Whitney Bell Is Touring Across The US With A Room Full Of Unsolicited D*** Pics

After receiving a d*** pick she thought, 'it's so beautiful it should be in a museum'

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Whitney Bell is the feminist activist and artist who live-blogged her IUD insertion in support of Planned Parenthood and wrote an abortion gift-guide for teen Vogue.

Bell, (clearly not one to skirt controversy), previously spoke to ELLE about her decision to have an abortion, as well as her involvement in the newly revamped Playboy.

In short, Bell is an as-radical-as-they-come, zero f****-giving feminist, whilst simultaneously being incredibly involved and proactive.

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So when ELLE got wind of her new show, 'I Didn't Ask For This: A Lifetime of Dick Pics', we had to call the artist up and see what it's all about.

After years of receiving unsolicited d*** pics from strangers on the internet, Whitney decided that if these men want their penises seen so badly, she would show them off to the world. Thus giving the guys what they want, whilst also making a point about online harassment.

Whitney isn't against willies full-stop. Far from it, in fact, but a sexual advance without consent is no longer a sexual advance, but harassment or abuse.

How did you get to the point where you were like: 'right, I'm creating an art show of dick pics'?

'After receiving dick pic I thought, 'it's so beautiful it should be in a museum,' an idea was born; I would create a home full of penises. A gallery that would mirror my exhaustion with the constant harassment that women are expected to silently endure.

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'The intent is not to shame the penis, or to shame individual men, but rather to expose the normalisation of misogyny.

After receiving a message saying, 'A dick pic so beautiful it should be in a museum,' an idea was born; I would create a home full of penises.

'Take a look at the hundreds of dicks and the lewd and threatening comments that accompany them. This is how little respect many men have for women. It's time to stop sweeping aside our daily harassment as routine.

'We all think we have come so far but misogyny prevails - whether that be a dick pic in our DMs or a pussy grab from the president.'

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What exactly does the show consist of?

'150 unsolicited dick pics, 30 samplings of the horrific texts that accompany them (supplied by @ByeFelipe) and about 20 dick pic jokes I wrote to bring a little levity to this room full of cock.

We all think we have come so far but misogyny prevails - whether that be a dick pic in our DMs or a pussy grab from the president.

All lining the walls of a woman's home.'

What do you want to achieve when someone walks into this room full of penises?

'By recreating my home and lining the walls with these unwanted dicks, the viewer becomes aggressively aware of how invasive this kind of harassment is.

'This behavior is so commonplace we have all just accepted it as the norm. I want to show that this isn't normal at all.

'When you put hundreds of dicks and the aggressive comments that accompany them up on display like this, the absurdity of it almost becomes comical.

'I was fed up with the harassment and the threats, fed up with feeling unsafe. I was done quietly accepting harassment as my reality.'

I saw that the show was in danger of getting shut down...

'There were a couple days where the show was in jeopardy.

When you put hundreds of dicks and the aggressive comments that accompany them up on display like this, the absurdity of it almost becomes comical.

'Just after announcing the SF show online we got hit with a barrage of comments, DMs, and messages from people calling the show revenge porn and posting CA's Revenge Porn bill on every single comment left on the page, trying to encourage people not to go.

'What surprised me most about this was that it wasn't a group of misogynistic bros but rather a group of millennial social justice warriors.

'Self-proclaimed feminist activists who I believe really do think they were doing good, but they are picking the wrong battle.

'Do you really think your time is best spent defending men who use their genitalia to harass and intimidate women online?

'It's ironic, but not surprising to me that I'm being harassed for trying to call out harassment.'

So what happened?

'In order to be considered Revenge Porn in CA the images must have three characteristics.

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'1) They must be taken/shared in a manner that was considered private. i.e. sent between two members of a relationship.

'2) They must be identifiable.

'3) The release of the images must be directly trying to shame and embarrass the person photographed.

'I refuted all their claims, and explained that this show doesn't fall into any of these three categories, let alone all three combined. However they didn't seem to care about the legality and they called the Gallery to lodge a formal complaint anyways.

It's ironic, but not surprising to me that I'm being harassed for trying to call out harassment.

'It took about a week and a lot of billable hours for our lawyer but all parties involved confirmed what we already knew, that this is in no way revenge porn.

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What are some of the worst messages that accompany the photos?

'Here *incredibly NSFW and potentially triggering* is a dropbox link to all the Bye Felipe messages. Check out the horror for yourself.

'Honestly, when I was reformatting and retyping these submissions I got so unsettled I realized that I had to add some levity to the show.

'I wrote out a bunch of dick pic jokes and found some great quotes from comedians and feminist writers for balance.'

Have their been any guys at your shows?

'What I think is exceptionally worthwhile about this exhibit is the reaction from men. 'Are people REALLY sending you pictures like this?' they ask, horrified.

'Obviously #NotAllMen are chauvinistic pigs, harassing women with unsolicited photos of their cocks, but enough men are. Enough men that almost every single woman I know has received one. Enough men that every woman has been made to feel unsafe, like her body is not her own.

'I encouraged these shocked men to talk to the women in their lives and ask them not just about the dick pics that they receive, but the sexual harassment they face everyday. Maybe it's getting hollered at on the street, maybe it's some dude at work, maybe it's you, and you don't know. '

What's your best come back to an unsolicited dick pic?

'I'm partial to sending a pic of a severed dick back. Or if their message was particularly egregious I'll blow up their phone with severed/bloody penises.

What I think is exceptionally worthwhile about this exhibit is the reaction it's met with from men. 'Are people REALLY sending you pictures like this?' they ask, horrified

'Although I feel like that point is still lost on most of these dudes.'

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