my boobs are not public property

It’s hot as Hades here in New York and because of it I’ve been thinking about boobs a lot lately. Like the wise Regina Spektor once said “summer in the city / means cleavage, cleavage, cleavage.” And it’s true! Tank tops, tube tops, strappy sundresses, they’re rampant in this city and most show a bit o’ boob. I myself enjoy strappy tops and dresses in this hot weather, but what I do not enjoy is the (male) attention I get when the twins are more ventilated. Any other woman will understand the boob stares that her top may elicit at any given moment, and it’s frustrating to explain to men–there is no equivalent of such a visible personal body part for men. My boobs are not public property; I do not want them to be ogled, I do not want them to be judged, and I sure as all hell don’t want you to ‘accidently’ rub up against them in the subway.

And yet celebrities breasts, along with their entire image, are always judged and ogled in such a public way, as if their only function is eye candy for the gaze. I found this video through my gossip guilty pleasure, ohnotheydidnt. It linked to a show called The Young Turks and in this youtube clip the two hosts (male and female) discuss In Touch‘s recent top 10 list of the best breasts in Hollywood.  Watch the whole thing and become absolutely enraged at the horrible misogynistic things that come out of this man’s mouth. A few choice douchebag quotes, along with my commentary, after the cut.

The video contains pictures of the ten nominated women along with the analysis that the hosts give, most coming from the male host. He repeatedly says “congratulations, congratulations” and at first I wasn’t sure if he was congratulating In Touch for their choices, or congratulating the women for having such fine boobs, as if they could help it; all of the breasts chosen are natural. But he is clearly congratulating the women themelves (“congrats top 3, that’s where you belong”) and I really have a problem with that. I personally do not want congratulations for my breasts, a body part that I have no control over, that was not created for public consumption, and that is not there strictly for your enjoyment. I know some women enjoy this gaze, this congratulations, but I really wonder why. (Attention is attention?)

For those of you who didn’t watch it, here’s a few of the horrible things that were said:

  • Jennifer Aniston is regarded as “tits on a stick” (the female presenter actually said that one) I’m not sure if this is a judgement of her skinny stature, or what. Regardless, this title ticks me off.
  • (When discussing Megan Fox) “…yeah, rock & roll, definitely deserves to be on the list, congratulations, nicely done.” (What has she done other than lived her life in the body her parents gave her?!! This offer of congratulations annoys me.)
  • (When discussing Katherine Heigl) “Bravo, bravo, well done. she usually hides them [picture on screen changes] OH WELL DONE! Now we’re getting into some real breasts, before we were just kinda playing around.” (Further making me want to “hide” my breasts because I would hate for this man to bravo my boobs.)
  • “[Scarlett Johansson’s] are the real deal. Come on. game, set, match, it’s over […] I only like Scarlett for her breasts…” (Using tennis lingo to further demonstrate that rating women is in fact a game, yet one in which the women have no control over their participation.)
  • “Jessica Simpson’s got really large cans, she’s done some really good work in that field.” (Excuuuuuse me? She’s “done good work in that field?” What the hell does that even mean??!!)
  • (When discussing Tyra Banks) “But do you wanna know about saggage? She’s talked about saggage. I bet you without a bra you’ve got some SERIOUS ASS SAGGAGE on her…but she’s earned it, she’s earned the right to sag after keepin’ them up for so long, for so many years.” (Oh. My. God. How. The hell. Can you. Say that she’s “earned” her saggage. Sagging breasts are natural, and how dare you imply that one must “earn” a natural progression of the body that you appear to have such problems with. How DARE you.)
  • (Congratulating In Touch for their list) “You’ve got two top 3 girls nailed–excuse the pun!”

I honestly don’t even know what to say I was just so enraged by this video. I understand that these women are celebrities and are therefore (for whatever reason in our warped celebrity-centered world) regarded as public property to judge and ridicule. That in itself should, by the way, stop. But what upsets me is that this appears to be regular dialogue; you know that this man, and many men, talk this way and judge women this way in their daily life, celebrity or not. And that upsets me because like I said, my breasts are a part of my body that I don’t want to be incessantly ogled and yet they’re there–fact. I don’t want to hide them behind baggy t-shirts all the time, but if I wear something more revealing I don’t want men to regard them as public property. When it’s 90 degrees and humid to high hell and I’m sweating my body weight in the subway, I want to wear a summer dress. But not if my breasts are regarded like this man treats these celebrities’ breasts.

And this is where my frustration lies.

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12 responses to “my boobs are not public property

  1. wow. that’s disgusting.
    I offer no arguments for that sickening excuse for “entertainment.” and i think you win your case, mayhem, with this “Using tennis lingo to further demonstrate that rating women is in fact a game, yet one in which the women have no control over their participation.”

    my question is this: is it still possible to call the “male gaze” universally “male”? it seems to have evolved to become a cultural gaze- and i think this ties in to some points that Levy made in FCP- that men and women are partaking in this gaze and the blame can no longer be placed singularly on men. our culture has evolved to this [let’s hope it’s a] phase where all women are treated, looked at, and judged like celebrities when it comes to their bodies and appearance.

  2. Wow..someone that agrees with me!

  3. I agree that the video comments made by that man are appalling and inconsiderate and dehumanizing in almost every possible way. However, as to your point about being upset at people staring at your cleavage in public when it’s hot out and you’re wearing a strappy top, I’m fairly sure that’s a battle you’re not going to win. If you don’t want you’re cleavage looked at by the general public, then don’t put it on public display. End of story. You cannot be upset at males glancing at your cans if your going to have them hanging out in plain sight. It is an unfortunate predicament that men don’t have an equivalent body part to publicly criticize, but if you don’t want people to look, put them away.

  4. A girl’s boobs should be her pride,so if she’s spuddy,
    she should let us boys get a good look at what’s in
    her bra.(Girls,it should be 34D-42D!!!!!)

  5. Hey, I’m a guy and you can trust me when I say most men do not talk like that douche bag in the video. Even I thought it was just dumb. Sure we all talk about how hot particular women are now and then, as you women do about guys. As for men looking at your boobs when you’re in public, there is really nothing you can do about it, especially if you provoke it by wearing low cut shirts. I’m sorry but we are programmed that way, and if you are offended by it you must be naive.

  6. What a stuck up bitch this poster is. First of all how retarded do you have to be to showcase an example where a show’s hosts are directly commenting on a topic with a list of “top breasts”? If you’re gonna lampoon something, why not target the list itself?

    Then the feigned indignation about getting looked at. Bitch, please. Where a fucking t-shirt like the rest of the people that don’t want to be “ogled”. The whole point of those outfits you select is to show off a specific amount of skin. You can’t claim functionality when you’re exposing 50% of your breast to sunlight.

    And why is “(male)” attention bad? It’s attention, one way or another. It’s not even like they are looking at you in disgust, like a fat person that you wonder how he/she got to be so big. As if looking at your leg is any different from looking at your breasts, it just makes no sense. You are accepting a social stigma upon yourself, and in turn you claim it’s actually the reverse happening, that society is somehow working against you.

  7. I can’t help but wonder. For one I’m not a feminist, I couldn’t begin to explain how I ended up on here.
    I don’t know a single girlfriend who doesn’t talk about attractive male celebrities and think they’re gorgeous or disgusting. If you can honestly tell me you don’t think you’re asking for guys to ogle you at all, or that you’ve never compared male celebrities against each other, then perhaps you might have a marginal point.
    I honestly do not care too much for what you want to wear and still think you shouldn’t be looked at by men. They’re programmed that way, as my anonymous friend pointed out.
    I think it’s appalling that they talked that way, I agree with you on that point. As far as I’m concerned though, if you open yourself up to the public, you open yourself up to their criticism and attention. That’s how life is.
    Stop being self-centred. Stop pretending you completely and utterly detest male attention. Furthermore… if you’ve got it, flaunt it, sister.

  8. this sucks cause it is not showing me celebs. boobs!!!

  9. I agree with Alex. If men got boobs instead women, I BET MY ASS u gals would stare at ’em. Change the subjects: the result is the same. Boobs are distractive. Period

  10. The comments you find annoying are hilarious. The only thing annoying is women who get offended at the natural attention their exposed breasts garner.

  11. ( o Y o )

  12. A man who happened to be searching the internet for a better shot of Regina Spektor's impressive breasts

    I don’t know if you are aware, but people are allowed to like things. That’s not the end of my rant, but it is the end of what I needed to say to you.

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