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?"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.
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.
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?