Breast Beating | Letters | Chicago Reader

Breast Beating 

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To the editors:

[Re: Hitsville, October 9] I hate Camille Paglia's guts as much as the next intelligent person, thank you. I am, however, fed up above eye level with so-called "feminist" appropriation of a male supremacist preconception, which equates female body parts and sexual exploitation. The ancient linking of breasts, fertility, and sexuality is now totally meaningless, when the pill increases cup size as a side effect, considering the world finally recognizes there's such a thing as a lesbian. Yet folks still think they can get mileage out of tying the female reproductive system into recidivism with a "single application" mind-set.

Faced with a recent spate of such offhand barbs, in mass market and academic sources alike, that seem to classify anyone outside of A-cup range as a clown, throwback, or sex toy, I have to wonder who's really being Neanderthal. I haven't had to deal with such adolescent squeamishness since I was in an all-girls grade school. All I heard was how I was an ugly mutant, who should've already done the world a favor and voluntarily removed myself from the gene pool. Current "adult" commentary hasn't varied much from that tack.

Feminists will not be able to face the politics of rape as punitive vigilantism until they realize that a woman is considered to "ask for it" by simply walking upright in a public place unattended. They're not helping themselves by trying to shame me into hiding my "intrusions" under my crouched back, home scrubbing a floor. I'll strap nothing down; I'm not Judy Garland and this is not The Wizard of Oz. Penitent breast binding is no more or less a self-inflicted bad joke than promotional silicone injection. Pardon me while I rear up my Irish self and say, Sheela-na-gig-like, to anyone who thinks they're concerned, "Look at these my tits--they're none of your freaking business." Skein out your propaganda at someone else's expense or learn to set forward truly unbiased arguments.

Paglia may be a nut case--her "studlier than thou" posing makes me laugh--but that doesn't leave room for anyone to tell her how to dress or impose standards of wanton behavior that befit a Reverend Wildmon sermon.

Jennifer Swift

N. Paulina

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