But that’s not what some people, like said anonymous poster, will have you believe. They’ll say that we must watch (read: censor) ourselves: everything we say and everything we do is not simply a reflection of us, but a reflection of the entire female population. How dare we separate ourselves from those stronger women who can refrain from the guy-gawking and are able to live in their own little feminist bubble, forever shielding their eyes and refraining from even stealing glimpses of the opposite sex? Newsflash: This isn’t your mother’s feminism anymore. Yes, it’s still about women. Yes, it’s still about equality. But I don’t see it as such a group, staging-sit-ins cause anymore as much as an individual declaration.
Did someone forget to send me the memo that my brazen guy-gawking is a declaration I make on behalf of all women? I’d never presume to speak for other women, because as a feminist myself, I know they can speak for themselves.
You know, I had no idea that in addition to shedding – and burning – my bra, feminism also demands that I shed any ounce of sexuality with said bra. I once stood in amazement as I admired Michelangelo’s David at The Art Institute of Chicago, so does that make me a bad example?
Bad, Melissa. Don’t you know that’s guy-gawking too? It. Must. Be. Resisted. I mustn’t give in to my biological instincts; after all, aren’t feminists stronger than anything little old biology could throw our way?
Honestly, though, by doing some harmless guy-gawking, I’m in no way demeaning or diminishing the self-worth of women the world over. I’m not “giving in to the man” and letting him take control. Really, it’s not even about men having any sort of control at all.
Feminism is about empowerment, too, whether it’s in the form of taking care of yourself, challenging your male boss on a hiring decision or simply admiring a nice piece of eye candy as he slides past your peripheral vision.
What’s wrong with wanting that connection with men? Not in a the-man-defines-my-life sort of way. Not because your life will be empty without it and you won’t be happy and you won’t be able to balance your check book and you’ll end up on the streets, but because maybe, just maybe, quite possibly, you might enjoy the companionship in an equal partnership.
But maybe Ms. Anonymous and those other staunch feminists are right. I guess the next time I see a gorgeous guy, I’d better shield my eyes. And above all, I must not look him in the eyes.