A Feminist’s Perspective
The following piece was written in March 2012 for a local satirical web log, The Larryville Chronicles. While the author stands by her words, we feel it is of great import to understand the context in which it was originally written. Her words were never intended as an official blanket endorsement of what has come to be known as the “Boobment.” We loved it upon reading it and immediately ordered our web master to place it upon our web site. Here it sat largely unnoticed until January 2013. Subsequently, some editorial opinions have been concordant with the views presented herein and some have cast a murky yet critical eye upon it. Howbeit, this piece has sparked “a rip-roaring debate about sexy feminism” as our esteemed banana-clad librarian would say.
Without further ado…
So here it is, courtesy of @bananasuit . We think it’s absolutely terrific:
Mardi Gras, Carnivale, Girls Gone Wild — it’s a familiar trope: the disenfranchised female who degrades herself by committing sexually depraved acts in order to achieve favor with a privileged class of men who want to do her.
We often interpret these acts as a surrender to the male gaze; a tacit agreement between male and female that he is the subject of a sexual fantasy in which she has been relegated to the role of the object. But #kuboobs is totally feminist.
Readers, I offer you a Paglian reading of the #kuboobs phenomenon. More gutsy and way less boring than her mustachioed first-wave foremothers, feminist Camille Paglia has argued that females have an inherent sexual mystique that we can exploit to appropriate power for ourselves. She reclaims female sexuality and makes boobs possible again for feminists. It’s why Lil Kim can rap about her pussy and still be Queen Bee; why Parker Posey can be styled as a modern sexy librarian and still be a feminist icon; why Nicki Minaj can rock the platinum Barbie look and still own it, girl.
It’s all about who’s in the driver’s seat; and in the case of #kuboobs, it’s the ladies all the way. #kuboobs has emerged from the throes of March Madness: a frenzied, cultish worship of the male body and its physical prowess. Its a masculine sphere that traditionally excludes women (just like those pricks who assume girls don’t watch the games!). But with #kuboobs, ladies are here to announce their fandom, loud and proud, and to seize their own place among the Apollonian body worship that’s synonymous with the NCAA basketball tournament. Its our answer to the phallic act of putting the ball in the hole. We women are reappropriating power from male athletes, bracketeers and sportscasters, and announcing: “we’re here, we’re powerful, and we can hijack your twitter feed with our boobs.”
The most exciting thing about #kuboobs, for me, is the inversion of the classic feminist critique that women’s bodies are constantly at risk of being transformed into objects of desire to be consumed by the male gaze. And although the #kuboobs ladies are curiously disembodied and decapitated, with no gaze of their own to turn towards the camera lens, the difference here is that ladies are transgressing this social boundary not out of coercion, but because they want to. We’re doing it because we can, and because no one can tell us not to. It’s because now we understand that women can be sexual and still be powerful. Witness the roller-derby girls and hip-hop divas, pageant queens and sexy librarians. It’s the new feminism. And I think I like it.
Source: The Larryville Chronicles