Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Yay Boobies!

The best thing about getting kind of chubby is the bonus boobies. When I was skinny, I was skinny all over, but now I can actually put those bras I've been buying all my life to good use.

Unfortunately, I've had a conflicted relationship with cleavage. As a feminist, I want to reject everything that sets women apart as sexual objects, especially in the workplace. After all, it would be considered weird and absurd for a man working in an office setting to show his bare legs or arms or chest. So why is it normal for women's professional clothing to reveal so much of our bodies?

But, my breasts are nice. I like them. I want to enjoy the way they look, and everyone else can just stuff it. Why should this feel like a violation of my principals, dammit?

However, I don't want anyone feeling entitled to objectify me or judge me sexually because some percentage of my breasts are visible.

On the other hand, women's bodies shouldn't be shameful or strange. We're half the population for goodness gracious. It hardly seems like a feminist position to hide my femaleness for the very sake of it being female.

Is this what the saying, "The personal is the political," means? Does my choice of shirt really have wide societal implications?

However, here's where I get to relax and get over it. I work in an office of all women. The vast majority of our clients are women. My breasts don't solidify my station as a decorative object in the workplace or make me seem more frivolous than my professional male counterparts. I don't have any professional male counterparts. Everybody here has boobs. In this space I can stop considering the ramifications of my mammary tissue. They can just be body parts, like my nose or my hands.

Please understand how privileged I feel that I am worrying about the neckline of my shirt and not being beaten by my husband behind closed doors or having sexual favors extorted from me by my boss or being raped and mutilated by government forces while collecting firewood outside of my village. But, I also feel privileged that I can go to work every day in a place where my body parts are nothing more than that, and it's sad for that to seem like a privilege. Why can't I feel confident that we all can expect that without any second thought?


SerenitySprings said...

You go girl! As one who has suffered through big boobs my whole life, I can honestly say that there are times when the cleavage is just going to show. There are times when I will wear things that specifically show my cleavage and times that it just shows of its own accord. I've made my peace with it because I can't help it that I have these boobs, and by golly if people around me want to judge me as a sex object because of my big boobs then so be it. Clearly they have too much time on their hands.

Dave-o-ramA said...

In the immortal words of John Cleese, "My nipples explode with delight."

Interrobang said...

I work in an almost all-male office (the only other woman in the company is the office manager, and she's a lot flatter-chested than I am), and I don't think any of them have noticed my chest yet, for which I am profoundly grateful.

On the other hand, I'm a technical writer and software tester who works in a software development company, so environment probably makes a big difference... :)