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msilverstar

If Robert Heinlein rose from the dead, he might propose Boob Groping

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Apr. 23rd, 2008 | 08:33 am
mood: angry

...in that "it's a selfish grasping onanistic power play disguised as utopian openness and universal freedom." (by almostnever, used with permission)

Anyone who thinks that male assumptions of privilege and sexual objectification don't exist any more, and female safe spaces are not necessary, can just take a gander at The Open Source Boobs Project (which as someone said, is more like "The Public Domain Boobs Project" as in: women's breasts should be usable by anyone, ewwwwwww.)
"Excuse me, but may I touch your breasts?"

And if you weren't a total lout - the women retained their right to say no, of course - they would push their chests out, and you would be allowed into the sanctity of it. That exchange of happiness where one person are told with gropes and touches that they are desirable and the other is someone who's allowed to desire.
How many ways is this wrong? 1) incredible social pressure on women to say yes, 2) the default is that women are the touch-ees, men the touchers 3) "if you weren't a total lout" -- let's not even go there, 4) non-verbal communication (pushing chests out) is destined for painful misunderstandings: if someone means yes, she'd better say it in words, 5) sanctity????? 6) public shaming of some women: those who are not desirable, not "good enough" to be touched, 7) men are allowed to desire in any case, so are women, you don't have to grope someone's breasts to desire, 8) the word "boobs" in our society is demeaning and disrespectful. There's more but I'll stop there.

In a twisted way, I can see where the impulse for this comes from. Geeks at a science fiction convention thinking about their perfect world, and trying to make it happen. If they'd made it "Hugs", that would have been something very different, but no, it's all about breasts. They had blinders on and weren't thinking with their actual brains.

This is where the "golden rule" breaks down: men like this can't imagine that women feel different and react differently I remember way back when the Sexual Revolution was new, how hard it was for men to understand that just because a woman might have sex with you did not mean you could treat her like a sex toy. They said they would have been happy to be objectified, and couldn't understand why women didn't like it. Apparently, we have not come a long way.

Via txvoodoo, some response linkage: restrictaion, the_red_shoes, kate_nepveu, springheel_jack, cereta, nestra, rusty-halo, thebratqueen, and A Modest Proposal: Open Source Swift Kick to the Balls Project Also: caras-galadhon, telesilla (with added chador), Hoyden About Town

The original poster has apparently learned an important life lesson from all of this, which is better than the alternative. And not all men are this stupid. But damn.

Given all this, is it entirely wrong of me to feel somewhat vindicated in writing straight/bi male characters who are obsessed with boobs?

(cut because I got all ranty and used italics and bold)

And HAH: apparently he is a Heinlein fan.

ETA: when I told my husband about this, he was literally speechless for a while. He's one of the aware & respectful guys, and has helped socialize some of the geeks in his gaming circles, giving them Stern Talks about bad behavior and disrespectful comments and worse. It was kind of fun to watch him open his mouth, shake his head and look pained, as I talked. Because really, what is there to say besides WTF?

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Comments {31}

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Lotripper

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from: msilverstar
date: Apr. 23rd, 2008 04:14 pm (UTC)
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((Cool, I know you are not one of Those Guys))

"Boobs" can be cheerful, affectionately slangy, less vulgar than "tits", ad as you say, comes across very differently when said by women than by men. It also doesn't have the formality that would be appropriate for any kind of project beyond Girls Gone Wild: unlike "breasts".

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Galadriel

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from: caras_galadhon
date: Apr. 23rd, 2008 03:59 pm (UTC)
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It's been a full day since I found out about this crappy "project," and yup, I'm still disgusted. Bleh. So many, many things wrong with it. ...Thanks for the linkage, btw.

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Lotripper

(no subject)

from: msilverstar
date: Apr. 23rd, 2008 04:15 pm (UTC)
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Well, any time anyone says feminism is not necessary, we can point at this.

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Lotripper

(no subject)

from: msilverstar
date: Apr. 23rd, 2008 04:20 pm (UTC)
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Harlan, yeah, arghhh. I was just reading a biography of James Tiptree, Jr./Mary Alice Sheldon, and she was quick to assume that Harlan had outed her and was not on her side. He eventually convinced her otherwise, but it's pretty telling that she assumed it.

The social pressure of the con really undermines the whole "women liked it" defense. Also the question of whether boobs are "good enough" to be touched -- wow, let's judge women's breasts and reject some. Lovely.

(your link is to a locked journal)

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(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)

sunny muffin of delight

(no subject)

from: frisbyg
date: Apr. 23rd, 2008 04:34 pm (UTC)
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A Modest Proposal: Open Source Swift Kick to the Balls Project

aha, yes.

there is so much wrong with that "project" that I can't even begin to name all of the points, but you certainly got all the ways. some men need to be gelded, I swear, if this is what they come up with in their spare time.

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Lotripper

(no subject)

from: msilverstar
date: Apr. 24th, 2008 04:50 am (UTC)
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I think a grassroots movement to bitchslap them sounds promising.

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forsooth, do you grok my jive, me hearties?

(no subject)

from: bexone
date: Apr. 23rd, 2008 04:59 pm (UTC)
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I spent a really long time when I was supposed to be working yesterday trying to write a response more eloquent than fuck off with your male privilege! *steel-toed-boots kick activate!* and, um, still haven't managed it, so. But I think I want to learn whatever graphics format it is that cafepress uses, and make up buttons and stickers that say "I'm with the OSSKBP! ASK ME HOW!" just to see what happens.

Edited at 2008-04-23 04:59 pm (UTC)

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Lotripper

(no subject)

from: msilverstar
date: Apr. 24th, 2008 04:51 am (UTC)
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I know, the whole thing is so ridiculous that it's almost inconceivable. MY BODY IS NOT YOUR PLAYGROUND.

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elmathelas

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from: elmathelas
date: Apr. 23rd, 2008 06:53 pm (UTC)
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Heinlein fan, YES OF COURSE HE IS.

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Lotripper

(no subject)

from: msilverstar
date: Apr. 24th, 2008 04:52 am (UTC)
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Probably a libertarian too, that is such a silly and unrealistic religion.

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Any further questions? Ask the shrimp!

(no subject)

from: txvoodoo
date: Apr. 23rd, 2008 11:33 pm (UTC)
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You know, I'm a Heinlein fan, but I keep my admiration for him firmly IN CONTEXT to the fact that the man was a product of, as he called it, the Mauve Decade of the early 20th century. He was progressive for his time, but in no way could be deemed so now.

In addition, his wife was quite the strong woman, and I strongly doubt that she would stand still for this nonsense.

There's a place for admiration of Heinlein, especially in how much he produced. But there's NO denying that he had a whole shitload of ideas that are JUST NOT ON, especially now.

I mean, I like Louisa May Alcott, too. But I don't think that her ideal of Liberated Womanhood should be the standard today.

Edited at 2008-04-23 11:34 pm (UTC)

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Lotripper

(no subject)

from: msilverstar
date: Apr. 23rd, 2008 11:45 pm (UTC)
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You're right, he was quite decent about women until the second half of Stranger in a Strange land, when his response to sexual liberation seemed to be women's freedom to become any one of a number of male-drawn sex cartoons. I heard he had a brain tumor or something around then which may explain why he changed. It's just that I was sexually active at the exact same time, and had to deal with utopian attitudes that free sex meant I had to screw all the guys who wanted. And I did run in very geeky SF con, Trekkie, Ren Faire, SCA circles where they guys read way too much late Heinlein.

I owe a lot of my understanding of space engineering to Heinlein, I really internalize it, which meant that when the shuttle blew up, I was saddened but not as SHOCKED as other people. And I do use grok as a verb when it's appropriate. So I feel like there are really two Heinleins, and I like the space jock, but not the liberated philosopher who came later.

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hanarobi

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from: hanarobi
date: Apr. 24th, 2008 04:51 am (UTC)
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I think I will just snarl and growl and go to bed and pull the covers over my head. This was just the bit that pushed me over the edge tonight. Humans are dumb.

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Lotripper

(no subject)

from: msilverstar
date: Apr. 24th, 2008 04:54 am (UTC)
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Well my flist is responding with articulate and logical outrage, which is good. Plus, any time someone says feminism is passé, I can point to this. *hugs you*

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Lotripper

(no subject)

from: msilverstar
date: Apr. 24th, 2008 04:25 pm (UTC)
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It is baffling, anyone defending this crap. But a whole bunch of us have stood up and said, "NO, and this is why:" I'm proud to be among that number.

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