Artist Megumi Igarashi was arrested this Monday by Japanese police, accused of distributing obscene material electronically. The specific offense: sending 3-D modeling data of her vagina over the Internet to select donors to her recently-crowdfunded vagina boat project. A kayak, that is, whose upper surface she fashioned to the exact dimensions of her vagina (not, of course, to scale).
Already a petition has been started to acquit the 42-year-old artist who goes by the pseudonym rokudenashi-ko (“good-for-nothing kid”). The arrest is seen by many, both in the country and abroad, as representing a double standard that exists in Japan when it comes to male and female sexuality. The nation does, after all, host the Festival of the Steel Phallus in Kawasaki every year.