Ah yes, the French. Their children may smoke too much but at least they’re learning about sex in the right way. Yes, educators in France are printing out 3D models of the clitoris so that kids can see first hand what a huge one looks like (and learn about they way the female body works).
[T]hanks to the sociomedical researcher Odile Fillod, French schoolchildren will now understand that it looks more like a hi-tech boomerang. Yes, the world’s first open-source, anatomically correct, printable 3D clitoris is here, and it will be used for sex education in French schools, from primary to secondary level, from September.
From Fillod’s sculpture, pupils will learn that the clitoris is made up of the same tissue as the penis. That it is divided into crura or legs, bulbs, foreskin and a head. That the only difference between a clitoris and a penis is that most of the female erectile tissue is internal – and that it’s often longer, at around 8 inches.
“It’s important that women have a mental image of what is actually happening in their body when they’re stimulated,” Paris-based Fillod says. “In understanding the key role of the clitoris, a woman can stop feeling shame, or [that she’s] abnormal if penile-vaginal intercourse doesn’t do the trick for her – given the anatomical data, that is the case for most women.”
France is seeing a wave of such enlightenment about the female body. Activists are pushing for better education in a French society that has seen rampant sexism.
The feminist group Osez Le Féminisme has been vocal in combatting the silence around it since 2011. While in Nice, a group of sex-positive feminists, Les Infemmes, has created a “sensual counter culture” fanzine called L’Antisèche du Clito or The Idiot’s Guide to the Clit. There are funny drawings of “Punk Clit,” “Dracula Clit” and “Freud Clit”, as well as facts about the organ.
Meanwhile, jeweller Anne Larue has created a bronze clitoris pendant in conjunction with Les Infemmes artist Amandine Brûlée. “The clitoris has been the hidden, shameful organ for so long,” says Larue. “My necklace brings it to the light of day.” She reassures that the more timorous should not be worried about wearing it: “For the uninitiated, it looks like an octopus or a neolithic goddess.”
These days the US could look to such activism in Europe, we might not see as much teenage pregnancy and lower STDs.