Message to Good Men Project: Stay Out of My Bra

So, this.

For those who don’t want to be bothered reading and then coming back here, let me sum up: It’s an article at The Good Men Project (*shudder*) all about how awesome small boobs are.  (The kind on women’s bodies, not the idiot kind.)  At first, this sounds right on—a man who doesn’t think my body is only good if it meets some Hollywood standard?  Hell, yeah!  That is, until one takes a closer look.  Then all the Creepy Stalker goodness comes out.

Exhibits A-E:

  • Maybe we’re the ones quietly taking you in from five tables away. Listening to your voice. Your perspective. Your sense of humor. The witty way you referenced an F. Scott Fitzgerald line in the middle of ordering your drink.  And yes, don’t worry, we snuck a good, long look at your body.
  • Maybe there’s something fearless and yet vulnerable about your petite frame that draws us.
  • But there’s something about you A-girls that I just can’t shake.
  • Whatever it is, I, for one, am under your spell. I swoon when you walk into the room. I want your first dance, your next kiss, your every smile.
  • You have more admirers than you know.

So now small-breasted women everywhere can worry that some dude is following her every move at Starbucks while she orders her morning latte.  Fabulous.

I get it.  The author of this piece wasn’t really going for that angle (although he appears to have succeeded spectacularly).  He was going for the idea that women shouldn’t feel ashamed of our bodies, right? Right?  Call that one a fail.  Instead of helping women feel good about our bodies, he’s just implied that a)big boobs = frat bait; b)want a PhD? Too bad your tits are too big, you ignorant slut; and c)you know those small knockers you’ve got there?  Your smarts are just compensation for what Mama Nature forgot to dole out.

Check out what Mr. Small-Breasts-Fetish says about it:

  • We’re not the ones throwing themselves at you at the frat party. Or your friend’s wedding, countless drinks in.
  • Maybe we’re actually turned off by someone who’s used to transfixing men with her obvious, womanly attributes.
  • Some of us have learned from experience that small-breasted women often have larger minds. Or better moves on the dance floor. Or more optimistic attitudes when the chips are down. Because you’ve been overlooked by luck before.
  • This is for the lesser-endowed ladies of the world: the women who were dealt too lightly by Nature…

In (very reluctant) fairness, he does say that some of his “friends” who are well-endowed are smart and interesting.  But that’s after he’s dug his hole, and right before he returns to Creepy Stalker mode.  So I’m not sure that this off-hand comment can be taken seriously.

See, here’s the thing.  The problem isn’t just about whether men like big breasts or small ones, or big butts or skinny ones, or whatever.  It’s about that fact that this person doesn’t seem to understand much at all about women.  We don’t need to be reassured by him that our bodies are acceptable.  We don’t need a self-righteous man with a preference for A-cups to Change the World with his praise.

We women have changeable bodies.  Puberty, pregnancy, menopause.  Our shape may or may not remain the same over a lifetime.  What we need is not for someone outside ourselves to deem us Worthy.  We need to believe it ourselves.  We need to embrace our curves, our sleek lines, our muscles, our fat.  We need to love every inch of our own bodies and have confidence that this is exactly the body we were meant to live in.  Real men, the men who love and know us, understand this.  Real men embrace their wives even when pregnancy leaves us looking different than on our wedding day.  Real men still tell us we light their fires even after we’re no longer capable of giving them babies.  Real men, even if they’re attracted to us because of appearance at first, take the time to discover who we are.

Forget Hollywood, forget Good Men.  Women, let’s reclaim our bodies and honor ourselves and each other.


15 thoughts on “Message to Good Men Project: Stay Out of My Bra

  1. I just think all the attention paid to physical attributes is so superficial. Our society, culture, and dating rituals are overly concerned with physical dimensions at the expense of the mind and spirit. I’m with you. This is creepy, not flattering.

  2. Agreed–not flattering at all. If this is the way men are being encouraged to take the high road, we’re all in trouble.

  3. Blah, blah, blah, blah .

    Too bad ladies. That’s the way men do it. How they’ve always done and how they probably always will do it. Your physical being matters to us. Some bits matter more than others (but anyone who fails to appreciate the feel of woman’s skin, how her eyes light up, her lips and other attributes is missing the boat. That’s the way it is and yes those guys will get girls. Always have always will.

    Just like how a guy with no money gets no women. That’s life. Deal with it.

    • Actually, it’s flattering to have my body admired. It’s not flattering to have it described in Creepy Stalker tones. I’m not objecting to someone liking breasts. Lots of people, men and women alike, enjoy them. Hey, I like *having* them–they’ve come in handy in more ways than one. But I don’t like the way that he seems to think that one body type is “better” and that we should find his personal preferences flattering.

  4. As well, any man who only focuses on the physical is clearly a moron. But to pretend it doesn’t matter, is utterly moronic as well. To wish it didn’t matter is, I suppose, human, but it is what it is. Wishing it otherwise ain’t gonna change a damned thing.

    • You’re right, focusing on only the physical is bad–which is kinda what this guy did without meaning to. He didn’t just imply it, he came right out and said that small-chested women have to “make up for” what they’re lacking by being smart and interesting!

  5. I’m glad I’m not the only one who finds the Good Men Project in general a little creepy and offputting. (Well, mostly. There’s some decent stuff in there, but a lot of it feels like, well, begging for cookies, including most especially this. And that’s without even touching upon the Matter of Hugo.)

    My own radical and looney-fringey batshit take on this sort of thing is that these sorts of movements heavily risk taking as many steps backwards as forwards, in that they tend to emphasize good-maleness as distinct from good-personness, and reinforce the notion that Masculinity, whether positive or negative, is a tangible thing that can only be transmitted from men. My feeling is that there’s more nonsense than sense there, but since I’m less interested in “reforming” masculinity than killing it with fire, I’m not exactly an impartial witness here.

    More directly on-topic, Mark Radcliff sure does seem to have a lot of assumptions about the way body type correlates to personality. It’s not the only way this piece fails the Women Are People test, but it sure is a glaring one.

    • Yes, exactly. GMP is on a Fail Trail at the moment, as they are also facing the wrath of some excellent feminist bloggers over the Hugo Schwyzer debacle. (He’s a “feminist” with a history of violence against women, and though he claims to have changed, he lied/covered up elements of his past and blurred the timeline to make himself more sympathetic. GMP and Relevant Magazine have both defended Schwyzer. I’m not linking the posts here because I don’t want to draw more attention than necessary for Schwyzer.)

      Anyway, this is another classic example of how men’s rights activists just hurt their own causes with the dumb shit they spout.

      • At the risk of seeming needlessly Internet Hipster, Schwyzer’s kinda skeeved me out for years, even before all this hit the fan. Which is to say I was not completely shocked to find out the guy’s got the kind of background he does.

        Come to think of it, I now recall that it was a pre-GMP effort of his to tutor boys into becoming Real (Nice) Men that first got me thinking “Shouldn’t we, yanno, just get them to become citizens of civilization, period?”

        • See, I’m glad to know a non-female is skeeved by Schwyzer. He just has that faint element of “Something is wrong here, but I can’t quite place it.” Well, now we know what it is.

  6. On other matters: The great and wise Abi Sutherland, writing elseweb about a different-but-related subject, instituted the following discussion policy:

    Let me just forestall one of the usual lines of commentary that appears in these conversations. I’m only interested in “that’s just the way the internet is, whatcha gonna do?” comments and other More Cynical Than Thou fan-dances if you also include links to at least three comments that you, personally, have made fighting against the problem. Otherwise, save your weary ennui for another thread. I don’t want it here.

    I mention this just on the off-chance Our Hostess might feel inspired to take up a similar ruleset, for current or future conversations.

  7. You know, I don’t yet have a comments policy. I don’t care what people put here, unless it’s clear they are trolls or spammers (or clearly abusing a specific user). Everything else is fair game. If I don’t want people to disagree or say things that I don’t like, I ought to take my toys and go home–the Internet isn’t for me.

    • So noted. I would not be as patient as you, I fear. I don’t have any problem being disagreed with, but my tolerance has all worn away in re. derailments, 101 thrashes, Counsels of Despair, and general cluelessness. Y moderation philosophy MV, natch. 🙂

      • Actually, it’s because I secretly find those things entertaining. A fellow blogger, Rachel Held Evans, has written an excellent post on how to deal with criticism. Under point number 9, she encourages considering why some comments hurt and others don’t. She says:

        For example, I am not at all phased by an email informing me that I am headed straight for hell for believing in evolution and “worshipping at the monkey god’s feet.” (Actual email, folks.) Why not? Well, because I know for a fact I do not worship a monkey god, (except during the new moon festival, of course), and because I am not afraid of going to hell for believing in evolution.

        The comments that fall into that category (most of the ones of the type you mention) don’t phase me for exactly the same reason. I like to leave them, because it might make someone who’s on the fence consider carefully why they haven’t picked a side–and why it shouldn’t be mine!

        • Every once in a while, I see Teresa Nielsen Hayden carefully refrain from disemvowelling a comment by some meathead, with a note to the effect that it’s such a perfect example of its type that she had to let it stand. So your approach has some validation among the Council of the Wise. 😀

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