|sistermagpie (sistermagpie) wrote,|
@ 2008-04-22 05:18 pm UTC
|Entry tags:||bodies, meta|
And clarification here:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like the deal was a bunch of friends were sitting around and some guy started talking about how it would be so great if they could just ask to touch women's breasts when they felt like it, and some girl said he could touch hers and everybody got into it and now there are these buttons. If you wore one at the con it meant random guys could ask to touch your breasts and you could say yes or no.
Now, I'm not necessarily grossed out by somebody deciding that they're okay with people (men or women) asking that and saying yes to it, or some women or men deciding they're going to ask women to feel them up. But I really don't get what's supposed to be empowering about it except if you really like touching/being touched by strangers and couldn't find a way to make that happen. It's your body, do what you like.
If I had more time I'd probably go on and on, particularly about this sad but unsurprising line:
"By the end of the evening, women were coming up to us. "My breasts," they asked shyly, having heard about the project. "Are they... are they good enough to be touched?" And lo, we showed them how beautiful their bodies were without turning it into something tawdry."
Yeah, read that again. That's supposed to *not* be tawdry, the women hesitantly asking if their breasts were "good enough to be touched", and being granted self-esteem and shown how beautiful their bodies were. That's not tawdry?
Now, I'll just say upfront that I am highly suspicious of feminist rebellions that happen to coincide with a straight junior high boy's idea of the way the world should work. Didn't buy it when Demi Moore or Sharon Stone tried to sell it to me way back when either. (And I don't think they bought it either.)
The "pro" side of this argument that I've seen is that it's feminist because "the man" is the one telling me I should cover my breasts and only let certain people touch them. (Or really the sexual partner of my choosing and my babies if I had any) And also "Why shouldn't I be able to just ask to touch someone's breasts because I appreciate them when I don't want anything more?"
My answer to the first idea is probably contained in the part about the junior high boys. I appreciate not having to say no more often than I already have to do--I am comfortable with "no" being assumed in many situations, just as it is in so many social interactions. And that leads into my answer to the second response, which is that...You (meaning anyone) already do have the right to ask anybody this. You can go up to any woman on the street or in a bar or anywhere and ask to stroke her breast because you find them attractive. Why aren't you doing that now? There's nothing stopping you...except perhaps the suspicion that she wouldn't appreciate it? After all, that's the only negative thing you have to fear.
So imo isn't the gift here less to the touchee and more to the toucher who now has women reacting more the way he wishes she'd react. I doubt there are quite as many women sitting in a bar and thinking, "Damn, why doesn't one of these guys come up and ask to feel me up?" If she wanted it, she could probably ask for it and expect a more positive response than the guy on the other end. I just don't think the general understanding of breast-stroking as intimate act that is therefore restricted to intimate rather than casual interactions is so very restrictive. But the fact remains that there are no laws about not asking. This is more about being able to expect a different answer. Which is more about the reaction that women are expected to have being WRONG because it conflicts with the desire of the person who wants to touch them. Men can already ask; women can already say yes, with both parties being happy.
Even the first explanation up there about it being empowering and feminist says exactly that--if you don't like the idea of a stranger asking to stroke your breast, it's because society has made you think that or because you've made yourself a property of some man and aren't taking ownership of your own body. You might feel like that's what you're doing (since you're refusing someone's request to invade your space when you don't want them to) but really you'd be more empowered if you were more open to it off the bat. Or as someone else in the comment thread said, you give them the power to make the request of you, while you only have the power to refuse or grant it--rather than, say, just going up to someone you want to touch your breast and asking them.
Ack! Am totally late now!