board shorts being worn – protecting its owners from exposing even the hint of a bulge.
No more speedos anymore. No sir-ee.
Is it to hide its size?
Or protect boys and men from the gaze of other men?
Is that something that’s feared?
Surely if it were for the gaze of women, there wouldn’t be a problem…right?
I know it’s the fashion at the beach – but you can’t disagree with the juxtaposition; that men seem to be more and more covered, whilst women are more and more exposed.
And not just on the beach.
In the movies – for example – we NEVER see the penis.
Why are men afforded such privacy?
Why are women not?
We have fully naked women on the screens (the big screen as well as the smallest) and yet it doesn’t matter how much time passes – how much we ‘evolve’ – the penis remains mystically cloaked from human gaze.
It must be nice to know – if you’re male and in the movie industry – that you’ll never have to make that choice, whether to have your penis filmed or not.
Men are not vulnerable; like women are vulnerable.
And a man’s vulnerability – it seems – is his penis.
A woman’s? Her near or complete nudity.
The second issue I have with the penis, is its massive (no un intended) irony.
As much as it is used and wielded as a weapon throughout the world and is seen as the symbol of manhood – it is also a man’s Achilles Heel, so to speak – is it not?
As Betty White says:
“Why do people say,
‘Grow some balls’?
Balls are weak and sensitive.
If you wanna be tough,
Grow a vagina.
Those things can take a pounding.”
Is this post an attack on manhood?
No – it is not.
Do I want to see penises plastered all over our screens?
No – but there shouldn’t be a Holier-than-thou style, cover-up either.
A penis is just a penis.
Or is it?
So, I ask again – what’s the big deal?