Last week, Allison Wint, a substitute teacher at Harper Creek Middle School, was discussing painting by George O’Keeffe with her art history class.
Wint had been working at the school since January this year.
However when exploring the concept of the painting, Wint used a word that was apparently so outrageous and nauseating that she was fired from her job.
The word? Vagina.
O’Keeffe’s work does in fact look like abstract portrayals of the female anatomy.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Wint recalled saying to her class “Imagine walking into a gallery when (O’Keeffe) was first showing her pieces and thinking ‘Am I actually seeing vaginas here, am I a pervert? I’m either a pervert or this woman was a pervert’.”
“I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life – and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do”. Georgia O’Keeffe There is so much in life to be terrified by, but we can’t let our fears dictate our every move, and hold us back from taking risks. Don’t lose your fire. Be brave. 💙 Painting ~’Grey Line with Lavender and Yellow’ by Georgia O’keeffe. Forms of nature. Perceived associations of flower petals and human anatomy. Georgia O’Keeffe was one of the most talented artists of her time. She revolutionised the world of art for women. #georgiaokeeffe #greyline #art #artist #tate #liveyourlife #nofear #soul #body #mind #create #nature #flowers #petals #feminist #watercolour #TheHive
According to Wint, she was trying to spark an insightful conversation with her teenage students, using the word vagina about 10 times.
However she stresses that it was never in a vulgar way.
Yet, it was deemed inappropriate for 14-15 year-old ears, costing the Michigan woman her job.
A statement from the school said:
She was not terminated due to uttering the word ‘vagina’. We do not shy away from controversial issues … We work very diligently to ensure that all students, staff and contracted personnel are treated fairly with respect and privacy.
Wint has since insisted “I don’t think that’s (vagina) is a word you should be afraid of”.
“I honestly had no words, because I’ve always been an advocate of not censoring art and music and writing”.