Local Kickstarter Campaign Asks Women to Draw Penises

Philadelphia writer Alex Millard has begun a Kickstarter campaign to fund a project that asks women to draw penises, and then write a six-word bio about them.

Women* Draw Penises” may sound hilarious at first mention, but, as Millard points out, the project isn’t completely a laughing matter.

It all began in a women’s writing group. She and the ladies in the group were discussing a project called “Gay Men Draw Vaginas,” which is based on the idea that most people don’t know what a vagina looks like. “But you can’t help but know what a penis looks like,” she tells me. “They’re everywhere. Our architecture is based on them. Women have had unwanted penises in their faces (and, editor’s side note, in text messages). We thought about how men constantly tell women what their bodies look like, but we don’t get to reverse that gaze too often.”

So, to take matters into her own hands, she thought up “Women Draw Penises” to “reverse the male gaze to cast a creative and critical eye on the venerated organ.”

Millard says she’s gotten over 50 entries, drawings that run the gamut from political to funny to downright real. “One woman submitted her molestation story. It’s become so much more powerful than we even imagined it would be. Women have told me they’re surprised about the power it gives them to say, ‘this is what the penis looks like, and this is what it represents to me.'”

She’s opened submissions to anyone who identifies as a women, including transgender folks. “We want it to be as inclusive as possible, to allow anyone who identifies as female to talk about how they view penises.”

So far the Kickstarter has raised enough money to create a digital book of all the drawings, but Millard hopes to be able to raise more so she can publish a tangible art book. For that, she’d need $4,000.

To donate, or to learn how to submit a drawing of your own, go here. Learn more about Millard’s other work, as a writer on “i believe you | it’s not your fault,” a blog that seeks to help teens overcome traumatic experiences, such as rape.