Monday, April 26, 2010

Boobquake And Human Custom

On July 4, Americans will watch fireworks, drink beer, cook amalgamated meat products over open flames, and eat them. None of this will result any substantial domestic or foreign policy advantages for our country, and it would be silly for anyone to think they've done some great patriotic deed for having grilled things. But that doesn't mean it's foolish to participate in July 4 festivities. It's perfectly fine to do unusual things on a special day to express how you feel about something.

And that's why I think Jen McCreight shouldn't be worried about the fact that Boobquake doesn't actually accomplish any direct political goals. It's like the fourth of July -- it's there for expressive fun reasons, and it doesn't cost anything. Nobody is going to look back on this with regret and say, "We could've gotten contraception for poor women in Central America, but we blew all our political capital on Boobquake!" We shouldn't require feminist holidays to have tremendous political efficacy -- it's hard to see how any cause gets significant mileage out of holidays, anyway. (Now, making Election Day an official holiday where the working class had time to vote -- that would accomplish a whole lot! but anyway, back to the issue...)

Some women feel uncomfortable with Boobquake because of obnoxious male responses to all the boobs. Beth Mann has a response along these lines. And, yeah. I see how that could really spoil the whole thing. Having to understand the significance your body in terms of the reactions of the creepiest guys is a very unfortunate way to be. I'm not sure what's to be done about that, other than guys just being a lot more respectful.

The appropriate way for a straight man to respond to female nudity, I think, involves quiet, appreciative awe and reverence. I've never been in a Catholic Church during Communion, but I imagine that it's regarded as a loutish behavior to yell out, "Wooooo! Show us the Body of Christ!" I would like to live in a society in which male responses to female nudity paralleled the attitude of the religious towards their miracles.
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