Thanks to Robin Thicke’s skin-laden "Blurred Lines" video and Justin Timberlake’s “Tunnel Vision", which earned him a temporary YouTube ban, everybody’s worked up over breasts: who’s showing too much, who’s the most recent misogynist objectifying women, and a host of other rants dubbing this the Summer of Boob-gate. But even as a Huffington Post article called “It’s 2013, And Women Are Still Their Breasts”, would have you believe it's all a lady-hating disaster, the dialogue still begs the question from non-overreacting females, so what?
Isn’t there room for women to have breasts, lean in at work, have a kid, start a business, serial date, train to be an Army Ranger and talk about all of it over cocktails with her friends if she wants because it’s 2013? Just because our chests are still being given attention doesn’t mean we can’t be other things, too. Where does it say that females who flaunt their assets -- or the men who call attention to them -- have negated their own intrinsic value by elevating the thing that’s most sexy about them?
The last time I checked, I could have a master's degree and a nice rack at the same time -- and take pride in compliments about either one. Some of us don’t find it “exhausting to constantly point out the obvious sexism around you”, as author Toula Foscolos says, because some of us aren’t perpetually offended. At least about things as trifling as showing T & A in a music video meant to entertain, and performed by guys who themselves are objectified as sex symbols. Hell, I’ve been more bothered by people suggesting that Avril Lavigne is "punk" than by any flagrant pop culture boob imagery. It is just possible to laud the female form while still believing that doing so doesn’t relegate us to “non-functional, powerless” decorations.
If people are waiting for women to stop being associated with their sexuality, then pull up a chair because you’ll be here awhile. It’s one of our biggest strengths that we’re able to be so seductive -- so why try to excise it? And to the people waiting for women to be on equal footing in all areas of society, I get it -- and I’m pulling for the same thing. But images of naked writhing don't outrage me, and it's not because I'm any less of a feminist. It's because these benign images aren't a threat to my self-worth. Wearing a thong and flashing some areola while draped on JT isn’t going to set the Women’s Lib movement back years -- and anyone who believes it will is giving these videos entirely too much credit.