Venus Figurine - Neekunj M.
The Venus figurine originates from at least 35,000 years ago. They have been found across Europe and even in Siberia. It represents fertility, beauty, and the feminine form.
I have chosen this artifact because it offers a deep insight into how cultures have changed over time, providing further insight into how sexuality has been historically portrayed and viewed. Comparing the modern portrayal of the ideal fertility symbol to the statue of Venus reveals a stark contrast. Santos (2018) mentions how disabled women explore sexual pleasure and sensuality beyond societal norms, suggesting that traditional representations of women's bodies are not limited by their bodies or sexual acts. Furthermore, the artifact shows the contrasting perspectives and portrayal of women in different cultures of the same time. Fox (2018) mentions how culture and social influence on sexualization play a significant role in discussions of sexuality. Since the Venus Figurine is both culturally and historically significant, it is important to consider how the contrasting cultures reflect changes in sexuality and disability over time. The contrast of cultures also demonstrates how even within the same timeframe, the representation of women has been constantly changing and impacting how we perceive them.
I am interested in Disability and Sex because I believe it is a topic that should be widely discussed and educated about; however, it often isn't because we view it as a private or taboo subject. Throughout my educational history, I have been taught limited knowledge about sexuality and disability because it is widely believed that this topic should only be discussed with someone who is comfortable, yet no educator was comfortable enough to discuss and educate students about this. Furthermore, I come from a background where sex is not even discussed between parents and children, let alone topics like sexuality and disability, making it much harder to address in the future. This topic should be taught to everyone, as it is not something that is harmful or will negatively affect children.
This subject has significantly impacted me by encouraging discussions about sex and disability and what these conversations should look like when held with others. It has taught me that we should look beyond people's disabilities and not treat them as children or non-sexual beings. Disabled individuals should not only be seen as inspirational; they are also humans who don't want to be constantly labelled as inspirational to others or as people who are listened to but not seen as capable of change in society's perceptions of disability.
I hope that my artifact inspires viewers to take the following action: to look beyond someone's sexuality and disability, to find and love who they really are, and not to limit them to our standards but to let them be who they want to be. I hope it shows how society, history, and cultures have changed their views of what represents an ideal woman and how representations are constantly evolving. Sharp (2000) discusses the representation of the female body throughout history and how it has been objectified. Women have been sexually objectified in the past, as seen in the Venus figurine. I further want viewers to realize how representations of women have evolved throughout history.