Phallic Weapons

In the 1800s Dr. George Taylor invented the first vibrator, he did so to alleviate the hand of western doctors who were forcibly masturbating women who were incarcerated in asylums with a mental health condition called “hysteria”. This procedure was known as a Pelvic massage, it was thought the procedure would cure the women of their insanity. This body of work highlights the horrific historical sexual abuse of the women and the development of the vibrator.

The first set of weaponized phallic represents the forced procedure (Pelvic Massage) inflicted on women, in the belief that it would cure them. They depict historical images of the Pelvic Massage. Aesthetically they are over sized and brutal in appearance. The gun is symbolic of the utter trauma and futility of this procedure.

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The second set of weaponized phallic tells of a time when the Pelvic Massage became popular and consensual procedure among the upper and middle classes of Victorian women performed by doctors in private clinics. The phallic depicts imagery of soft florals and birds bringing a touch of gentle femininity. They are reduced in size, but still the emphasis of the gun / man is still present.

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The third and final set depicts the progression of mental health treatment, women's independence and control, and also the progression of the vibrator. In this set, the phallic are much smaller, ornate and feminine. There are touches of domesticity throughout the making process such as the wooden rolling pin handle. The gun is gone, eliminating the hand of the man.

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