This thing happened to me yesterday.
It’s funny, right? I have had these pants for ten years. I love them. They are soft and light-weight. They’re a girl’s best friend too; they’re baggy enough to make you feel like everything always fits, but they are flattering enough to look cute. The fabric is thin though; so, despite their age, they’ve lasted a surprisingly long time.
I had no idea that there was a giant hole on the left butt-check, not until I was halfway to a doctor’s appointment. I’d already been to the pharmacy twice that day, and to the grocery store. So, that’s nice to discover. Then, I discovered the second hole on my third trip to the pharmacy. (Three trips to the pharmacy – Why? A rational question, of course. Well, because we treat controlled prescriptions like they are instructions for an atom bomb, and anyone carrying them is a terrorist).
I am the first to poke fun at myself. It’s easier to go through life when you have a good sense of humor about yourself; well, it’s easier to go through life with a good sense of humor, in general. At least, I’ve found that to be true. I have no problem showing the universe that I had my butt cheeks, hanging out, for half the day. It’s not because I like me, or attention; it’s because it’s funny. I like the idea that my embarrassment might make someone else chuckle, or feel less embarrassed about something they’ve done.
But, then I got a weird comment that took me aback. It said:
“Granny panties? Really? How do you keep ‘the passion alive’ with that!”
If you’re my FB friend, feel free to take a gander. I want to talk about why something like this is inappropriate and unacceptable. And, how much did he zoom, jeesh? Gross.
We throw this word around a lot lately; but, I don’t think we know what it means. When we make a comment that suggests that it’s, somehow, incumbent upon me to dress in a provocative way, at all times, for my husband, that’s misogyny. When we suggest that women are sexual treats for their partners, and that their dress should reflect it, that’s misogyny. When we suggest that a relationship is not an equal partnership, despite how little we know about its participants, that’s misogyny. Imagine if Bryon had a hole in his pants; would a woman ask him how he keeps the romance alive with plaid boxers? That’s a ridiculous comment, right? So, why doesn’t it sound ridiculous, when it’s the other way around?
In contrast, a different, also male, friend posted a photo of ass-less chaps, and a joke about being cheeky. That’s funny. It doesn’t specifically sexualize me, or my choice of underwear. It doesn’t suggest that I’m an object. And, it’s a pun, which is always fun. It’s a subtle difference in humor, but one we need to start calling attention to, especially for men.
*Don’t get me wrong, women can be assholes too, but this is kind of a man thing today!
The “She Asked for It” Mentality
Yep, I put my ass out there for the world to see. That doesn’t mean I asked to be harassed. It doesn’t mean that I should lighten up and learn to take a joke. A woman willing to let the world laugh at her butt can take a joke just fine, thankyouverymuch. The Internet is rife with men harassing women, based on everything from their profile pics to the size of their kneecaps. This girl pointed out that something as simple as a picture of her new headphones could draw unwanted sexual commentary from men. We aren’t “asking for it,” no matter what we say or do. That’s the kind of mentality that leads to a jury asking, “well, was she drunk, too?” as they deliberate whether or not an average, college-aged male was really guilty of ramming his dick into her, until she bled. What? That sounds rough? I bet she didn't like it either, even if she was drunk.
I love Facebook. I love Twitter. I love my blog. I love all of it. The time we live in allows us to stay connected in ways that we never imagined, when we were kids; and, it only gets better and better. But, this connectivity comes with a price. We’re exposing the rotten underbelly of scary personalities that lurk in our friends and neighbors. The woman you stand next to, pushing your kids on the swing, at the park every day, can be the same woman who calls another mom, in a parenting chat-room, a fucking moron for putting rice cereal in her baby’s bottle. These people would never talk to a human person, the way they talk online, despite their boasting to the contrary. Aside from being rude, it’s potentially dangerous. Can you imagine if someone threatened you, called you mentally ill, or told you that they thought you were not fit to be a parent, to your face? These things have all been said to, or about, me, online. If we talked like that, directly to people, I fully believe that we’d be building nothing but prisons to accommodate all the abuse and violence charges that rose from confrontations.
So, should I take a photo, which shows nothing that a bathing suit wouldn’t show, in fact less, down? Should I feel shamed by the fact that I was wearing peach briefs instead of a lacy thong? Should I feel compelled to provide an explanation, or excuse for my underwear choice? My husband wasn’t even in town, not that it matters. Or, should I say that this kind of comment isn’t funny. And, men who make them should be called to the carpet and told that they are assholes.
I think I’ll go with the last option.
Oh, and a quick delete and unfriend of a jerk.
P.S. Those underwear are THE most comfortable underwear on the planet. Buy some. I swear, you won't regret it.