December 7th, 2005

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01:25 am - on t-shirts and tits (ok, this one was easy)...

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on t-shirts and tits (ok, this one was easy)... - graffiti.maverick — LiveJournal

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[User Picture]From: duckmonster Date: December 7th, 2005 - 06:38 pm (Link)
feminism entire point is to allow a woman full control over her life

On this, we agree.

by marginalizing sexuality out of the picture or by denegrating the female body as secondary to other traits (like say, intelligence) you are being just as objectifying as someone who goes the other way

And on this, we disagree. I feel like society as a whole judges men on brains/abilities and women on body/looks. Now, maybe you don't do that (or maybe you do?), but it's a common problem and one with which I take issue. Sexuality is not a woman's defining characteristic, no matter how much the media or your desires tell you otherwise. Nor is sexuality a man's defining characteristic, as much as some "liberated" women might say they believe it is.

For a girl to pretend all she's got going for her is a pair of breasts is, well, stupid. And I find it frustrating. Yeah, the shirt's sort of funny, if you haven't spent time with people who don't look you in the face, because they're too busy looking elsewhere (especially if those people were more powerful than you in the context of where you were), or other people who write off all of your opinions because you're "just a feminist" (and given that I'm an egalitarian more than I am a feminist, I mostly got accused of that because I happened to be female).

Maybe I've just had bad experiences, or something, that have made me feel so strongly about this issue.

And while I might agree with you that female sexuality is an important issue, I find I still disagree with what you write. I've pinpointed why that is, I believe: your posts read as though your definition of "female sexuality" is "men's right to stare at women's breasts," or, phrased a little differently, "women's right (obligation?) to show off their bodies in a way that pleases people who desire women." And that isn't my definition at all. I don't think a female stripper is a celebration of women's sexuality any more than the Chippendales are a celebration of men's. Either case is just someone making financial gain off others' baser habits, and it has nothing to do with "celebrating" anything. Or with the sexuality of the performers, except as objects of others' desire.

(And it's likely that the people "girlcotting" things were either ill-informed or were trying for a pun; there's no reason to assume they were 'man-hating.')
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: December 7th, 2005 - 08:40 pm (Link)
but don't you see that you aren't really disagreing with me? You're disagreeing with them. I never said that a woman was defined strictly by her sexuality. I never even said it was the most important thing. In fact, if one follows my dating history over the past couple decades or so, one will discover that really, I don't much care for "stupid" girls. I also don't much care for "ugly" girls. Call me too picky if you want, but I tend to like cute smart girls. That's just me. To each their own.

See, what I think you are really complaining about is that the T-shirt kind of objectifies the wearer into a certain one-dimensional chariacture. I agree. People are not one-dimensional. But it's not the person. It's a joke on a T-shirt. My specific statement is that "who ever said brains are more important than beauty?" (or specifically boobs). Let's say that a girl has a Playboy style body, but a below average IQ. Maybe just because that's how she was raised, maybe she has a learning disability. Do you honestly think its wrong of her to make money by posing nude? I think that's incredibly prejudicial. Not everyone is genetically gifted in the brains department either. I think its wrong to assume that those who aren't but are gifted in the physical department are somehow "bad." Just as wrong as it is to make that assumption the other way.

And that's what these girls are recommending. The problem is its not as obvious because their T-shirts aren't very funny. If it were me, I'd have designed a T-shirt that said "I may be flat chested, but my company IPO'd at 157/share." Or "maybe I'm ugly, but I'm smart and rich." Or even simply "who needs boobs when you have brains like these?" All of those shirts are much funnier than the ones the girls came up with because they make fun of the one-dimensional mockery. The very stereotypes that cause prejudices and discrimination are what make the shirt funny.

Often people like to claim that "of course the brain is all that matters." "Looks are unimportant." But that's simply not true. And not even just in the "big boobed girls get better breaks" way. Looks matter. If they didn't then no one would bathe. Or comb their hair. My company would allow me to wear jeans and T-shirts to work. And if looks didn't matter, then these girls would never have complained about the A&F shirts in the first place. Because, really who cares what other people wear?

My point is, you're misinterpretting. I'm not at all talking about my right to look at a woman's chest. Besides, I'm totally an assman. What I'm talking about is the right of a girl to be what she wants to be. And if she wants celebrate her breasts then she should be able to. Is being a stripper a celebration of femaledom? No, its a job. But being a lawyer isn't a celebration of femaledom either. And to me its wrong to judge either of them without knowing the specifics of the personality and situation of the person. But you know what? I'll still make a joke about either one. But in reality, I absolutely refuse to judge either one. And I think that's what the girls are doing. They are making a value judgement that says "being smart is good, being pretty is a non-issue." That's not true. And its not fair.

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