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  • Virginia Howard

The Great Tit of Oakville High, ON is the Best Women's Rights Activist Ever!

Updated: Oct 6

by Virginia Howard


There's been no more pointed a social critique than his Guerrilla art performance of 'WOMAN'.



We should applaud the Great Tit of Oakville High, ON for producing one of the greatest works of Guerrilla Theatre in the history of Canadian Art. This humble high school shop teacher has struck a blow against sexism with an eye-popping performance that has attracted world-wide media attention. But strangely, all of the coverage to date has overlooked his pro-women messaging.


Given the aesthetic and situational choices that the artist has made, it should be perfectly obvious that he has intimate knowledge of how sexism works. According to his very own student audience, he's titled his art action: “WOMAN”, bravely signalling his intention to think critically about how we define our Canadian female citizenry. That’s right, his critical discourse is limited to one country’s population, because women in Canada are a breed apart when it comes to our muddled and obscured status. Our very government can’t define what a woman is.


The broad strokes of his silhouette, gloriously altered by the addition of an 9.5 kilogram silicone breast plate that’s sold on cross-dressing and fetish sites, makes his “WOMAN” look pin-headed while simultaneously dwarfing his limbs, so that his arms look vestigial and useless, like a whale’s leg bones. Every misogynist recognizes this version of womankind; she’s intellectually and physically incapable of operating a circular saw, never mind teaching shop or contributing to the greater project of our built culture.


The artist’s deliberate choice of the Z cup, which metaphorically encapsulates a political critique as large and impactful as the Baby Trump balloon, should be given its due. With silicone nipples the size of dinner plates, he’s taking direct aim at the double standard that allows a man wearing oversized fake breasts to go about his life unmolested, while women and girls are sexually harassed for having too much... or too little! That’s because any and all mammary tissue is equally fetishized. Is it any wonder that young women who want to thwart the sexist male gaze, run to the nearest top-surgery surgeon and get a double mastectomy. What real choices do they have, when the combined influences of sex-positive third-wave feminism and gender ideology make the female body something to be marketed, or macerated?


What’s even more gratifying to today’s women’s movement is that the Oakville High performance of “WOMAN” makes a statement about porn and its impact on adolescents, young women in particular. By making himself a walking porn trope in his daily Pride walk, the artist reminds the female student body that they're being continually assessed through the cultural lens of the porn industry. In 2013, we had two tragic examples of young women destroyed by the porn narrative: Rehtaeh Parson and Amanda Todd. Porn culture urged them to self-objectify and once they complied, their peer group slut-shamed them, then hounded them literally to death.


The Canadian women’s movement can find no greater, more empathetic a champion for its human rights cause than in the Tit-Man of Oakville High. He's right up there with U.K.’s Banksy and the Mexican José Guadalupe Posada. The Canadian performance artist Nina Arseneault unfortunately cannot be used as an example, because Arseneault has declared:” My art is not created from a place where I’m trying to ease the suffering of other women.”


Once an extraordinary work of social commentary like “WOMAN” has been staged for all the world to see, what could any of his countrywomen add that would screw sexism to its sticking place more firmly?


This article was previously published in V.C.’s Newsletter.


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