Fertility Fetish

An initial reaction to the usage of the phrase “fertility fetish” in Helen Gardner’s Art Through the Ages is a reaction of unease. History is undoubtedly presented with a bias, but reminders of that bias are never pleasant. Phrases such as “fertility fetish” demonstrate this slant. “Fertility Fetish” has been used to describe the Venus of Willendorf statue. “Fertility fetish” can be broken down for further analyzation. “Fertility” is defined as the ability to produce offspring; power of reproduction, while “fetish” can be defined as an object regarded with awe as being the embodiment of habitation of a potent spirit or as having magical potency.

The power to produce offspring is obviously associated with women and the term fetish is generally a term that has negative connotations. This implies that an object that is defined as a fertility fetish is not an object that only pays great respect to fertility, but an object with an unhealthy reverence for fertility. The phrase “fertility fetish” is an inherently sexist phrase. It carries an implication that fertility and therefore females, is an idea that is not deserving of any type of praise. It is surprising that Gardner honored the usage of the phrase by including it in her work especially considering that in all likelihood it was a phrase first used by men who did not think the idea of a female with power was likely. Attaching fetish to the word fertility is also anti-sex. The only way in which a state of fertility is to be obtained at the time when the phrase was first used, was through a sexual encounter. By attaching fetish onto fertility, the phrase is basically degrading the idea of pregnancy achieved through sex.

Perhaps the worst bias that is placed on the Venus of Willendorf or other “fertility fetishes” is the bias of western cultures, specifically those where Christianity is common. The reason why the Woman of Willendorf is referred to as a fertility fetish instead of an ancient Austrian religious artifact is due to the spin of modern religion. If it was an ancient Christian artifact, it would be regarded as a religious artifact, but since it’s a Pagan religion, it’s a fetish. History and religion walk a very tight rope. Much of human history is based around religious figures, ceremonies, and places. However, it is critical that history, despite its religious involvement remain as objective as possible. False reporting writes false history. This is why terms like “fertility fetish” are so destructive. It pays injustice to not only a work of art, but an entire civilization.

An initial reaction to the usage of the phrase “fertility fetish” in Helen Gardner’s Art Through the Ages is a reaction of unease. History is undoubtedly presented with a bias, but reminders of that bias are never pleasant. Phrases such as “fertility fetish” demonstrate this slant. “Fertility Fetish” has been used to describe the Venus of Willendorf statue.

“Fertility fetish” can be broken down for further analyzation. “Fertility” is defined as the ability to produce offspring; power of reproduction, while “fetish” can be defined as an object regarded with awe as being the embodiment of habitation of a potent spirit or as having magical potency. The power to produce offspring is obviously associated with women and the term fetish is generally a term that has negative connotations. This implies that an object that is defined as a fertility fetish is not an object that only pays great respect to fertility, but an object with an unhealthy reverence for fertility.

The phrase “fertility fetish” is an inherently sexist phrase. It carries an implication that fertility and therefore females, is an idea that is not deserving of any type of praise. It is surprising that Gardner honored the usage of the phrase by including it in her work especially considering that in all likelihood it was a phrase first used by men who did not think the idea of a female with power was likely.

Attaching fetish to the word fertility is also anti-sex. The only way in which a state of fertility is to be obtained at the time when the phrase was first used, was through a sexual encounter. By attaching fetish onto fertility, the phrase is basically degrading the idea of pregnancy achieved through sex.

Perhaps the worst bias that is placed on the Venus of Willendorf or other “fertility fetishes” is the bias of western cultures, specifically those where Christianity is common. The reason why the Woman of Willendorf is referred to as a fertility fetish instead of an ancient Austrian religious artifact is due to the spin of modern religion. If it was an ancient Christian artifact, it would be regarded as a religious artifact, but since it’s a Pagan religion, it’s a fetish.

History and religion walk a very tight rope. Much of human history is based around religious figures, ceremonies, and places. However, it is critical that history, despite its religious involvement remain as objective as possible. False reporting writes false history. This is why terms like “fertility fetish” are so destructive. It pays injustice to not only a work of art, but an entire civilization.



Source by Shaun K

Related Posts

Privacy Preferences
When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in form of cookies. Here you can change your privacy preferences. Please note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we offer.