The Sexist

Dear Sexist

Ask The Sexist "is this sexist?" and she will whisper back softly, "maybe." Contact The Sexist with your queries.

Dear Sexist,

What is a woman to do when sexist decor appears in one's office? My government office uses art "on loan" from the artists. When we moved into the office two years ago, a bizarre picture of fat, smirking, hairy men was placed between the office doors of two "high feminist" workers. Bad enough. But now a new picture has appeared in the reception lobby. It is placed directly over the head of the receptionist. It has a bright yellow background. The object in the picture looks like a bright blue tattooed penis. The original title, "Welcome," had been crossed out and changed to "Lady of the Lake." An unusual nickname for one's penis.

Upon exiting the elevator and looking up, a common response is "Whoa!" I find that this oppression is hurting my productivity and that of my fellow workers. I believe a guerilla incursion is required. Your thoughts?

—A Reader

Dear Reader,

Is a man's penis implicitly sexist? It is not. Are fat, smirking, hairy men implicitly sexist? They are not. Is the placement of a collection of fat smirking hairy man penis art in your feminist work environment sexist? Maybe.

Typically, I will defend the right of any individual or institution to display any piece of art, anywhere, regardless of the art's quality, the artist's pedigree, or  the patent offensiveness of its subject. Nevertheless, seeing as you work for the government, I'm sure you can find some way to have the artwork removed through official channels. Perhaps former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft can direct you to the proper series of forms through which you may file a complaint.

But consider this: While your office's art collection is quite possibly sexist, it is most certainly hilarious. The absurdity of this situation must be exploited for as long as the penis remains on your walls. The office lurker who revised the name of your government-sanctioned tattooed penis has set the precedent for tomfoolery in this case. I suggest that you and your feminist cohorts brainstorm a host of ridiculous names for the penis. Daily, cross out the former name of the artwork and write in the new title. You might begin mildly, with "Bright Blue Tattooed Penis," then proceed with increasingly ridiculous titles, many of which will invoke the names and personal habits of your supervisors. Soon, your office will have no choice but to replace the artwork with a shoddy O'Keefe knock-off.

—The Sexist

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