I’m actually crafting this week’s Boobday on Thursday morning. There are 3 strange men in my house currently setting up some furniture for me (can’t beat a couch that won’t hurt my back anymore and a bed that won’t scream when I move in it for $25/mo).
I’m still not feeling “well.” Physically my back has been in utter agony for a couple of months. It’s not new, but the increase in pain is. I’ve joined a new gym that opens in a few weeks and in the mean time I’m doing Pilates like a mad woman to strengthen my core. But that aside, I’m just down in general and I may or may not write about it (it’s possible I’ll write about it next so that means this post will be old news).
In any case, I am dedicated to hosting this space and that won’t be going away even if I do recede a bit from the rest.
H.H. and Lola sent me her pics for today on a year old email thread this morning. On that thread was the link to the article I wrote about in my February, 24th, 2016 Boobday post. I reread it in the early light of dawn and I felt all the same anger and disbelief exactly as I did a year ago. My post response was filled with why I do this meme and why I show my body. I’ve written about it at length for years now and even have it in a stand-alone sidebar link.
To show your body is an act of power.
We know this in its negative form because we criminalize the act itself when the viewer hasn’t consented to see. It is an assault, a visual one. It’s a move of power over an unsuspecting victim’s visual space. Flashers* know it – they get high off the rush – and everyone else knows it, too: to bare your body to someone is an act of power. To forcibly reveal someone else’s body is also an act of power. Exposure, whether done to you or by you is not a neutral activity.
Remember back to the first time your lover laid eyes on your body in all its nakedness. Hopefully, you felt their wonderment at your shape, glow, and glitter. Their pleasure. That’s power. Think of the time you first laid eyes on your lover exposed and vulnerable, yet trusting you with their personal canvas. How lucky did you feel that they chose to share with you? That’s power, too.
When a woman chooses to remove her clothing and allow others to see it is a statement of jurisdiction. She controls the image, the time, the place, all the hows and whys and whens. Her reasons for doing so are her own and the effects are based on cultural filters and beliefs, but so long as hers align that’s all that matters. Whether we agree with her or not is immaterial. She can do whatever she wants with her body.
Which brings me back to that blog post. I’m paraphrasing here from what she wrote — and the 96 comments under it — but the gist is those bloggers who “rely” on showing off their tits instead of working to be better/excellent/outstanding writers are ruining it for everyone else, that we’re turning back the clock on feminism and female empowerment (and also being paid to write).
She and all the others who think we are sad, pathetic, rabbit-hole-falling attention whores are saying there are only very narrow definitions of what it means to be a feminist, a writer, a self-respecting woman, only one way to be nude (that’d be with someone very special, natch), that there are narrow guidelines to what a healthy relationship with self and others look like, and that is complete and utter bullshit.
My writing is outstanding all by itself**. I don’t need to post a single picture. Not one. I know that and am proud of it, but do it anyway because I love it. It’s odd to me that there was this idea that just because writers can’t get paid for what they do that somehow the hot topic became about how those of us who show our tits are the bane of feminism. (I’m not making this up.***) And to the rest, well, every person gets to define what is healthy for them. Or the DSM-V. But that’s a discussion for another day and not something others get to determine.
Lastly, to all the bloggers and writers who don’t show their tits and who have decided that those who do devalue their writing and womanhood:
The validation you receive by blaming immodest women for the disenfranchising of women is fleeting and as flimsy as the 0s and 1s you wrote it on. It comes from a place deep inside of you, a place thoroughly indoctrinated, since you were a little girl or boy, into believing that a woman may expose her body only in certain situations under the auspice of certain kinds of approval. That nothing is of higher value in a woman than her modesty. That is not freedom. That is disempowerment.
And you have been brainwashed.
So, here’s to yet another incredible (and late!) Boobday and all my warrior sisters who have taken control over their bodies and decided for themselves what is right for them. Here’s to the tatas!!
*I am in no way saying an exhibitionist sexual assault is real power, though the flasher himself (or herself) will feel a rush of power or feel powerful for sexual pleasure. Our laws substantiate this by viewing it as an assault, a powerful act. Women (and men) who reveal themselves in their own spaces where viewers are consenting to see are not in a class with those acting upon a disordered sexual compass.
**I sincerely hope.
***It appears she’s not well at the moment and has either stopped blogging or is on hiatus since November, 2016. Linking to her now would be weird, especially since she may not currently be at the helm. If you’re dying to read what she wrote, you might have to turn to Google.
Oh, Friday… let me count the ways. Actually, let me let Elizabeth Barrett Browning do it.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
1) either submit a pic to me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) OR
2) submit a link below to your own blog post for Boobday.
Also, just as a reminder:
If you send me a pic, be sure to tell me if you want to be anonymous or not and what your pseudonym is (if you have one or I gave you one)
Tell me why you chose the photo you sent
And don’t forget to comment on everyone’s posts! This is all about spreading the love!
NOT my tits:
In my pic this week you see a new shirt I bought purely to display my boobs for hubby. He liked it a lot. :)
Took this in a dressing room while out shopping.
1 in, 1 out!!😆
Wasn’t going to send this at first. I have huge thighs from weightlifting and I didn’t like how it showed here, I almost cropped it out. But I’m proud of the strength and power in my legs and how they’re working hard for me to support my knee post surgery recovery. The boy toy really liked this pic too so that helped!!
Though I sometimes wish I were just some celestial being above it all. Actualized and serene. Instead of struggling with the daily pursuits of life here on earth which are scary and difficult and very, very messy.
I guess that’s what long, steamy showers are for. To wash it all away before we layer ourselves in life’s trappings all over again.
Jesus Christ February has me all existential ‘n shit.
I have gained a little weight over the last year. I can feel it in the every-so-slight tightness in some of my panties and the deepening crease in my sides. I have nothing but aging to blame for this seeing as everything else in my life has remained the same.
I can melt down and hate myself for the change. I can attack the issue with tighter eating and increased exercise and whittle it all away. Or I can relax into it think about how I feel in my skin.
The truth is, I feel surprisingly at peace with myself despite my new plumpness. The only reason I might want to move forward with an eye on slimming down is because I don’t want to have buy a new wardrobe. It’s a practical thing, not a self-loathing, must-be-thinner thing.
Twenty-five year-old Hyacinth would be hysterical. I remember when I hit 158 pounds after college and during my first desk job. I wanted to slice the fat off my body with razors. I don’t know how much I weigh now, but it’s not 158, I can tell you that. And that’s ok.
I have learned to look beyond the number and into my heart, my character, for self-worth. It’s a 20 year-old tragedy that it was ever tied to a number in the first place.
I’ve decided I’m going to keep Boobday and February Photo Fest separate, so I guess that means I’ll be posting even more than 28 times this month (that’ll be a first in all the 5 years I’ve been blogging). This month also marks my 2 year anniversary of being self-hosted and all the fun little idiosyncrasies that’s brought along for the ride. Good times!
I’ve decided to skip Eroticon this year. I’m sad, but I’m $1000 off my goal and the relief I felt when I made the decision tells me it was the right thing to do. I will most definitely be going in 2018 since the $2500 I’ve raised is earmarked for just that.
Thanks to everyone who donated; it won’t go to waste!