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breeden
ursulav

My turn in the can 'o worms...

Okay, are we all tired of hearing about the Open Source Boob Project yet? Yes? Thought so.



It would only ever work in a swingers club ... or whatever.

Where rules were in place along the "No Shirt, No Shoes; No Boobs." or whatever.

But yeah, convention people can be kind of live-in-the-dark-looking-like-Jabba.
So... no free gift of boobage for me. Really, not going to happen.

This is the first I've heard of this. I must lack an element of diversity in my reading list. As for the concept, the first thing that leaped to mind as I was reading was what would be the quid pro quo. You say dong. I say nuts. Volunteers would have to wear kilts and pack a body-worn dispenser of an alcohol-glycerine disinfecting gel or liquid.

This too outlandish. Sounds like a prank.

I doubt it's a prank. I think that it's more likely one of those things that always goes around fandom -- someone comes up with a silly idea, probably while drunk, and people run with it.

And sanitizing gel? No way. I've been to cons. Full-body condoms, or possibly level-4 biohazard containment suits with their own air supply.

Very good, well-thought-through post, Ursula! I think it's important, however, to take into account the clarification post that was written by the original writer of the open source boob project, which can be found here: http://theferrett.livejournal.com/1088382.html

Here he explains (among other things) that it was a fairly small thing, among mostly friends and acquaintances, extremely opt-out-able (even if you were wearing a 'yes' pin it was perfectly alright to say no to someone), and crossed gender bounds in terms of "grab[bing of...] men’s butts".

I do agree that this open source boob project is not something that I would ever feel comfortable taking part in, but that's the thing: if you didn't want to, you didn't have to, and you probably wouldn't have even known it was happening at the con in the first place. This is why I feel like the internet is making this into a much larger deal than it really needs to be.

All it would take to get them charged with sexual harassment is for ONE person to refuse to take no for an answer, with ONE woman who went to the police, and the whole idea would have them in deep, deep shit. Even in a small group of friends and acquaintances, the potential for trouble as soon as such an idea is codified is astronomical.

(Deleted comment)
OMG, you are AWESOME! This has been making the rounds on the feminist blogs I read and so far this is my favorite explanation of why it's a Bad Idea(TM). I think it's the unwashed man dressed as Sailor Moon that really drives the point home.

...there's something I don't say everyday.

I'm very much of the "look all you want, but the minute those fingers start for my breasts, I'm breaking every. single. one." To date, I have only had to break the fingers of one man. (For the record, I broke four, and the bouncer pulled me off him before I could successfully break his thumb)

See? I'm so much nicer now. And the spork is clean, quick, and significantly more merciful...

I've been working on the bare-handed break, personally. I'm still in trainers with doors, drawers, and large blunt objects, which one can't always carry around with one.

(no subject) (Anonymous) Expand
I'm not sick about hearing about this whole mess because of all of the really interesting, thoughtful posts like this I'm seeing bringing out into the open the shit large swathes of women have to deal with every single day. This stuff DESPERATELY needs to be talked about.

Shit, I was abused by someone with an attitude much like the genius who tried to turn the groping into a movement--read too much Heinlein, had a massive entitlement issue, and thought he was doing a magical favour bringing all of these sexual joys into the lives of teenage girls a decade younger than him and at best half his size. So I Very Much Approve of this OSBP being talked to death about if it wakes some people the fuck up.

I know a woman who was there, at the party where it happened, who wore the "yes you may" pin. And had a wonderful time. As this is all second hand, I can't really speak to much other than to say that the whole thing has been taken badly out of context and was badly distorted by a poorly written and thought-out post.

My understanding is pretty heavily colored by the comments from the woman who participated - and the whole thing only involved about 20 or so people, all of whom knew at least a few of the participants already, and most of whom knew pretty much everyone who was in on it.

I also know several people who were at the con, were pretty active socially, went to lots of parties and things, and completely missed the whole OSBP until it went nuts on livejournal. Which adds weight to the posts that say it was a small group, and fairly contained.

That's what I know, for what it's worth. But just keep in mind how easily and how rapidly things get blown out of proportion and distorted in the rumor mill.

I know for a lot of people--including myself--the actual event wasn't a big deal. Reactions I've seen ranged from "Sure, I'd do that" to "Totally not my thing but okay" to "Uh, they should have kept it to a room party."

It was the post trying to turn this small group thing into a movement, complete with creepy reads-too-much-Heinlein vibe and insinuations anyone who doesn't like the idea is a horrible prude, that sent a lot of people going "Wait just a DAMNED MINUTE HERE," and spurred lots of interesting discussion about privilege and feminisim.

And a new cultural meme is born! The horror, the horror!

At first it sounded like a decent idea-- I mean, the poor boys at cons would probably never be able to fondle a titty otherwise-- but then I imagined myself being on the receiving end and my mind just imploded. That would be a big fat no.

On the other hand, if I were lubricated and/or manic enough, flashing my snack-racks to anyone who asked might be doable. But I guess in this day and age, it isn't too hard to see boobs anymore.

Very well put, thank you for this.

"Men are afraid women will laugh at them. Women are afraid men will kill them."
And/or rape them. And it's this exact dichotomy between the social reality of the sexes that causes so many men to be totally oblivious to the fact that a woman might be creeped out by them, and their actions. The other way to describe this is "privilege".

Then of course there's option D) Kick them in the balls, then laugh at them. I would be inclined towards the Option D myself, except I would probably flip them the bird while raising my voice to them instead. I would laugh at their pathetic little selves afterwards.

I think you've nailed something well on the head here, but maybe not quite what you'd expect.

My observation in this context is not so much that many men don't consider how a woman might get creeped out, but rather that they don't understand the concept of getting creeped out at all. For many males that I interact with on a daily basis this certainly seems to be the case, much like the famed male inability to take hints - a point that I, even by male standards, am extremely poor at.

A part of me wonders if the larger scale implementation of the OSBP that seems to be the major bone of contention (irrespective of the OPs actual intention, given how poorly he put it down) is a typically clumsy attempt to work around this perception barrier.

I hadn't heard about this, and this is a terrific post that seems to me to address the notion, so I won't look into it any further.

(It's the opposite trouble with clay. Clay, to my mind and my fingers, wants to be utilitarian. I cannot make abstract sculptures out of it, no matter how much the prof wants them. Clay is alive, and it wishes to be useful.)

*Grins* My prof and I had a conversation about this several times. He would look at me and say, "is it aesthetically beautiful?", knowing full well that it was and that he wanted to trap me, and I would obstinantly reply "yes, but is it useful?" Because to me, it didn't matter if something was going to be pretty if all it was going to do was gather dust: I spent the entire glorious semester making mugs, and pretty much only mugs... because I knew they would be useful. Plus, mugs can be pretty, too.

"Men are afraid women will laugh at them. Women are afraid men will kill them."

Yeah, those little hairs you were talking about stood up when I read this. Damnit, but it's true.

I really like the art/architecture writing analogy. BTW.

Thank ye very much! Ye wrote what has been in my head that I haven't really been able to put into the right words. Especially the bit about getting scared if a guy went over to ye and ye would laugh even though yer scared shitless.

I would like to say that my response to being asked "may I touch your boobs?" would be to slap or punch the person asking (and I have a mean right cross, thank you very much) but I would probably be too flabbergasted to respond anywhere near so eloquently.

What if I'd happened to wear a green button that day? And the guy wasn't reading it, necessarily, just going "Sweet, green button!" Because I can easily see that happening.