Haugar Vestfold Art Museum censors ‘Vagina Anthem’

Haugar Vestfold Kunstmuseum

Norway’s Haugar Vestfold Art Museum has banned a performance of ‘Vagina Anthem’ by lesbian artists The Hungry Hearts on the grounds that celebrating female anatomy is offensive to people with penises.
The Hungry Hearts is an eight member all-lesbian musical art group which has performed for over a decade at venues such as The Museum of Contemporary Art, Bergen Kunsthall, the Norwegian Opera and Ballet. Their performances, video installations, music, photographs and texts have been featured at over 50 international film festivals.
The Hungry Hearts

The group has released a statement:

“Hungry Hearts has been censored by the very curator inviting us to participate with art works and a performance at Haugar Vestfold kunstmuseum. We are not allowed to perform our new work “Vagina Anthem” as the curator fears that trans persons might be offended by the lyrics. Therefore, we decline to perform at all at the opening of the exhibition the 27th of January. As a reminder, our purpose with “Vagina Anthem” is the following (from the press release):

“Vagina Anthem” is a tribute to women. Hungry Hearts’ new single is about women in front. It is also a comment on the massive intolerance and attacks women are exposed to for exercising freedom of speech. It is for women who support the # Metoo campaign and to those who have been able to report abuse. It is for those who makes an effort to fight the battle against female erasure and oppression. And all the unknown heroines who have fought for women’s liberation throughout history. “Vagina Anthem” is an angry-fight-song for support when the mob is at its worst and gives extra energy to continue the fight. It’s not over.”

Hungry Hearts has been censored by the very curator inviting us to participate with art works and a performance at…

Posted by The Hungry Hearts on Friday, January 26, 2018

This is a continuation of an ongoing worldwide campaign by individuals with penises to censor all public mention of female bodies and the female sex, such as in news reporting and apportionment of women’s quotas and allotments.
The campaign to make the female sex unspeakable has particularly targeted lesbian filmmakers, authors, artists, and performers, with increasingly violent crusades by penis owners to ban works which center female bodied people. In 2016, a US male who had previously travelled cross-country to protest a lesbian gathering on private land went on to murder a lesbian couple and their son by beating, stabbing, shooting, and burning them. In 2017, a group of men attacked and beat a sixty-year-old woman in Speakers Point at UK’s Hyde Park because she planned to attend a discussion against proposed changes to eliminate the legal definition of female sex.
Here is the censored work, ‘Vagina Anthem’ by The Hungry Hearts:

Ironically, the Haugar Vestfold Art Museum is perhaps best known for their long running permanent exhibition celebrating the graphic and brutally misogynist work of painter Odd Nerdrum.

‘Pissing Woman’ by Odd Nerdrum

Self Portrait: Odd Nerdrum

33 thoughts on “Haugar Vestfold Art Museum censors ‘Vagina Anthem’

    1. Hilarious — “the existence of your vagina is a continual insult to my autogynephile sex fantasies! You’re not allowed to remind me that other people have the actual physical organs of my fetishistic fantasies!”

  1. Strangely no one seems to consider the feelings of trans “men” when it comes to the constant obsession with and display of dicks. What a mystery 🤔

    1. It’s preposterous. Not all women can or want to give birth. Millions of women are postmenopausal. And yet you don’t see women campaigning against mention of childbirth or discussion of menstruation because it makes them feel like men. Women who have hysterectomies are still women. Women who have mastectomies are still women.
      If transwomen really are the women they claim to be, why aren’t they confident about their womanly genitals? Of course the answer is that they know a penis is a male organ, and that every feature of their body is male, from the cells up The basic premise of their LARP life is trying to force the rest of us to deny reality and all we can do is firmly and clearly resist.

    1. Never be ashamed to be Norwegian. The band that wrote the song is Norwegian. This is the first time I’ve heard of them, so something good has come out of this. And Norway is way ahead of the UK on women’s rights.

    1. *spittake* Hahahahaha! Thank you for telling me. Also managed to misspell it as “Hagar” later in the piece. I simply CANNOT spell that word. Thank you for saving me from further embarrassment. 🙂

  2. Ugh. This nonsense really has to stop. I wonder when they will try to ban biology lessons in schools, because of certain topics related to anatomy.

  3. The art museum’s ban may actually make Vagina Anthem” and the Hungry Hearts more widely known. It’s a fantastic song, and I’ve been singing it since I first heard it two days ago. My favorite line is “We give birth to all you fools”–which, for some reason, doesn’t make me feel in the least offended or excluded even though I’ve never given birth. Perhaps being treated from infancy as a member of a class makes you feel a kinship with others of that class, even if your life isn’t exactly the same as theirs. What a revelation!

    1. Yes, Oak and Ash, I agree. The song will get more well-deserved attention thanks to the museum’s censorship of it, and I can’t stop singing it, either. I seriously want a dance party, *now*, just to rock out with you all to this song.
      Hit music has a way of moving people that other methods cannot come close to. Hopefully people around the world will soon be singing and dancing to “We are women, with vaginas, giving birth to all you fools…you’re just another dickhead in the zoo.” (That’s my favorite line.)
      I’m going to send this to my favorite musician du jour, S. White, and see if she’ll cover it.

    1. …….and on Sound Cloud and Spotify. It’s a really catchy little tune that’s been keeping me smiling today!

  4. Can anyone from Norway tell us, is this hypocrisy getting media attention in Norway? Is it getting attention elsewhere which could potentially embarrass or even harm the museum?
    Great song, btw.

    1. I’m Norwegian, live in Oslo, follow current events pretty well and I hadn’t heard anything about this until I read it here. I checked our main news sites for you.
      nrk.no – our state-owned TV channel’s website, they’re like our BBC. Nothing on the front page and nothing relevant in search results.
      nettavisen.no – Nettavisen is an online paper with no print edition, they have nothing on the front page. As they have no decent search function I wasn’t able to do a proper search but I searched via Google and couldn’t find anything.
      vg.no – VG is our biggest print newspaper, they have nothing on their front page and nothing relevant in the search results.
      dagbladet.no – Dagbladet is our second biggest newspaper, same as above.
      aftenposten.no – Aftenposten is our third biggest newspaper, same as above.
      These are the three national print newspapers we have. I also checked the local paper for Tønsberg, the town where this museum is located.
      tb.no – they have one article on their front page, far down, but I can’t read it as it’s behind a paywall. When I searched for “Hungry Hearts”, that article was one of the two results though, so it has to do with this story. The headline translates as Our premises are not for hire to express one’s individual opinions. The other article I found via the search is from two days ago, the headline translates as Former Grand Prix* band withdraws from the opening of Haugar exhibition: -This is censorship, says artist. Again, behind a paywall, so I can’t tell you what it says, but there are a couple of sentences quoted on the search results: Haugar banned The Hungry Hearts Performance Band from performing the song “The Vagina Anthem” that they had made for the opening of the exhibition HEN** – fluid sex/gender***.
      Link to the search results:
      *By “Grand Prix” they mean Melodi Grand Prix which is our national selection contest for the Eurovision Song Contest.
      **HEN is a really annoying word that doesn’t actually exist, we have imported it from Sweden where they are really insanse. The male and female pronouns in both Swedish and Norwegian are han and hun respectively. So hen can mean either or none.
      ***In Norwegian we don’t have different words for sex and gender, we just have one word, kjønn. What is meant by gender in terms of gender identity we would call kjønnsroller, gender roles.

      1. Sorry, in Norwegian it’s han (he) and hun (she), in Swedish it’s han (he) and hon (she). So a slight difference. But unfortunately their made up word hen also fits into our language.

  5. Thank you for standing up Sisters! I love The Vagina Anthem! It speaks to.our current Lesbian struggle so many of us Dykes have faced!!

  6. I saw advertising for a pdx production of the vagina monologues. I thought to myself “how long until the transactivist backlash this time?” They can’t abide not being “centered”.

  7. Delightful Song! Disgusting paintings. Appropriate name for the painter, though. He sure was ODD.

    1. It’s actually a very old name here in Norway, it goes back many centuries, to the viking age and probably beyond. It comes from an old Norse word that means the tip or point of a weapon – a spear point or an arrow’s point. The painter is extremely well known in this country for a variety of reasons, he is both acclaimed and controversial.

    1. I know, and looking at that belly, he hasn’t seen it except in a mirror for years. Perhaps that pretty picture is to remind him it exists (and got the short end of the stick as well…)

  8. Great song and the comments — on YouTube!!! — are all awesome. Full of hope 🙂

  9. Wish we could invite Hungry Hearts to tour the US, and wow, they’d be great headliners at women’s marches! Can you get their song on CDs?

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