50 Words for Richard

Part of the intent for some of my work is the combating of Phallophobia (society (by which I mean the media) decrees the naked woman to be beautiful and artistic while the naked male is seen as shameful)  and so I often have to mention the work Penis.
I try to avoid this as much as possible as the word itself is absurd – merely mentioning it conjures connotations of a middle-aged spinster librarian discussing the body parts of a fruit-fly. Seguing slightly for a moment; one of the most supremely absurd things I saw recently was a very conservative looking American Archivist trying to seriously discuss some of the more blatant work by Robert Mapplethorpe.
Returning to the subject – any author will tell you that words have power; and while there are dozens of synonyms for the male reproductive organ (a Google search will bring up over 200) they each have different connotations attached which usually fall into two groups – either offensive (deliberately provocative) or humorous. So when you are speaking in a matter-of-fact manner about this taboo subject you are left with an extremely limited lexicon of names. When you seek to normalise and de-stigmatise the naked male you need a word / name that can be taken equally as seriously. To my own personal taste you are left with maybe two possibilities – either manhood for seriousness or dick for candour…whichever way I am determined to avoid penis as much as possible.

Mapplethorpe: Look At The Pictures (2016), [online] USA: Film Manufacturers Inc. Available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_XaZpVWGHo [accessed 30th July 2017]

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