Daily Assault: Booby Prize Edition

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A surprise double yolk for this morning’s pancakes.  Because I’m immature, this made me think of cleavage.  *insert snicker here*  Because I’m an adult, what it did not do was make me want to reach out and grab the yolks with my bare hands to give a little squish.

I remember being little and admiring my grandmother’s cleavage.  It seemed so powerfully adult, that hint of simultaneous swell and wrinkles.  Of course, I also admired the way she could take her teeth out and clean them in a separate glass, her lifetime bus pass, and the way she could cup her hand and use her palm as an ashtray.  She had her own ideas about men and women, which she shared through lectures equally generous and cryptic.  As far as I could tell they boiled down to men were not to be trusted (outside of progeny–in which case, they should be lionized), marriage was a necessary evil–so be sure to marry rich, and fergawdssake don’t have too many babies.  She was what used to be called a tough cookie, and I wanted nothing more than to grow up to be her.

I’m a blabber-fingers left-leaning blogger, which means I indulge in the not so occasional political rant.  I don’t address every injustice I see or read about (impossible), or even every big story, because I’m exhausted and frequently too damned disheartened.   Is there such a thing as blogging battle fatigue?  Do I have the right to feel it when I don’t address all?  Yesterday I came across this story.  A few days late, because I’ve been busy rattling my pots and pans, sticking to the kitchen–barefoot, naturally.  I considered blogging when I first saw it, but what could I possibly say?  So I posted the link on my personal Facebook page, thinking I would just spread a bit of awareness amongst my three friends and that would be that. One friend replied with a statement about Republican men, and another friend replied to the first about the unfairness of the blanket statement.  Fair enough, and it made me think.  Not only because it is unfair to categorize ALL Republican men, but because it implies male Democrats are ALL more enlightened.  Would that it were so.  I woke up still thinking, and decided I couldn’t let this incident pass without comment here on Mrs Fringe.  Because I’m a woman.  And as a woman, I say without hesitation that this is bullshit.

The gist of the story:  State Rep (NH) Amanda Bouldin (woman) wrote a statement opposing a proposal made by State Rep Josh Moore (man).  The proposal is for it to be a misdemeanor for women to expose their nipples in public. Bouldin disagreed in a statement on her Facebook page, saying the bill should *at least* exempt breastfeeding mothers.  The proposed bill actually does exempt breastfeeding mothers, but that isn’t the problem.  The issue is Moore’s response (written on Facebook, later deleted–when will people learn there are no take-backs on the internet?  Your Words ❤ The Internetz R 4eVER), where he wrote that Bouldin (and women in general, I guess) should have no problem with a man’s natural response to stare and grab when a woman exposes her nipples in public while breastfeeding.  This all devolved in true internet fashion into comments from other men as to whose nipples they would/would not want to see.

I’m sure Moore thought he was being clever, perhaps even funny, a play on the “argument” that breastfeeding is natural.  Cause, yanno,  women’s breasts are really for and about men.  Not babies, and certainly not women.  This shouldn’t be an argument, a debate, or even an issue.  What he described is assault.  This isn’t a breastfeeding debate.  This is about women; our rights to control and make decisions over our own bodies, our right to be safe.  If his natural inclination is to assault every woman he sees, or at least every woman where he spies a bit of pink or brown skin, I am afraid for every woman he has ever or will ever come into contact with.  I feel sorry for him, and every man like him, who believes they not only have no control over themselves, but it’s the fault of evil-original-sin WIMMINZ, for having breasts.  And wombs. And vaginas.  And calves, thighs, hair, lips, and ankles.  No wonder we need men to tell us how to care for and hide our bodies.  *sarcasm*  More than fear and pity, I’m fed up.  This man was elected.   He represents far too many: right, left, or libertarian.

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That he would even say this is an assault, a not-so-clever play at intimidation.  When someone wonders what is meant by the phrase “rape culture,” this is it.   This statement tells women we not only aren’t safe from unwanted stares, pinches, and grabs, we have no right to expect safety.  Regardless of age, race, religion, or socioeconomic class, I’m guessing at least 98% of women have experienced multiple moments of feeling unsafe, feeling and/or being assaulted by unwanted remarks, leers, hands, or full body grinds on a not-so-crowded bus or subway car.

As time goes on, I believe there are fewer men who think along these lines.  More men understand human rights, the need for equality in the social contract, fewer believe entitlement is a natural extension of dangly bits.  Not enough, though.

Women have fought for and won many advances.  In many countries we can vote, work outside the home (though not necessarily for equal pay), own property, hold political office, expose our ankles.  But we still can’t do any of these things with a reasonable expectation that we won’t be groped along the way.

I didn't grow up to be my grandma, but I am a tough cookie.

I didn’t grow up to be my grandma, but I am a tough cookie.

12 comments

  1. Mrs Fringe, once again I have been shocked out of my rosy world view by one of your posts.

    I just looked up the actual language of the so-called ‘nipple bill’ (partially sponsored by Josh Moore, right?). It would make it a misdemeanor if a person “purposely exposes his or her anus or, if a woman, purposely exposes the areola or nipple of her breast or breasts in a public place and in the presence of another person with reckless disregard for whether a reasonable person would be offended or alarmed by such act.”

    Let me get this straight: The sponsors of this bill believe that showing one’s ANUS is on par with a woman showing all or part of her nipple? Are you effing KIDDING me? Oh. My. God. They’re attempting to legislate the objectification of women.

    And the tweets you mention from Moore and Baldasaro . . . you know what? At the very, very least, that’s sexual discrimination. At worst, it’s misogyny. The thought that these people hold public office is not just objectionable, it’s unconscionable.

    Amanda Bouldin has since tweeted: “To those who’ve been demanding an apology of Rep. [Josh Moore] or Rep. [Al Baldasaro] – I don’t need that. Just kill the bill.”

    But Ms. Bouldin doesn’t go far enough. Right now, I feel like we shouldn’t just kill the bill. We should demand those two idiots’ heads on a platter.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Legislating the objectification of women, and legalizing assault, apparently :/ I am continually disgusted by who we-the-people are willing to vote into office, pretending they represent us. They sure as hell don’t represent me, or anyone I know. Kill the bill is right, it feels like some type of smokescreen to me–is this really the pressing issue in NH right now? I suspect not. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know, mrs f. To me, the pressing issue–and not just for NH–is not the bill, per se, but what this bill is saying to, and about, us and those we elect to represent us. Shit like this just can’t slide. We can’t allow it. This nation’s apparent swing to the right is swinging right off the charts. Yikes, yikes, and yikes some more.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. On the bright side (I know, I’m incorrigable!), there are still a lot of people like you and your grandma–honest and tough and unafraid–who are true to to themselves, and who tell it like it is. No bs from fringeland, which is something I appreciate, even as it makes me cringe and then you go and throw in cute little fish and honey balls. Oy, what a blog!

            Liked by 1 person

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