Monday, August 22, 2011

Bodies and Sex and Boobs Oh My

I got into a Facebook discussion today about breastfeeding, and one of my friends said that she was grossed out by breastfeeding, because she always saw her breasts as sexual and she couldn't get past that. (I want to segue for a second here to say that this friend is very pro other people breastfeeding, this was just something she couldn't do.)

I actually hear this a lot. I would say that two to five times a week, I have people expressing concerns about feeding a baby with a part of their body that has, until now, been totally sexual for them.

I could go into a discussion about how sexualized the breast is in the Western world and how sad it is that women can only see them in a sexual manner - but that's not where I want to go with this.

Instead, I want to talk about the fun contradiction of being a girl.

Please understand - I LOVE being a chick. Love it. I love long hair and nails and makeup. I adore glitter and the color pink and clothes and heels. Big sunglasses? Jewelry? Skinny jeans? Sign me up for all of it. And being/looking sexy? I love it. I consider myself super hot, thankyouverymuch, and I have confidence in spades in most situations.

And this is often a problem for some people. Although we sexualize everything in our culture, heaven forbid you fall outside of the realm of acceptable sexy to anyone. Then you're a whore. A slut. A skank. A number of other words that have been thrown at me, and probably most of the rest of the people with vaginas who are reading this blog. We want a gorgeous half naked girl draped artistically in our perfume ad, but put a real girl in a low cut shirt and, damn - can we even handle that? She's a whore, or she's just tempting men into illicitness and we should probably, like, burn her at the stake.

I own my sexuality and I am unashamed. I also have more male than female friends in real life, and they have never once been unable to handle being around me without molesting me. It's sheer insanity. I can hang out with them in short skirts or cleavage baring stuff and be ok. Could it be that men are actually not animals and are able to function around sexiness - just like women can function around hot men without literally ripping their clothes off? Gasp. In fact, the very few times someone has crossed the line with me, it's my guy friends who have been like, "Um, no. Not ok. You need to respect our friend."

And could it maybe be that our own issues of inadequacy - spawned from the societal contradictions out there - that those are the reasons that we brand other women whores and sluts? Because it's us doing it, girls. I can count on one hand the number of times a guy has called me a whore or slut. In thirty years, less than five is not actually a massive number. I could not, however, even begin to put a number on the amount of times that a girl has labeled me that. I can say that it would require me to be an utter freak of nature to even begin, because it's for sure more than twenty. And for what? What benefit does all the slut-shaming and whore calling do to us? It doesn't make us more attractive, or nicer, or smarter. It doesn't solve the very real feminist issues out there. It doesn't keep little girls from learning that their bodies aren't good enough in any form ever and that they should both fear and loathe them. It does give a really nice out to the douchebags out there who use it when they hurt or rape girls, though. I mean, if she's a whore, she was asking for it, right? For those of you who think only miscreants use that defense and everyone sees through it, you're wrong.

Then you have the other side of the coin. The breastfeeding side. The side where OMFG vaginas and boobs have non-sexual purposes. We're pretty uncomfortable with our biological functions, too. A breastfeeding woman is too indecent to have around boys, and she should be covering that shit up to not corrupt youth and also, again, entice men to stray. Jesus, men, I'm so sorry for you. We really seem to buy that you just cannot keep that shit in your pants ever. While I'm sure that this gives a great out to some douches out there, I imagine that most of you kind of hate it all. Anyways. Breastfeeding moms, they're gonna glamourize pregnancy and make men go into fits of sexual insanity, and break up families and corrupt the youth of the nation. FOR REALS YOU ALL. It's just bad. I mean, you're a mom now. You can't have boobs! Not even functional ones! Go put on your mom jeans and stop making people uncomfortable.

So there you have it. If you're too sexy, you're screwed. Showing the biological side of a sexual part? Screwed. And if you, like me, do both - dear god, I'm not even sure what to call us. Super mega extra ninja sluts. Destroying the fabric of America. WORSE THAN THE GAYS.

Ladies, it is time to take our sexuality and our biology back. It is time that we relearn confidence in ourselves and our bodies. It's time that we realize that NO ONE is the Madonna OR The Whore, and that we are all delightful combinations of various different things. It is time that we stop pigeonholing ourselves and each other and truly loving our bodies and ourselves for what we are and what we do. And it is way beyond time that we shut up with the slut/whore nonsense.

I am whatever you say I am.

I really, really didn't want to write this blog post.

I agonized over whether or not to bother. I went back and forth. And if I did write it, how should I write it? Sometimes I envisioned it as being just full of vicious rhetoric and avengeyness (it's a word, I just typed it.) Sometimes I envisioned just clearing my name.

It will be neither of those.

Here's all I want to say on this: There's a LOT of shit being talked about me right now. It's not the first time, and it very likely won't be the last. However, there are several sides to this story, and most haven't heard mine. I'm not going to tell it here. This isn't an expose and I am weary of the entire goddamned topic by now. If you want to believe what's being said, that's your choice. You can go on, you can hate me, you can also talk shit. That's all you. Delete me on Facebook, stop talking to me. Will it hurt my feelings? Perhaps marginally. But I'm gonna choose to focus on the other people, the ones who've said, "Yeah, I heard this, but I know that can't be the whole story because it makes no sense," or those who have said, "You know what? I'm not going to get involved; I'm just going to be Switzerland* here and let everyone else figure out their shit." Those people are awesome.

Besides, I discovered long ago one thing - when you sling mud, you get fucking covered in the shit. Doesn't take too long until people are turning it back on you, wondering how, if you're so squeaky clean, you got all that mess on your shoes. I've been burned in that respect more than once. I'm almost thirty now and I'm getting to the point where I feel like a pathetic loser when I court drama.

And before anyone freaks the fuck out thinking that this blog or any part of it is some kind of dig against anyone, it's not. When I'm a bitch, I am far less subtle about it.

Comments are closed on this, because the entire subject is closed as far as I'm concerned.

(*Thanks to the lovely Karina for pointing out that I used the wrong country here. Because I am a nerd lol.)