It took one particularly shroomy graffiti dick scrawled on a scaffold near Manly for me to realise an abhorrent truth—at the age of 22, I had never once seen a graffiti vagina. Numbed by the existence of this ignored dimension of gender inequality, my Rosa Parks moment had arrived.
Lack of female political representation I get. There’s some pretty hard science showing women are too emotional for positions of power. Not to mention the legitimate fear of question time degenerating into “woman-would-you- bloody-let-me-get-a-word-in-edgeways- time” before you can say “Pro-Life”.
But my genitals’ silent erasure from public spaces—this I cannot stand by and tolerate. Instead of defiantly refusing to give up my bus seat, I would engage in the strongest form of activism known to my generation—the outraged rant.
To check the validity of the vaginaless- graffiti phenomenon, I conducted a comprehensive survey of people from a range of demographics and ethnicities. I sent a group text to my three immediate family members: my mother, father and brother.
The results were clear. No one had seen the elusive graffiti vag, and my Mum would most definitely fail any Rorschach inkblot test thrown her way.
Even with such compelling research, good science is about attempting to disprove your own theories in order find out if they’re correct. For all I knew, Aussie Banksy could be raising house prices in Annandale spraying slits on façades this very instant.
Next stop, Glebe Police Station. Destination: knowledge.
After a few awkward minutes of my bad acting asking Officer Joseph pretend questions about “the graffiti situation in the area,” I went for it.
“Have you ever seen a graffiti vagina?” I asked.
“Ah… no, I haven’t,” Officer Joseph replied.
“What about a graffiti penis?” Pause. “Yes, I have”.
Bingo. Triumphant, I cut the interview short, leaving the straightforward and courteous Joseph wondering if I was an actual threat to the community, or simply just odd.
The “sketched dick” entered my life in year 8 after making the foolish error of leaving my school diary unattended in the library. In my absence, some opportunist obnoxiously scrawled a huge blue biro schlong over my perfectly highlighted, colour-coded timetable. The message was clear: no female space, no matter how personal, how private, was safe from the long dick of the patriarchy. This seminal moment would also sadly kill my love for calendars and attempts at organization for decades to come.
The search inquiry “graffiti dick” yields 2,400 Google results. “Graffiti vagina” returns a paltry 1,420. Not even the excitement of encountering the number ‘420’ during my investigation could change the harrowing nature of this statistic. From the frequent “dick- tation” scrawls from Summer Heights High’s Jonah to the crippling wang- doodling addiction suffered by Seth in the movie Superbad, it seems phalluses are an inescapable aspect of contemporary life.
As a generally law abiding citizen with a Good White Middle Class Girl reputation to keep intact (unlike my hymen), it’s with palpable anxiety and conditioned fear of being caught that I suggest immediate action in the form of counter-cultural vaginal vandalism. As a society, we must come together to correct this horrible injustice. For every “dick-tation”, let there be a “vaj-azzle”.
I’ll clarify now that a penis entering a vagina absolutely does not qualify because everyone worth their weight in Gloria Steinem knows penetration equals domination equals oppression equals slavery. Are you an advocate of slave labour? I didn’t think so. No, independent vaginas only.
I became a journalist to make a difference, and this is my dream. Together, let’s be the change we want to see in the world, one artsy cunt at a time.