dildos dildo protest teaser
dildos dildo protest teaser

For Millennia, Activists Have Protested With Dildos to Make a Very Clear Point

Sit-ins. Hunger strikes. Marches. There are many non-violent ways to stand up for your beliefs. One tragically under-utilized method involves dildos. Fortunately, through the centuries, brave political activists have utilized the “dildo protest” to make our society a better, happier, slightly more ridiculous place.

We wanted to take time to salute a history of phallic freedom fighters.

Check out this list of dildo protest activists who took a stand through … well, dildos.

1. In 2016, people mailed dildos to the Oregon Militia.

The Oregon militia — a group of armed far-right nutters who took over an uninhabited nature center to protest the government’s decision to incarcerate a couple of arsonists — drew widespread mockery for begging its supporters to send snacks. It turns out they forgot to bring food with them when they decided to take over a federal building for a year — whoops!

Fortunately for the militia, their request for provisions was answered! Unfortunately for them, the request was answered by people who have had quite enough of the group’s unhinged antics. The militia’s detractors took the opportunity to send the silly secessionists hate-mail — including dildos, a 55-gallon drum of personal lubricant and a packet of penis-shaped gummy candies that invites the Bundy clan to “eat a bag of dicks.” (Not to be confused with your chocolate “eat a dick” option.)

Rather than graciously take the care package as an opportunity to work out their frustrations in a more constructive (albeit anal) manner, the militia lashed out at their boner-friendly benefactors by posting an angry video on Facebook. Militia organizer Jon Ritzheimer — holding back tears of impotent frustration — dramatically swept a pile of substitute wieners off a table while huffing, “People spending money to send items representing their hate. That could have been spent on good things. Or those in need.”

That just shows how warped the minds of the Oregon militia were. To the rest of us, dildos are good things — and the Oregon militia boys really look like they need them. I mean, what else are they going to do under that tarp?

Naturally, Ritzheimer’s angry response prompted even more people to mail dildos to the militia.

2. #CocksNotGlocks was a 2016 protest against ‘open carry’ laws on campus.

Jessica Jin

A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin named Jessica Jin organized a Facebook event called Campus (DILDO) Carry to protest Texas laws that permit students to carry handguns on campus despite prohibiting students from carrying sex toys on campus. Jin’s Facebook group explains:

The State of Texas has decided that it is not at all obnoxious to allow deadly concealed weapons in classrooms, however it DOES have strict rules about free sexual expression, to protect your innocence. You would receive a citation for taking a DILDO to class before you would get in trouble for taking a gun to class. Heaven forbid the penis.

Her protest was simple: On August 24, 2016, the day U.T. Austin’s open carry law went into effect, students came to class carrying dildos.

dildos dildo protest

The cheeky protest brought worldwide attention to the issue at hand. Open carry advocates responded to it by fantasizing about the protesters being raped and murdered. Weird! It’s almost as if gun-obsessed men have some issues to work out.

3. Gary Kasparov was attacked by “helicockter” in 2008.

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Anti-Kremlin chess champion Garry Kasparov was attacked by a remote-controlled dildo-copter at a political meeting in Moscow in 2008. According to LiveLeak, the meeting “was called to convene and alternative parliament aimed at restoring democracy.”

Evidently, the wiener-wielding protestors were supporters of the Kremlin. While we may not support the protesters’ beliefs, we can support their choice to use a goofy, non-violent form of disruption.

There is video of this event, thank goodness. Hum Ride of the Valkyries as you hit play.

Kasparov responded to the incident with a sharp quip: “We should be grateful that we’ve been shown one more time that we need to raise the level of political discourse.”

4. In 2015, counter-protesters used dildos and fart sounds to troll gun nuts.

In response to #CocksNotGlocks, a group of gun nuts staged an incredibly distasteful pro-open carry protest in the form of a mock school shooting on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin, which just happens to be the site of an infamous 1966 mass shooting.

dildos dildo protest ut austin
University of Texas at Austin

Counter-protestors responded with sex toys and fart machines. The Texas Tribune describes the scene: “A handful of gun rights activists lay down on the ground and doused themselves in ketchup, pretending to fall victim to pistols made from cereal boxes as, about two blocks away, a crowd of about 100 protesters waved dildos and noisemakers in the air.

The Tribune spoke to one of the counter protestors: “I think everybody here is looking for common sense,” he said, dildo in hand. “We have to protest idiocy with idiocy.”

5. LGBT rights activists mail dildos to Vladimir Putin.

dildos dildo protest putin

A Facebook group called “Send a Dildo to Vladimir Putin” encourages people to do exactly that in order to protest Russia’s treatment of LGBT people.

“Help impale the Vlad!” the group’s Facebook page reads. “Send your toys, new or used, to where they’re needed the most!”

6. In 2014, a performance artist used a dildo to protest classism at Art Basel.

In December 2014, police arrested performance artist Kalan Sherrard while he protested the Art Basel art show in Miami. The Miami Herald wrote:

On Sunday, inside the Miami Beach Convention Center, police said Sherrard joined about 30 people protesting the wealthy. They say he tried fighting off officers who were herding him out of the building, then reached his right hand into his pants and pulled out something unexpected.

“The unknown item was discovered to be a prosthetic penis sex toy,” wrote Miami Beach Police Officer Alex Delgado. “The item was impounded.”

Sherrard, an activist who also happens to be a well-known New York City street performer, was arrested, charged with disturbing the peace and resisting an officer without violence.

Why did Sharrard choose a dildo for his protest rather than a more traditional symbol of capitalism like money or a top hat or a monocle? He would not say. High art asks more questions than it answers.

7. Ten years ago, Dan Savage urged his readers to send used sex toys to a dildo-hating reporter.

In a 2008 Savage Love column about sex toys and relationship etiquette, Dan Savage gave his readers advice on how to properly dispose of their old vibrators, dildos and butt plugs: send them to a Jackson, Mississippi, TV news reporter named Kandiss Crone.

dildos dildo protest dan savage
Dan Savage (right) with his husband Terry Miller

Why? Because Crone pushed the police to bust a shop for selling sex toys. Savage writes:

To protect the citizens of Jackson from the imminent threat of three-dimensional devices, Crone went undercover for a very special “3 on Your Side” investigative report. Crone slipped into Adult Video and Books — in disguise — and purchased a purple vibrator. Then Crone went back in with a camera crew and confronted the store’s owner.

Selling sex toys is still illegal in some states, against all reason, so Crone wasn’t just embarrassing the store owners; she was putting them at risk of a heavy fine or even jail time. In a different anti-dildo raid on Jackson Novelty Video and Movies, the police led the cashier away in handcuffs for selling sex toys. It’s a draconian punishment for an absurd, outdated law.

Even the police think it’s ridiculous. Crone’s article about her undercover report quotes Jackson Police Department Assistant Chief Lee Vance: “The adult store is not a priority for our vice and narcotics officers. We will do the best we can. Citizens would rather see us using our resources to get drugs and prostitutes off our streets and work to decrease violent crime.”

The head of the vice squad thought rounding up dildo-peddlers was a waste of time. But not Kandiss Crone! Evidently Crone was desperate to dig up every last dildo in the state of Mississippi. How considerate of Savage to help her.

8. In 411 BC, Lysistrata urged Greek women to save the country with dildos.

Dildos dildo protest

In Aristophanes’ famous comedy Lysistrata, the titular heroine leads all the women of Greece in a sex strike to force men to end the Peloponnesian War peacefully. There’s a big problem, though: the Ancient Greeks believed women were all ultra-horny drunks, so celibacy is a tall order for them.

The sex strike seems doomed to fail, but Lysistrata suggests a remedy: “τὸ τοῦ Φερεκράτους, κύνα δέρειν δεδαρμένην,” which is Greek for “flay the flayed dog.” It’s a euphemism referring to the fact that dildos were often made of dog leather.

That’s not the only reference to sex toys in the ancient comedy. In another scene, the women lament how military rationing has led to a dildo shortage. War is hell.

9. During Trump’s campaign, an artist turned him into a butt plug.

Florida-based artist Fernando Sosa used a 3-D printer to make Donald Trump butt plugs in response to the GOP candidate’s bigoted comments about Hispanic immigrants. He was selling the Trump butt plugs for $30 in his Etsy shop, along with butt plugs depicting Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un and other loathsome politicians.

(OK, so this isn’t exactly a dildo, but it’s dildo-adjacent, and we thought we’d slip it in at the back end of the article.)

What was your favorite dildo protest? Did we miss another important coup d’etat of dildos? Let us know.

This story was originally published on Aug. 29, 2017

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