As I cruised the blogosphere yesterday and today, there were a few items of interest that stuck with me. Bear with me as I discuss, and hopefully don't digress too much.
Val at Occasional Superheroine has a great post about this month's cover of Vogue magazine. Featuring Gwyneth Paltrow in a gorgeous Oscar de la Renta gold tissue-lame' embroidered strapless dress, the cover also includes an Iron Man headpiece and said cover girl wearing bracelets that bear an eerie similarity to Wonder Woman's own set. In the "letter from the editor", Vogue Editor Anna Wintour declares the magazine to be a celebration of the superhero and compares fashion and comics as art. This is a surreal moment to be sure.
As a longtime amateur fashionista and avid reader of Vogue, this was a moment in time for me. The stars are aligned and it is a wonderful thing. I enjoyed every page of this, and feel that Val has a good point that Vogue might be trying to court a more mainstream audience. As she points out, Andy Warhol is at this moment, smiling from somewhere.
Several bloggers have taken on "The Open-Source Boob Project" post made by "theferret". Evidently, several folks were at a show and boob touching became the topic of choice. For a full rundown, read the entire post linked above. After this experiment, the gang went to Penguincon and here is the gist:
"At Penguicon, we had buttons to give away. There were two small buttons, one for each camp: A green button that said, "YES, you may" and a red button that said "NO, you may not." And anyone who had those buttons on, whether you knew them or not, was someone you could approach and ask:
"Excuse me, but may I touch your breasts?"
And if you weren't a total lout - the women retained their right to say no, of course - they would push their chests out, and you would be allowed into the sanctity of it. That exchange of happiness where one person are told with gropes and touches that they are desirable and the other is someone who's allowed to desire.
For a moment, everything that was awkward about high school would fade away and you could just say what was on your mind. It was as though parts of me were being healed whenever I did it, and I touched at least fifteen sets of boobs at Penguicon. It never got old, surprisingly.
Some women didn't want to. That was fine. We never demanded anything of anyone. And if you didn't want to put yours up for the Project but you wanted to touch, well, that was fine, too. It was simply for folks who felt like being open.
It was a raging success at Penguicon.... And there haven't been any hookups that I know of thanks to the Open-Source Boob Project. It is, as I said, a very special thing. (Though I wouldn't rule it out if two single people exchanged a moment.) And we'll probably do it at other cons, because it's strangely wholesome and sexual at the same time.
I've left off the names, because frankly, people should reveal for themselves whether they're Open-Sourcers or not. Not everyone wants to go public with it, and what happens at the con stays at the con. But trust me. If you are, and I meet you, I will ask. And you'll understand the beauty and simplicity of the Open-Source Boob Project for yourself.
Touch the magic, my friends. Touch the magic.
After ruminating on this subject for a few days, I am still shaking my head a bit. My initial thought was this: if someone came up to me and wanted to touch my breasts, I would be pissed and say no. I may even want to punch them or kick them in the balls. To me, my chest is pretty sacred, and it only is for that person I would choose to be intimate with or a doctor to check for medical reasons that I would allow contact to occur. I also thought that my hubby would probably try and kick their ass if they asked, so it was a no-go from second one.
After much thought, it has come down to this: why do these folks have to walk up to strangers at a show to touch a breast? Is it a power trip, or are said individuals not having a relationship and incapable of having intimacy that allows that in their normal life. It seemed pretty sad. It seemed like more of a reflection on their poor social skills then a threat to womankind. I also wondered what their mothers would say about this. Somehow I don't think she would be too happy about the whole situation.
I also think that an all-ages con is a poor choice for said social experiment. What does it teach kids if they see this? It is a poor selection of venues to say the least. Maybe at a night club this would have different connotations. Here I just think it was bad judgement.
Am I pissed? No. Am I disappointed? Most certainly. My feelings aren't just pointed at the guys involved either. I have to wonder what the ladies were thinking? It takes me back to my feminist readings, which have shown me that women are split into two groups. There are those who feel that embracing sexuality is a tool to show their power while another group finds that kind of display repugnant. Have we become so divided as a group that we will never come to terms with what we as women judge to be power and rights? It really makes me think.
Another issue that has been a bit overlooked is that there appears that alcohol was involved. How much and how intense really isn't clarified, but as a person who has drank way too much on past occasions of my life, I can say with 100% certainty that it doesn't make you any smarter. Some of the world's worst ideas come out of intoxication. This is yet another reason to watch consumption at these potential social occasions.
Bottom line here: If someone approached me at the Emerald City Comicon and asked to touch my breast, I would be offended. I would also call the person on their behavior and tell them it was inappropriate. I would also wonder if they had a boda bag and were a bit tanked. There is a time and place, and that simply isn't it.
Let me ask you: What would you do in that situation?
Enough for tonight. I am off to check out Swinebread's comprehensive report on Stumptown Comics Fest. It looks awesome!