A RATHER rude Christmas decoration has gone on sale to help educate women about their lady parts.
The mistletoe-shaped 3D printout – rather aptly named a ‘cliteltoe’ – is also intended to raise money for victims of female genital mutilation (or FGM).
It is available to buy for £10 via craft website Etsy.
Joanne Tremarco, director of the Fool Size Theatre Company in Liverpool, came up with the idea after attending a feminist workshop.
“For 5 years I have been touring an improvised Theatre show called Women Who Wank. In that I have been describing to people the shape and wonder of the clitoris being the only organ in a human body designed for pleasure alone.” She explained.
“In November 2016, I was sat in a Sensual Secrets workshop led by Sarah Rose Bright – when I saw her 3D Model of the clitoris,I just kept seeing its likeness to mistletoe – and so it began!”
She went on to explain how her own revelations about the female body influence both the decoration itself and her work.
“20 years ago, when I was an undergraduate reading up on feminist theory – I was clued up on the performance of gender and the personal as political but no one ever spoke to me about FGM.” She explained.
“In fact, no one had ever told me what my clitoris was – for a while, I wondered whether I was intersex, and if my clitoris was the starting of a penis. Imagine – I knew that people were intersex- but didn’t know what a clitoris was?”
Amazingly, this lack of knowledge on basic female anatomy is a common issue: in our survey of 40 Mancunian women, 12 of them could not identify the correct functions of their intimate parts.
For Tremarco, North-West based FGM charity Savera UK was fitting cause to receive funds from her eccentric idea.
“I had heard the term ‘Female Circumcision’ used and wondered what the equivalent of a foreskin was for women.” She said.
“So, I began to research, and came across the wonderful book by Waris Dirie about her personal experiences having a cliterectomy (procedure to remove the clitoris) – I was moved to tears and I wanted to tell everybody about what I had discovered, but also didn’t want it to be real.”
“Savera UK work a lot with women who have endured the barbaric procedure, or who are fleeing from it.”
According to a recent study, there are approximately 103,000 women aged 15-49 and 24,000 women aged 50+ who have migrated to the UK and are living with the consequences of the horrific procedure.
Statistics suggest that there are a number of vulnerable groups – young girls in particular – at risk of FGM in Greater Manchester.
“The Clitletoe is my way of creating a playful object that can be found in day-to-day settings.” concludes Tremarco.
“It can be used to provoke and anchor difficult conversations, as well as promote good healthy fun.”
So, what do the people Salford think of the cheeky decoration? Check out the soundcloud link below to find out.