In September, LG commenter Anthony Pierre kept bugging me to take note of what was happening with the recently poured sidewalk at the Carleton College corner of the intersection at 2nd and Division. I drove by, saw the construction, and saw nothing unusual. I just assumed the workers were digging up the new concrete in order to install or get at some underlying infrastructure.
Yesterday, my daughter Gilly alerted me to a Facebook group titled Save the penis. The intro text to the group starts out:
This summer, Carleton installed a new cement sidewalk to make the campus “more welcoming” to the Northfield community. Without a doubt, this is a penis. Creamy tan, complete with pubic bushes and a urethra…
Cock No. 4: One of several cement outlines of penises installed at liberal arts colleges throughout the United States. (Middlebury’s cement penis outline is reportedly much larger than the one featured at Carleton, and the grounds at Kenyon inexplicably have two of them).
“Cock No. 4,” like the other ‘Cocks’ in its series, draws attention to the patriarchal structures of power still existent in society, this exposition of patriarchy being, one hypothesizes, a necessary step in its ultimate disassembling. The cement penis outline, a part of the very ground the viewer walks on, urges a recognition of the cultural ubiquity of patriarchal structures and subsequent confrontation with them.
Left: Cock No. 4 has been — what’s a good term here? — surgically altered by TPTB at Carleton.
Right: Campus sidewalk artists at work.
Permission to use these photos granted. Click the thumbnail penises to enlarge.