Musings on the Distaff December 17, 2005Posted by Administrator in Uncategorized.
Point to ponder: We (males) cannot comprehend the reality of having a portion of our anatomy OUT THERE for all the world to see as a sexual object (or objects). Ironically, tho’ our “equipment” is decidedly more “out there” than the complementary equipment of our female compatriots, there is no single feature of our various (clothed) physiques that can be considered plainly sexual in nature as are the female breasts. Sure, there are some women who will say it is the shoulders, or the butt, or the face, or the hands of the man that turns them on. Those answers may vary -radically- from woman to woman.
But talk to a man, and he will cite one of three things in addition to the woman’s face (or a combination of all three): legs, butt, and breasts.
Damned few will say that they never consider the breasts in appraising the relative value of feminine pulchritude. (I base this decidedly unscientific statement on my own adolescence, coupled with conversations with various men over the course of that same adolescence, generally ending around the time I met my wife.)
So, for women, they have to contend with the reality that many men are scoping their breasts, comparing them with other women, and rating the woman’s relative attractiveness and sexual worthiness based on their breasts.
And they cannot hide them (especially if one is amply endowed).
Why does he bring this up? I have pondered the issue off and on for many years: How do women deal with this? It would drive me personally insane if people were looking at some portion of my anatomy when talking to me rather than my face.
(An aside: In one of the more hilarious moments of my career, I split my pants [in the crotch] last year. . .unknowingly. A number of my students snickered at my ignorance for awhile. . .until I demanded an explanation for the repeated guffaws. . .and I was informed of my handicap. I simply sat down, crossed my legs, and continued teaching until the end of the period. At which point I changed into shorts and T-shirt that I conveniently had with me. What unnerved me was having virutally every student for the remainder of the day talk to me first looking at my crotch instead of my eyes. As a result, I got a small glimpse into the life of a girl whose breasts cannot be hidden by any amount of shirt, underwear or sweater material. Unpleasant.)
My question: Women, how do you tolerate this? It is a fundamental objectification of your self; you are not being viewed as a person by the staring male, you have become an object. I ask not out of outrage, or challenging you to be more confrontational. I am genuinely curious. Guys just don’t have to put up with this sort of thing.
And on another note, fashion is exacerbating the problem by draping words (often provocative phrases) right around breast level. . .and now, even worse, on the butts of pants; thereby deliberately drawing attention to those portions of the anatomy that objectify the person.
Another aside: There was a woman I once supervised who ran the daycare center on the site of the school I was principal of. I came into her office, and she was wearing a shirt that had pictures on the front of some of the kids from the center, and I was looking intently at the shirt to see if I could identify the faces on it. The fact that these pictures were also at breast-level on this woman was the farthest thing from my mind. After about 5 seconds of this, she coldly stated: “Can I HELP you?” At which point, I recoiled with embarassment as I realized that it appeared I was scoping her chest and explained that I was merely trying to identify the kids on her shirt. At which point SHE became embarassed at misconstruing my intent and we had a good laugh over it. But even this innocent anecdote can help illustrate the larger issue: How does one cope with a part of the body that is so often considered as sexual, yet often cannot be hidden? Guys, we can’t grasp it.
Women, can you help? Tell not only how you cope, but perhaps get some feelings out there on how unpleasant it may be. . .so that at least SOME of us can get a better understanding and maybe learn to objectify a little less.
Another aside comes to mind of a young woman I know (NOT one that I teach), now a high school senior, who actually enjoys occasionally dressing in such as a way as to accent her rather significant decolletage (cleavage), then going to a party and seeing how many guys she can get to get her a drink, a plate of goodies. . .in essence, she tries to see how many guys can she get to eat out of her hand when she uses her body in such a way. And she leaves all of them dangling, in the end, sweetly wishing them all a “good night” and she then goes home. I know she does this on purpose, as I have observed her at such functions, saying to me, “Watch this”, and she’ll go over to some unsuspecting guy, engage him in 2 minutes of nothing conversation, while he fum’fuhs and tries to both look her in the eye and down her cleavage at the same time.
What to make of this, the use of ones physical assets almost as an interpersonal weapon (or bribe, I suppose. . .)?