There are a lot of amazing things you can do with 3D printing, but it seems that not everyone is on board with all of the possibilities. For instance, a woman in Japan has been indicted for a 3D printed kayak shaped like her vagina. Because, when you think about the shape of a kayak, the idea does sound kind of perfect, but apparently not everyone sees it that way.
Artist Megumi Igarashi has been indicted and faces up to two years in jail and a fine of the equivalent of over 20,000 US dollars for creating a kayak that incorporates a 3D model of her genitals. Japanese officials claim that the kayak is a violation of Japan's obscenity laws, which ban "pictures of actual genitalia," as the Japan Times notes. Igarashi faces charges for distribution of obscene data after she sent the data needed to make personalized vagina kayaks to donors for her crowdfunding campaign.
Igarashi, 42, disputes the charges. “We don’t agree with the prosecutors’ contention at all,” said Takeshi Sumi, one of Igarashi’s lawyers, according to the Japan Times. “We will continue pleading not guilty on behalf of Igarashi, who argues her works are not anything obscene.”
And I would have to agree — after all, Japan also allows a pretty explicit penis festival to go on every year without citing obscenity laws over the numerous representations of male genitalia. So why is a vagina so scandalous?
This is not the first time Igariashi has gotten into trouble for her vagina kayak. She was arrested this summer after rowing the kayak across the Tokyo river as part of an effort to confront the country's taboos surrounding female genitalia. During a press conference at the time, Igarashi stated, "I don’t believe my vagina is anything obscene."
The indictment, which was handed down on December 24th, has drawn widespread criticism from many in Japan who feel the country's authorities are out of touch. After her July arrest, 21,000 supporters signed a petition calling for her release. Never-the-less, it seems that prosecutors have decided to pursue charges after all. Which obviously sucks.
Well, all I can say is if this is how Japanese officials reacted to one little vagina kayak — or I guess, the prospect of up to 30 little vagina kayaks — I would hate to see what they'd make of the giant vagina stadium Qatar is building. Their heads might explode.