Thursday, November 18, 2010

All Het Up

In response to this post at The Hairpin, wherein the male author pleads,

"The compulsion to look at cleavage is a constant struggle,** as the rewards offered by a stolen glimpse of upper-to-mid-boob are far outweighed by the risk of being viewed as a creep. But controlling the urge is a thankless job; in the history of gender relations, I doubt any woman has ever expressed gratitude for the restraint a dude showed in not copping an ocular feel. And that’s fine! We don’t expect to be thanked just for not being jerks. But how about maybe just quietly giving us a smidge of credit? We’re not monsters and we’re not homunculuses*** blindly flailing our sweaty, disgusting eyes toward any partially exposed breast that comes into view. Don’t we deserve the courtesy of not being under constant suspicion?"

I must reply, No, men do not deserve that courtesy, because it is not a courtesy. A courtesy, for the sake of defining terms and avoiding a devolution into semantic arguments, is "consideration, cooperation, and generosity in providing something". Thus, the courtesy for which the author asks is not a courtesy any more than you not eye-molesting me is a courtesy.

Unless the author thinks that his NOT eye-molesting people is a courtesy, at which point he has very helpfully identified himself as a misogynist who believes that women deserve whatever treatment they are handed by the powerful males in the world and the author's resisting the rights duly afforded to him by Having a Penis is a generous act. The simplest way I can think to put it is that this person seems to think that my not slapping everyone who bugs me across their fleshy, slobbering faces is something to be praised. I mean, that's very nice of him, but I fully recognize that my ability to manage life in a completely non-violent fashion is not an accomplishment. It's just WHAT'S EXPECTED OF ADULTS, and rightfully so.

Okay. I am hereby putting myself in Time Out, reason: Ranting at a Converted Audience, but let me just say - before I do - that this article having been thought out, written, and published by a man who is by all other measures someone I'd admire makes me feel nothing short of suddenly, very alone, to a degree that it may only be described as crestfallen.


pmod said...

Glancing at cleavage isn’t “eye-molesting” !

Cleavage is awesome and it’s abundantly true that we’re naturally drawn to it.

Priya said...

The author admitted that he has been guilty of "copping an ocular feel" which I would definitely agree is different from "glancing".

On the other hand, you wouldn't really know what it's like to be constantly (primarily or exclusively) evaluated as the conduit for someone else's sexual satisfaction (your gender being no fault of your own, certainly), so your statement that "Cleavage is awesome" will, unfortunately, have to be taken with a grain of salt.