April 24th, 2008

bad idea

LET'S TALK ABOUT BOOBS! A reader discussion forum

I was originally going to post this as a comment to miesl's locked entry on the matter, but it got pretty long, so I'll post it here.

For all your linky goodness, and for a very TL;DR explanation, please check out these links:
The "original" post
Unfunnybusiness: OH JOHN RINGO NO!
Slog's collection

Some guys thought it would be really awesome if they could feel boobs, get it out of their supposedly natural guy systems to feel a ton of boobs and invited girls (and guys, maybe?) to wear buttons that either gave a green light to be groped or a button that said No, please don't even think about it. All in the sake of those flabby fun bags that women possess to be made public. Or something....

I still don't know exactly how I feel. I think it was a good idea in someone's head that, in a small, closed environment, worked because the people in that environment were okay with or understood it - one of those "you had to be there" kind of things. However, when brought out into a larger scale it takes on a very disgusting, rather skeezy air to it that's really pretty gross.

It would be nice if we lived in a world where my boobs were not sexualized; where I, simply being a woman and in possession of boobs, was not sexualized; and that guys where not so obsessed with boobies (I keep asking my boyfriend about his obsession with my boobs and boobs in general. He can't really explain it to me and so far, no guy has. Even gay men like boobies but, I suspect, most of that is because they can play with them in front of straight men to make them jealous. "haha, I can touch her boobies without getting slapped! HAHAHAHAH").

The line that gets me every single time I read it, and one that invokes a feeling that is akin to rage, is "I may not yet know your mind, but your body is beautiful."

What does this line say? If I were not beautiful, would you not want to get to know my mind? That my outwardly identity is the only thing that draws you near? And what about women at the con who men did NOT find beautiful, would they feel left out if no one paid attention to them? How about girls who DIDN'T have boobs? WOuld they get any attention in any way? What that line says to me, and says loudly, is that women are sex objects first, everything else second.

Now, the person who said that may not have intended that to have been the message. He may have simply wanted women to know that they were beautiful but what does beauty have to do with how intelligent a woman is? Or what that woman has to offer? Or what she can achieve, has achieved already, or will achieve in the future? All it's saying is that "you're hot and I wanna grope your boobies."

Now I do want to point something out that has bothered me in these recaps. Many of these men in question, as well as many male con-goers, have been lumped under a degrading stereotype of, and I quote, " mouth-breathing sci-fi nerd who has never been within 40 feet of a real woman." While this may have been written in anger, doesn't it demean the author's point about objectification by doing the same thing to men? Perhaps it's just "fair's fair" but if we're going to tackle this subject, choosing the correct language is kind of important.

I'm opening the floor up here for a civil discussion. I would LOVE to hear from the guys on my friends list about how they feel about this matter and about boobs in general. Are boobs taboo and that's why you want to play with them? Does the prettiness of a girl make you want to talk to her more? Do you feel that the men in question have been unfairly attacked in the response to the Open Source Boob Project?

Girls, I'd like to hear your own opinions too. How would you feel about having these buttons as an option - should there even be that option? Do you feel objectified at cons? Do you feel objectified in the real world? What is your relation to your boobs?

Everybody, as dangerous as this sounds, I'd like you to be fair and open minded if you respond to each other. Be kind, be thoughtful, I'm not gonna ban anybody (I don't hold enough celWEBerty cred to do that, anyway) and I won't freeze threads. Just, play nice, and let's see what people have to say.