Carleton’s ‘Save the Penis’ campaign goes limp

Carleton College Cock No. 4 Carleton College Cock No. 4 
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…

That text is also used on pages 5-6 of the Oct 10 issue (PDF) of The Carl where the sidewalk is included in a piece titled Art on Campus: Analysis, Phalluses… and thusly described:

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.

Carleton College Cock No. 4 Carleton College Cock No. 4
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.


  1. Tracy Davis said:

    We can’t make this stuff up. This really isn’t one of Griff’s “faux news” pieces.

    Reminds me of a plat for a proposed subdivision in Olathe, KS which I printed out for the planning commission a year or so ago:

    And some people think I’m oversensitive to the “testosterone” thing…

    November 14, 2008
  2. Griff Wigley said:

    Is that a plat of Dickville Flats? I love it when planning commissions rise to the occasion.

    November 14, 2008
  3. kiffi summa said:

    Back in 1952, when some of us were sophomores in High School, we (a group of girls) thought it was ever so clever and daring to say to a group of boys: “We’re wise to the size of the rise in YOUR Levis!”
    But then … we were only fifteen.

    November 14, 2008
  4. Peter Millin said:

    A mind is a terrible thing to waste….LOL

    One part is dreaming the other part is envious…LOL

    September 23, 2009

Leave a Reply