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On Sluts and Open Source Boobs
The Open Source Boob Project and Feminism

Slut shaming has always intrigued me as a misogynist trait. I mean, among traits that are tools of the patriarchy, slut shaming is far and away the most amazing. Why?

It's the first tool pseudo-feminists adopt from the "other side" when things aren't going their way. Ironic, isn't it?

I mean, publicly the feminist message includes messages that say "enjoy your sexuality" and "don't let the patriarchy tell you that you're a slut for enjoying sex and going out and having it." It is certainly not the sole message, but it seems to be a key factor. So now, enter a woman whose activity offends some of these "feminist" ladies, and miraculously the feminists start with the slut shaming. Apparently, participating in the ineptly named Open-Source Boob Project makes one a slut. Never mind that it wasn't about sex. Never mind that its stated goal was to empower women by publicly taking control of their bodies. Sluts all of em.

For those who don't want to read the whole description, here's the upshot. A group of people of mixed gender were carrying small red and green buttons that read "Yes" and "No" respectively. If you asked for a button of either color you were given it to wear proudly. Those wearing the green, "Yes" button--male AND female--were saying that they were open to being asked if they would like their breasts (or butt) touched. Not open to being touched, open to being asked. Those wearing the red were declaring that they were NOT open to even being asked. Those wearing no button were declaring themselves not a part of the experience (thus making the red button rather moot, if you ask me). It was started as an exercise in closeness, in physical contact, in empowerment, and in fun. I repeat, only those who asked about the project were asked if they wanted a button (save for some close friends for whom the question was considered acceptable based on the friendship itself).

But that was unacceptable to a bevy of pseudo-feminists. This is outside of their social norms, so it is castigated under a variety of headers: slutty attention seeking on the part of the female participants, exercising male privilege and implied ownership of women on the part of the men. So, what of the women that felt empowered by the advertised control over their bodies? Whores and sluts, the lot of em'. What of the men who similarly offered up their bodies in the same vein? Creepy fucks and rapists.

Yay for rational thinking.

The best part is that 1300 comments later, I would posit that less than 10% of the responses are by people who were actually there or have any idea what was going on. In an endeavor where context is king, those lacking anything related to context are mostly the ones waving the flags. It should be telling that not one single person (to date) that was actually at the convention in question, male or female, has expressed anything but approval for the project, but it's not. That would get in the way of out-of-context agenda pushing, and that's what this is really about.

Feminists today have diverged in a remarkable way from personal responsibility. Teach a class on rape prevention that includes advice like "don't go to frat parties alone" and "don't drink open drinks"? You're victim blaming, not helping to prevent rape by disclosing risks. Did you spend several years stripping to pay your way through college? You were clearly forced to do so by a male-oriented society that FORCES you to see your body as a financial opportunity. Participate in a social project designed to remove some of the mystique of our various body parts? Slut and tool of the patriarchy! No personal responsibility, no shades of gray.

I was there. In fact, I was there from early on in the process. The fact of the matter is, as much as I feel that theferrett is an extremely entertaining writer, I originally felt that he blew it big time with both of his posts. I was completely wrong. He couldn't have posted a more useful message. The fact that his hetero point of view made this seem titillating is telling; it shows exactly how necessary something like this is. The women involved were empowering themselves by taking ownership of their bodies PUBLICLY, but to some degree the men involved were still seeing the titillation (no pun intended). What better representation of the problem could there be? Does this mean that the experiment is necessary? No, the jury is still out on that, but it certainly doesn't mean it is NOT necessary or useful. I, personally, think the project is a wonderful thing, wore a button all weekend, and was touched several times. I am friends with several of the people that were wearing the buttons, both male and female, and I did very little touching myself. Why? I prefer to be invited to touch others; it's as simple as that. So realize I'm not saying that you should feel like the project is a good thing. I'm not saying that you should like it. I'm not saying you're a prude or you're misguided if you don't participate (several of my friends didn't participate, and at least one young lady that I respect highly wore the red button). I'm not even saying that it is a good thing. I'm saying that by saying that it shouldn't happen because it is outside of your moral code, you are doing the same thing that those against feminism have been doing for years.

But here's the important part... you don't have to take my word for it. You don't have to flout your opinion at all. Each and every woman should feel empowered to do with their body what they will. They should feel safe to make decisions with their body without fear of slut shaming or ostracism from men OR OTHER WOMEN. Right now, there's a woman out there who tried to do something fun with friends-- something she found empowering--and the very feminists who have been saying for decades that she should do just that have lept upon her for it with teeth gnashing and judgments thrown. Where's the feminism in that? The people you are calling a slut shouldn't be the ones feeling shame. Not by a long shot. You should be feeling ashamed. The fact that you don't is telling. It's time to look in the mirror and see where some of this is coming from.