A lot of the time when people claim that a brand’s logo looks like genitalia, I roll my eyes. The Airbnb logo does not really look like a vagina to me. The 2012 London Olympics logo was fine. The Trump/Pence campaign logo was ugly, but it takes a real slashfic mentality to see the T fucking the P in this, I’m sorry. Logos often act as Rorschach tests for our dirty little minds.
The logo for Australia’s Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet's Women's Network, however, is 100 percent absolutely a dick—and people are noticing. “I thought this was satire, but it is either thoughtless or an insult,” the Older Women’s Network of Australia tweeted. “Public money was spent getting a graphic artist, choosing the designing, selecting colours, approving, printing and publishing this logo for the Prime Minister's and Cabinet's Women's Network.”
The logo, in a literal sense, consists of a loopy, cursive letter W and a long swipe of purple that ends at a rounded point to the letter’s right. In a more conceptual interpretation of this shape, the W is a ballsack complete with a curl of a pube flinging jauntily from the tip of the letter, and the purple column charging ahead of the letter is the shaft of a dick. But I don’t really have to explain it. It’s difficult to see it as anything else.It’s so bad, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet issued a statement on Monday addressing it. “The logo has been removed from the department’s website, pending consultation with staff,” the statement said. “The Prime Minister and the Prime Minister’s Office were not part of this logo design.” The Women’s Network “champions equal opportunity on behalf of its members and is an inclusive, volunteer-based organisation built by members, for members,” according to the government website, and “assists PM&C in enabling cultural change aspirations expressed in the Department’s 100–1000 day plan for transformational change by helping implement PM&C’s Gender Equality Action Plan and Embracing Inclusion and Diversity Program.”
The logo’s been like this since 2019, and has appeared on the PM&C website since at least 2021, based on archived versions of the website. In 2019, according to the department, each of the “staff diversity networks” within the PM&C got a rebrand with new logos. Each of the other networks—dedicated to things like workplace wellbeing, disability rights, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander employee support, and gay rights—have fairly normal logos. Only the women’s network one looks like a dick. For some reason, a lot of people are just now noticing this low-hanging fruit. One of the earliest tweets about it is from an account @FckingKangaroos:
Some see this dick logo as emblematic of a larger problem within the Australian government’s misguided efforts to champion issues like consent and women’s rights. Yumi Lee at the Older Women's Network told Australian outlet SBS News, “It is demeaning, it is degrading, and it is a massive slap in the face,” and that the network itself isn’t effective. "It's not enabling cultural change. It's enabling cultural change 'aspirations'. So we are so far behind that we have to facilitate people to feel like they want to change the culture. It's like saying, let's dream about it some more. It should be enabling cultural change 'to take place'," Lee said.