what we mean when we say that we’re living in a patriarchy

(Before we get into it: I am feeling 20,000 leagues better. Thanks for all your concern, good energies and sweetnesses! I truly think that internet venting helped. Speaking of….)

Precisely this:

I love my small breasts. My 34As are one of my best assets, as far as I’m concerned. I don’t have to wear those torture devices other women refer to as “bras,” I can run and jump and sleep on my stomach and wear bikini tops and low cut shirts without any risk of my cups randomly spilling over (though they do like to do the occasional pop-out while body boarding. You’ve got to watch out for pop-outs.*). They’re pretty, manageable, appropriate. They serve me well. All good. And because they developed ludicrously early in life, as a teenager I was under the assumption that they were actually pretty large for my frame (ok, once in junior high a boy said to me: “For a skinny kid, you’ve got pretty big tits, you know that?”). When my arms and torso lengthened and they stayed put, I began to see that they were probably on the smallish side, but I’ve never felt weird about it or anything.

But today, in bed, hanging out, watching the snow [I wrote this last week], thinking about Howard Zinn and going to Kajitsu tonight and lazily checking the news on my phone, I came across this on the Huffington Post. I’ve become increasingly fed up with HuffPo, a site I only read because I have the handy iPhone app for it and get most of my news via morning iPhone reading. The entertainment section is your standard, mainstream, woman-hating, fat-shaming, “look at the pretty shoes Michelle Obombs is wearing!” fluff. But today there was actual fucking porn, and I can’t get past it.

Just two words about porn: 99.99% of it is misogynist trash. There is a teeny sliver of sexy great porn made by women, and hooray for that. I personally prefer words and even good porn just makes me want to laugh, but because there is that small sliver I can’t call myself an anti-porn feminist. (As usual, I am merely against the way that 99.99% of a certain thing is practiced in our culture, thus saving me from complete and utter misanthropy.)

So I’m thumbing through the ludicrous thing, and, unbidden, a thought swims up from my primordial brain: “Hey, that lady’s tits are not much bigger than mine…and she’s in a naked calendar!”




That, my friends, is the very definition of what feminists mean when we say that we breathe in the air of patriarchy and breathe out misogyny.

I deleted the stupid app from my phone. Done.


*Does anyone get that awesome reference? Here’s a hint.

14 Responses to “what we mean when we say that we’re living in a patriarchy”

    • lagusta

      OH MY GOD! That seriously blew my mind right out of my head. I don’t even know where it is. My mind is gone. Possibly forever.

  1. Kelly G.

    Firstly, I am totally jealous of your A cups.

    Secondly, and for the love of dog, why is one of the naked models clasping a rooster to her DDs and…licking his head?! WFT!

    IBTP. And Arianna Huffington.

    • lagusta

      I know! It looks like she’s about to get a nasty scratch in about 2 seconds. It has so many levels of ridiculousness I can’t even parse it all.

  2. Randal Putnam

    Er… Thanks for the link? If not for you I would never have seen these images.

    How often is it that you get to see a rooster get licked? Thinking I may have just lacked sufficient search creativity in the past, I tried the image searchy engine of choice to see if I had been missing yet another stupendous trend.

    Looks like any existing pictures of licking roosters have been kept off the web. Maybe I need to adjusted my preferences. A couple of pages into the search I did, though, get this. [Link safe for offices, temples, playpens, etc.]

  3. veronica

    Gross!!!!!!!!! I hate everything and anything Terry Richardson does. I don’t judge people based on appearance, but I make a special exception for him. He has the same doucheyness factor that oozes from Dov Charney and that other guy from Vice magazine. Puke.

  4. brittany

    OK… so, my thing, because you knew there’d be one… some of those pictures were so hilariously LOL funny that i think the hilarity supersedes the nakedness; if i didn’t know better, i’d assume they were making fun of porn, not trying to BE porn (yes, rooster licking comes to mind)… so, if they were trying to be sexy, i think most people (anti-porn or not) would unilaterally agree that the bulk of those pictures FAIL FAIL FAIL.

    second, i found some of them to be really beautiful and erotic.

    third, i can see where your line of thinking is on the whole boob thing and i can see where people thinking that stuff is a bad thing and all that – but i was still really thrilled with the diversity of appearances in the models (although the absence of certain races and sizes was pretty disturbing). my thing, though, is so many girls (and women?) get uncomfortable about their boobs and butts and bellies for so many different reasons (not all of which are really related to patriarchy and porn and cosmo mag). guys get to run around with their shirts offs and girls have to cover up, whether we’re sporting A’S or FFF’s. bodies get covered up for the most stupid reasons and it leaves people feeling not only uncomfortable but also not knowing what else is out there – girls don’t have tons of opportunities to see other girls boobs. so when some mainstream junk is showcasing all kinds of boobs and asses and torsos and nipples and hair and all kinds of other stuff as being beautiful (regardless of the bizzaro-silly sets around them), i can’t help but smile, just a little.

    • lagusta

      OK, I see your point, totally–I just don’t think the calendar really did show a diversity of women. I know the one woman who looked even vaguely like she had small(ish) boobs still had at least a B cup….maybe in contrast to the mainstream porn industry or something it was super inclusive, I don’t know. It just gave me the icks. : (

  5. Brittany Turner

    it didn’t, in any meaningful way. a diversity of women there was not – a diversity of boobs, on the other hand, there absolutely was! i think you’d be surprised how broad an “a” cup really is… i’ve been an a most of my life and am skirting the boundaries just now. it was good kinda in the way avatar was good, for me… it was a somewhat more progressive (rooster-licking and hose spraying excluded, obviously) take on something that we wonderful lefter than left folks do every day. for us, blech. for everyone else, eye opening and a teensey, tiny step in the right direction.

  6. ruby

    I thought the pictures were kinda hot and then I felt bad about thinking that and then I felt bad about my body and then I felt bad about myself as a feminist. I think they should have been up on Nerve and not HuffPo. It’s just always surprise to see naked girls with real breasts these days, but I didn’t think they displayed any great variation in body type. Super skinny girls were all I saw.

    In fact, that’s all I see. It was nice to be reminded we breathe in the air of patriarchy and breathe out misogyny, because when I looked at those women all I think is “If I could be thinner everything would be better.” I know that’s crazy and I’m not going to change my life in any negative ways to make that happen, but it runs through my head a lot lately. I started in on the great works of feminism canon at age ten, and yet I cannot seem to stop myself from thinking this. What’s going through the head of a girl who hasn’t found those books yet? Or who grew up with Cosmo on the coffee table?


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