I came of age in a more innocent era, a time before cable TV and internet porn and the Fox network, a time when a pre-teen boy could view the glories of naked female flesh only by crowding around a well-thumbed copy of Playboy or Penthouse one of the guys had swiped from his dad or the 7-11.
We would ogle those unclothed goddesses in a hushed respectful silence until someone was moved to express his keen admiration the breasts on that one, which would lead another to comment favorably on the ass on that one and another to critique those legs and so forth as we proceeded to deconstruct these already objectified women into discrete body parts.
I certainly shared my colleagues’ admiration for the centerfolds and their body parts, but I never focused my attention exclusively on just one body part, preferring to wander wide over the full female form, drinking it in from head to toe. So while there were “breast men” and “ass men” and “leg men” I was something else. A “girl man,” I suppose, but that term has an unfortunate sound in this age of girlie men. Perhaps a “whole package man,” or a “head-to-toe man” or a “complete perv.” Something like that.
I never understood the reductio ad absurdum that drove my fellow men to zero in on one body part. In doing so, they were not only ignoring many other appealing features, they were missing the big picture, the holistic melding into one glorious creation that is the wonder of the female form.
They were also too dismissive; a breast man may turn away from a woman with small breasts, never realizing how perfectly her breasts complement her small delicate frame. My approach opened my eyes to many more women, and, let’s face it, guys like me could not afford to narrow the field.
The body part men were frequently led astray, their infatuation with one body part blinding them to other issues. Consider again the breast man who, drawn to a slim woman with enormous fat-laden breasts, fails to appreciate that someday the rest of her body is likely to develop a similarly-high fat content. The irony, of course, is that once that happens her breasts will no longer stand out like they used to, thereby diminishing the attraction for our hapless breast man.
Or consider the case of the silicon breast implant, those pernicious bloating bags that play into the hands and leering eyes of the breast man. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen tastefully-done breast jobs, but those are the exceptions. The rule, unfortunately, is to stuff the breasts way beyond normal tolerances, giving the body a lopsided appearance, putting the top all out of proportion with the bottom, destroying the harmony of the female body’s natural curves. The bags also distort the essential shape of the breast, making it appear as if someone had blown into the nipples, overinflating a balloon just short of its bursting point. Very unsettling. I blame the breast man.
I believe the body part men are also the most likely to descend into unhealthy fetishes, each body part fixation taking on a life of its own as, again using the breast man as a convenient example, he eventually ignores all but the nipple, seeking only women with the nipples of a certain size, shape or color, or perhaps nipples pierced in a certain way. Then he may even contort his sex acts to revolve solely around the nipple. At this point he’s forgotten about the woman; to him she’s just a walking nipple. Sad.
Now I can see my female readers, if I still have any at this point, shaking their heads with disgust at us all, pointing out that I too objectify women, in fact the only difference between me and my body part comrades is one of degree, my favored body part being the entire body.
I’ll plead guilty but I beg the court to consider a few mitigating circumstances.
First, my genes made me do it. It’s not my fault. I mean, my genes are so single-minded, they only care about reproducing, so they rigged my programming to make me magnetically attracted to any passing female body displaying even the slightest hint of fertility. I can’t help it.
Second, some of my best friends are women. In fact, most of my friends are women. At least before I wrote this. If I were just a creepy peeper, do you think I’d seek out women as friends? Well, I suppose that would be a good strategy, surrounding myself with women to leer at, but, no, that’s not at all what I’m about. I can appreciate women on multiple levels at the same time, only one of those levels being my appreciation for their tendency to sport those intoxicatingly hot bodies.
Third, I do not believe in the equality of the sexes. No, that would be an insult to women who, I believe, are innately superior to men. They are, after all, Humans 2.0. Honestly, I cannot imagine what they see in us. When I’m around women, part of me just feels privileged to share space with them, honored they even notice me, grateful for the time they deign to spend with me. Of course, a small part of me may be thinking prurient thoughts too, but let’s not dwell on that.
Fourth, I never cross the line: I do not touch or brush by (unless wanted), I only view what’s publicly displayed (with my eyes), I do not leer or stare (for long), I never whistle or utter lewd comments (out loud), I am a complete gentleman (on the outside). My crimes are all in my mind.
Finally, your honor, if blame must be laid, let’s apportion it fairly. Contributory negligence? Attractive nuisance? Accessory-before-the-fact-by-accessorizing? I draw your attention to -- that woman standing over there! Please step forward, miss, this will only take a few moments. Observe her carefully-coiffed hair, the way it beautifully frames her face, her eyes and lips highlighted with cosmetics so that the years fall away as she draws us near, that plunging neckline giving us a titillating hint of the glories buried underneath, pushed forward and elevated by some wondrous contraption so that even the dullest of us will notice, the form-fitting cut of her pencil skirt, its slimming profile broadcasting her eligibility for impregnation, that slit up the side with its tantalizing glimpse of the leg encased therein, culminating in those high-heeled shoes and what they do to the entire presentation of her lower body and let’s not forget the adornment so artfully displayed on her body, the earrings necklace bracelet drawing our attention to . . . , oh, your honor, I must request a 20 minute recess alone with the witness.
Where was I? Oh yes, well, when it comes to the fairer sex I guess there’s no denying it: I am a creep. I will throw myself on the mercy of the court, I will accept its punishment with grace, I will henceforth go forth bearing the indelible mark of the creep: a penis. Just let me keep my trousers, okay? I don’t like it when people stare at me.
Update: It appears that W at Searchblog would have made a strong witness. See "Dali and Me ... and Being 21."