I tend to get a lot of questions about all things Icelandic when people find out that it’s my nationality. The most common ones are related to Sigur Rós, Björk, elves, Aurora Borealis, and how to pronounce ‘Eyjafjallajökull.’ The resulting conversations get very tiring very quickly.
Occasionally, however, I face a topic that sparks some lively discussions. Currently the most enjoyable one is Iceland’s Phallological Museum. I have unfortunately not had the chance to go and enjoy its wonders, but I have most certainly found myself deep in philosophical discussions about its role and meaning.
During these discussions an almost inevitable question arises: How on earth could Iceland have the only one? First of all, you’ll find more species of mammals in an average Australian backyard than you’ll find in the whole of Iceland. Mammal species native to Iceland can be counted on one hand, and yet the biggest collection of penises is in Reykjavik!? And second, I absolutely reject the idea that Icelanders are any more obsessed with the 11th digit than are other nations around the world.
The world’s dressing rooms support this belief of mine. Through the years they have provided a canvas for their inhabitants’ pent-up creative energy. Artists never stay there for longer than a few hours, but all those rooms seem to inspire the same need for a creative outlet and therefore you´ll find them full of elaborate and intriguing drawings of dongs.
These are the same kinds of cocks you’re likely to find scribbled on the school desks of juvenile boys, but the ones that live on the walls of the world’s dressing rooms tend to be a touch more creative. I’ve encountered dicks in all sorts of disguises. The pricks are often portrayed as monsters, animals, plants, clothing and fashion accessories or even various types of vehicles ranging from unicycles to spaceships. The variety is endless, and the amount of creative thought that goes into these drawings is very compelling. But I can’t help but wonder: Why penises?
Don’t get me wrong, I do see a fair share of boobs and vaginas, but those tend to be accompanied by a manhood monster of some description. Female reproductive organs also tend to be drawn relatively characterless. They’re normally just presented as body parts, rather than aliens or dinosaurs. I doubt I’m the only one, but I have always been of the opinion that a drawing of a uterus provides countless opportunities for characterization—Google ‘cuterous’ to jog your imagination. But this seems to be a yet untapped (pun intended) field of dressing room art.
CURIOUSLY ABSENT CUTEROUS
One possible explanation is that the vast majority of people who spend their time in these rooms are bored boys. Girls are, sadly, in a small minority when it comes to inhabitants of putrid rock club dressing rooms. Another could be that men are more inclined to express their obsession with their own genitalia. I’ve got no proof of this, but I do find it easier to imagine Högni sketching his private parts in the backroom of a dingy German joint than Sigríður drawing hers.
Unfortunately though, the misrepresentation of genitalia art is not the worst consequence of this gender discrepancy in rock ‘n’ roll. All discussions benefit from a variety of contributing voices, and like in so many other fields, rock ‘n roll is in dire need of more female input. But, as the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and we need to start somewhere.
I therefore strongly recommend that women start contributing to the newly launched International Association of Genitalia Art Enthusiasts. Further down the line this will hopefully result in a competitor to the highly revered Phallological Museum, a celebration all things vaginal.
There are too many dicks in Rock ‘n’ Roll!