We've been following Tits n Bitzz online for a while now and LOVE the work Molly does. We asked Molly, a gender positive artist from Leeds, a few questions about womanhood, gender and her stigma shaking work- here's what she said!
Tell us a little about you
My names Molly and I’m a 21 year old sex and gender positive artist from Leeds. I’ve always had strong feminist beliefs especially regarding the inequalities women face in regards to their genitals and sex, my work aims to educate, empower and de-stigmatise the myth that women cant be powerful sexual beings. I believe all women, non binary folk and men need to be educated on pleasure in all its different forms whether it be masturbation, what feels good for your partner(s), what feels good for you, kinks, boundaries, LGBTQ+ sex or just basic self love and appreciation;
I use soft sculpture and embroidery to create my work. Out of this medium I create large scale sex toys, vulvas and penis’ in bright colours. I use the medium of textiles and create the pieces in hyper feminine colours because embroidery has historically been over-looked as delicate feminine only work, so by taking this factor and subverting it by making huge political statements is almost taking the mick about the prejudice that comes along with this style and hopefully shows how powerful this medium truly is and not just this delicate practice. My art style is all about feminism and sexual equality for women, taking issues like female masturbation and making sculptures to show the power of a woman who is open about self-love and pleasure.
What does womanhood mean to you?
Womanhood to me is completely how you feel. I think in today's society womanhood, just like gender, is a construct built to oppress woman and keep people in boxes. I think the notion that body anatomy defines your gender is so beyond outdated, there are so many beautiful trans women that are excluded from ‘feminist’ movements because cis people are so obsessed with what’s in between other peoples legs, when that does not define your gender at all.
I’m very privileged in the fact that I am a cis white woman and with that my womanhood has never been questioned but the fight for equality isn’t over until all women, cis or not, are treated equally, I think its so counter productive that woman would discredit a large percentage of women, we’re all fighting against patriarchy and fighting for equality so the last thing we need is segregation within ourselves.
If your feminism isn’t intersectional its not feminism. Cis women, trans women, women of colour, disabled women, LGBTQ+ women, working class women, whatever type of woman you are your experience is valid and we all need to support and uplift one another.
What do you think causes the stigma surrounding our bodies and what needs to change?
I 1000% believe that the problems and stigmas surrounding women’s bodies is all down to patriarchal standards to keep us occupied and focused on loathing ourselves instead of focussing on ourselves and careers.
The obsession for women to look a certain way, from our hair literally down to our genitals has always been put into our heads. I remember being in high school and a picture going around of two ham sandwiches, one with the ham neatly tucked into the bread and the other with the ham spilling out with the caption above saying there are two types of girls.
I remember reading the comments and hearing lads talk about how if a girl has big dangly labia like the second sandwich that she’s a ‘slag’ and has slept with loads of people.
I spent high school being ashamed of my body, I sat there in class as a virgin thinking if anyone ever saw my vulva, they’d think I was a right ‘slag’ and that my vulva was ugly.
It took me years to discover that actually my labia size has FUCK ALL to do with that and that bigger flaps were actually the most common way for a vulva to look. HOW DARE I spend all those years hating my body because of what lads, who can I add, have no fucking clue about a woman’s body, said about my genitals, they made me consider labia surgery and spend all that time worrying about what they thought of me rather than focussing on my education and goals, and that is exactly what patriarchy is there to do.
As soon as we as women realise this and put all our energy into ourselves and careers we are unstoppable, I mean of course we are going to get backlash, we’ll be called selfish, a bitch, bossy and every other name under the sun but FUCK THEM. This is why I create my work, to hopefully reach women, young or older, and make them realise that our life is for US and no one else.
What drew you to start your business and what inspired it?
For me personally I have always been a feminist, growing up female you notice the inequalities between the genders a lot more, especially being a woman who is comfortable being open with their sexual pleasures. Throughout high school, boys would constantly talk about masturbation and having sex, they would make comments about labia sizes and how big labia were disgusting.
After a lot of education from feminist artists and strong female in my life I saw the inequalities within all things sex related and my only outlet was art. I’ve always loved art and creating it but by tying those two things that I am passionate about together has helped me gain confidence in myself and other women. Political artwork is my passion, I feel women need to know that their bodies are completely normal and that female masturbation isn’t wrong, it’s a form of self-love and even if you’re in a relationship or not its completely normal and the perfect way to find things out about yourself.
What would your message be to your younger self?
I would firstly tell my younger self that I know you think you know who you are, and you’re so ‘woke’ but hun you have so much more growing and work to do.
The most important thing you need to do is love and accept your true self, stop letting people in friendships and relationships take the piss out of you and use you, tell them to fuck off and allow your true self to come through. The world in 2020 is pretty much fucked, there is racist bigots running the majority of the world, and equality for women, people of colour, LGBTQ+ communities is still waaaay out of reach so keep going.
Never be quiet, EVER, about what you believe in and stop shagging those racist football lads because they're pieces of shit and you know you’re bi so stop pushing them feelings away and go explore and have FUN. You may think that your dreams of being an artist are just dreams but they’re not! Keep working hard, and even when teachers and tutors try to stop you from making work about masturbation and sex, NEVER STOP. I still have such a long way to go but I think realising to listen and respect myself a lot more is the perfect start.
Relationship with your body in the past compared with now?
I’m incredibly lucky to not have had the worst relationship with my body as a whole. I’ve never really been bothered about my weight or anything like that, the issues I’ve had have always been to do with my tits and vulva.
I’ve always thought, since I was young, that my labia were too large and disgusting and I’ve always hated my boobs for being too pointy. Lads would refer to my tits as cones sometimes and I’m always slightly apprehensive when with a new sexual partner to take my bra off at first because that self-consciousness’ has always stuck even though now I like my boobs.
It took me a while to realise how very normal my labia are, most women’s labia hang down, and through feminist artists that have depicted and celebrated women’s different vulvas did I realise that I was completely normal, the same thing with my boobs as well. I’ve always thought I had massive labia and was completely at piece with that fact until very recently when I got out of the shower, I decided to actually properly look at myself. I spread my legs in front of a mirror and for the first time in my life I realised how nice my vulva actually is! My labia, from face on (rather than the view I always see looking down on myself) aren’t even that big at all, and for the first time in 21 years I actually considered my vulva to be beautiful! This was a huge step forward for myself and I’m so glad I’m finally realising that I need to love my self properly!
What is the mission behind Tits n Bitzz?
My works main purpose is to educate people on all things sex, misogyny and self-love. Not everyone understands my work. I think most people who don’t are men that are frankly intimidated by strong females asserting their sexuality. However some people that don’t understand my work are women as well, I’ve had comments said to me that my work is vulgar and crude, some people have even stated that they feel there is no point in my work as men and women are equal and that the fight for equality is over so what is the point.
All of these critiques don’t make sense to me personally however my work is here is cause controversy. The provoking nature of my work is something I personally adore, I want older generations to be shocked and disgusted by it, I want men to fear the power of sexual women and I want people to argue with me over whether the gender basis is still relevant or not because ultimately its opening up the conversation about it, it's making people question their beliefs and reflect on their thoughts and if I can at least open up their mind enough to gain a reaction, whether it be positive or negative, it still means my work is having an impact and maybe if they look further into my work and the meanings and facts behind it they’ll understand and gain knowledge about it.
Follow Molly's insta page here