On the Day of the Women’s March, a Look Back at Ducks #40, #60

Today, my family and I will be at the Women’s March. Here’s a look back at some relevant, feminist ducks in the flock.

I’m going to put one hundred luminescent duck sculptures in a visible location somewhere in Washington, D.C. While working on this street art project, I’ll document my progress online. You can see all the ducks created so far by going here.

From June 22, 2016

My wife Elizabeth Carter birthed The Duck of Reproductive Rights after finding expired birth control pills in her bathroom cabinet. During a period of time that included numerous news accounts about politicians trying to limit reproductive rights, Elizabeth wanted to create a duck to show, “I just want all these male politicians to stay the fuck out of my uterus.” She included the instructions too because, “Look at this shit? How many men do you think have read all this crap? I’d like to see eight pages of instructions inside a box of condoms.” Duck number 40 is the most politically conscious, angry, and topical duck yet which makes it great street art.

40. The Duck of Reproductive Rights by Elizabeth Carter
40. The Duck of Reproductive Rights by Elizabeth Carter

From August 28, 2016

Duck construction brings out the feminist in Elizabeth Carter as evidenced by duck 40, “The Duck of Reproductive Rights,” and again with duck 60, “Blue Wetness.” Brett helped with this duck as well and listened as her mom explained that, “They need to stop making these ridiculous commercials with blue liquid.”

Brett carefully applying blue wetness to a maxi pad.
Brett carefully applying blue wetness to a maxi pad.

Which lead to a conversation about male fear of menstruation and Kiran Gandhi who made international news when she ran the London Marathon with menstrual blood running down her leg.

“It would have been way too uncomfortable to worry about a tampon for 26.2 miles,” Gandhi wrote on her blog. Elizabeth pointed out that marathoners often vacate waste without shame while running and that what Gandhi did, while no doubt a bold statement, would not have been perceived as radical if not for the stigma associated with menstruation.

60. Blue Wetness by Elizabeth Carter
60. Blue Wetness by Elizabeth Carter

My son, Ben, listened to this conversation as well which is worth mentioning because men can be feminists too. Also, I don’t want him learning about periods from commercials like this the way I did.


What is happening to this woman once a month so that she struggles to find the right pad that will help her to “really keep my mind on the job”?

Anyway, I’m still confused frankly, but I listen. I encourage my kids to listen, and Elizabeth is making duck sculptures themed around the female reproductive system which is likely helping us all in some way.

By the way, aside from being a runner and bold feminist icon, Kiran Ghandi is a musician and has toured with M.I.A. That’s reason enough to include the below video. I could try to unpack what this video says about race, culture, ethnicity, gender, and sex just as I’ve over-analyzed the 1985 maxi pad commercial, but I’d rather just watch M.I.A. rock out.

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