Now, I would assume that this goes without saying, but events in my life have led me to believe otherwise: my breasts, or anyone’s breasts for that matter, are not public property. It does not matter if they are big, small, fake, real, WHATEVER! They are the absolute private property of the person upon whose chest they reside.
Again, I thought that this was something that was just generally understood, but quite recently, I had an epiphany of sorts. Here’s what it was: Generally speaking (I can’t speak for everyone and this opinion is mostly based upon my own personal experience, and what I have observed in my limited circle of existence, etc), I have noticed that people tend to treat women with larger breasts, (boobs, titties, lady humps, chesticles or any other name/euphemism you can think of for the two fun bags taking up residence just below your clavicle) as if they are public property. What I mean by this is that people, both men and women, seem to think that it is okay to comment openly, stare unabashedly, and even touch uninvited when a woman has a large cup size.
To be fair, I have never noticed this happening to women with smaller or medium sized breasts. I also checked with a friend who is known for her stunning, 100% genuine Brazilian booty if she has a similar problem with her butt, and she responded with a firm no. I can only surmise that this is because, geographically speaking, a woman’s derrière is too close in proximity to her vagina. (Yes, I said vagina.) Again, this is just me postulating and trying to impress some logic on this whole thing.
Now, some people might be tempted to tell me that I am being overly sensitive, that this isn’t necessarily a negative thing, to take it as a compliment… Yada, yada, YADA! I am not overly sensitive, I generally take these things in stride, you know, ignore the blatant stares, and if someone makes the typical, “You’re boobs are huge/amazing, etc” comment, I reciprocate with an awkward thank you. But let’s get one thing straight. I am not a “touchy” person, not even with people I consider such close friends that they have practically been adopted into my family. Therefore, if I don’t know you, if you are a stranger, DON’T FUCKING TOUCH ME!
That being said, up until a I reached a certain point very recently, I even took to people who I do/do not know touching my boobs in long, gazelle-like strides. But, I kid you not, I have been groped, motor boated, jiggled and, just about in every way imaginable, had my breasts handled by complete strangers, both men and women. Although, I must say, I have noticed that it is women who more frequently “cop a feel”. I am not sure if it’s because they think that because it is female on female that that somehow makes it okay. I don’t know? But, let me say this, just because you are a woman does not make it okay for you to say hello that way.
Just this past weekend, I reached my breaking point.
I was at a bowling alley, of all places, trying to order a drink, when the female bartender, reached across the bar and gave my twins what I can only describe as a jiggle-squish. In the moment, I found myself laughing it off and she apologized and tried to look sufficiently embarrassed.
This incident was just the straw that broke the camel’s back. Snapped the ol’ bra strap, if you will.
I have had a long history with occasions such as that. Perhaps the most memorable being when an elderly and, I hope, senile, gentleman came up to my friend and me. He complimented my friend very cordially, and then proceeded to tell a joke where the punch line involved him shoving his face between boobs. I laughed uncomfortably and fought the urge to shove him away. Thankfully his up close and personal encounter with my breast was brief, but it didn’t stop me from feeling dirty and trying to make excuses for his actions, as if it was my responsibility to do so.
Then a few months ago, I thought I felt a lump in one of my breasts, so I hiked it to my local Planned Parenthood to get it checked out. Obviously, I was a tad overwrought, so as I’m lying in a cold room in a thin paper gown completely split down the front, the last thing I want to hear from the woman who is about to take a close look at my bits is a shrill girlish laugh accompanied by a, “Wow! Your breasts are large!”
It just seemed a bit gauche from a woman whose profession involves examining various forms of the female anatomy on a daily basis. It definitely did not put me at ease and I found myself wanting to draw my paper gown around me and do something that would draw as little attention as possible to my chest. Instead, out came the awkward laugh and I could feel myself instinctively hunch my shoulders and try to make my boobs as nondescript as possible.
It would seem that this inclination to laugh uncomfortably and try to be as dismissive of the situation as possible seems to be an ingrained reaction among my big bosomed sisters. One just has to look at Scarlett Johansson’s reaction to Isaac Mizrahi grabbing a handful of Ms. Jo and claiming it was for research. If you don’t recall, she laughs uneasily, gives a look to the camera and says, “What’s going on???” in an incredulous tone.
I think the reason why this reaction might be so prevalent–again, this is just speculation on my part–is that often times, women, myself included, shy away from asserting ourselves, even when it comes to defending ourselves against such action, because we are wary of being labeled as a shrew, a bitch or a modern day harpy. Or fishwife. So we try to be polite and as unaggressive as possible. We laugh, to prove that we are easy going, and we apologize or refrain from demanding an apology and make excuses to show that we are graceful.
You know what though? I am tired of laughing it off.
I am tired of laughing it off AND I am tired of apologizing, as if it is my fault that people can’t control themselves. Because, I have noticed, that at times I apologize for the size of my boobs. Some people might think that I am purposefully being provocative or displaying my cleavage, but that is hardly the case. Logistically, unless I wear a turtle neck, most shirts that I wear (even with a camisole or tank top underneath) still show cleavage; it is inevitable. There are dresses that I can never wear because, while on someone with smaller breasts it would look ok, on me it looks vulgar.
This issue of vulgarity isn’t something that I would have necessarily impressed upon myself, but rather the reaction that I get from people. How dare I show a glimpse of breast that isn’t darkened by the sun! I should pull my shirt up because I am about to have a nip-slip, even though my nips are firmly encased in my bra. I’m pretty sure that Samantha Escobar covered this in her discussion of side boob not being an epidemic. I would love to wear strappy dresses with little triangle cups! I would love to wear certain shirts and blouses without something underneath for the sake of modesty (well, someone else’s idea of modesty not necessarily my own). The truth is I regulate a lot of what I wear so that people won’t take it as an invitation to touch, stare, or speak to or about my breasts.
But, I digress. The point is, it is not okay to violate anyone’s privacy–especially in such a physical way–regardless of the circumstances. It is not okay to makes someone doubt themselves because of your own lack of propriety. (I do begin to question myself from time to time. Is there something about me that makes them think this behavior is ok? Is it something about my face? Do I give off “grope me” vibes?).
Regardless, it’s wrong. It is wrong, whether it is someone’s breasts, hair, ass, anything. Would you walk into a stranger’s house uninvited (with the exception of being a burglar, because then you have managed to make a career out of walking into strangers homes)? Would you grab someone’s phone and start going through their pictures? Or wear some stranger’s shoes? The answer is, no, you probably wouldn’t because all of these are violations of someone’s privacy. Furthermore, it is wrong that we live in a society where women are shamed about their bodies to the point that they feel like they should be apologetic for any aspect of their body. And apologetic about asking strangers to stop touching said aspects.
So, once and for all, my breasts are not public property. I am sorry if they are thrust so far out into the atmosphere that you get confused and think you are entitled to them. You are not. If you want to touch them, let’s follow some rules of common courtesy. But, unless you ask (or there is some agreed upon exchange of booze or money) HANDS OFF the merchandise.
(Incredible thumbnail via Shutterstuck)