Saturday, 9 April 2011

Coco de Mer - Feminist erotic emporium let's the side down.

I have long been a lover of lovely lingerie and one of my favourite lingerie stores is Coco De Mer. Not only does it make exquisite luxuries for women but the business has a grass roots ethos and uses it's notoriety to advocate sexual health campaigns, sexual empowerment and feminism.
The lovely Sam Roddick is the founder of Coco De Mer (also daughter of the late Anita Roddick who founded Body Shop) and is a renowned womens rights activist, feminist and all round amazing woman, I have followed her work for a long time.

Imagine my surprise then, while browsing in the online shop, when I come across this man -James Ostrer, under the heading 'art'. What follows is a series of conceptually disturbing photographic depictions, including his family members on morgue slabs(charming)as well as himself giving birth.

But what really caught my attention was a photograph in which he depicts his father as a pregnant woman and his description ( though it should really be an apology) of it,

"By depicting his father pregnant, he confronts the paternal repulsion of pregnancy".

Come again? Paternal repulsion of pregnancy? Since when was he made spokesperson for expectant fathers. What he needs to do, is stop generalising and continuing age old presumptions and speak for himself. If he finds pregnancy repulsive, say so, don't tar and feather every other male by presuming that there is a universal male aversion to the pregnant body.

In doing he succeeds in stereotyping good men and continuing the barage of body image pressure on women. I know many men (including my partner) who find the pregnant body and what it means, one of the sexiest and most sensual things on the planet.

So bore off James,and take your 'conceptually disturbing art' Yawn, with you. To say I was totally disappointed by the inclusion of this bore on Coco De Mer's website is an understatement.

Come on Sam, where's your female solidarity? Sort it out, you're letting the side down.

Image - nicky

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