I didn’t know that there was/is such a thing as National Cleavage Day. If it weren’t for Denise‘s post about it at BlogHer, I still wouldn’t know about it. And if I had somehow stumbled into the Wiki page about NCD, I would have thought it was something Steven Colbert had directed his Colbert Nation minions into creating. (Seeing “corporate sponsor” Wonderbra’s page on NCD wouldn’t have helped either; the power of Colbert is boundless.)
But I’m not only late to the party — I’m a National Cleavage Day party pooper too.
Now it may surprise you that I’m not really a fan of National Cleavage Day. You’re likely thinking that as a collector of smut, not to mention the owner of a rack that would require the jaws of life not to make cleavage, I’d be in favor of a day which celebrates cleavage. But I’m not.
Call me jaded by the decades of leers & drool, accuse me of being exhausted and annoyed from the countless times of having to hold strong chiseled male jaws in my hand and tilt them, like that of a small child, so that their owners may speak to my face and not my breasts; I am. But really, do we need to encourage men to stare at women’s breasts?
Oh, sure, if you’re at a bar or club or other place where you are participating in and exploiting nature’s call to preserve the species, by all means, show it off. And I’ll admit that while those days of hunting-til-he-catches-me are over for me, I’m not above bringing out The Girls to remind me, myself, and hubby that I’m a sexy desirable woman — all the leers, drool and jaw tilting keep any need for Cialis at bay. But I don’t display ’em at WalMart. Or because a corporate sponsor told me to.
But a day for cleavage watching? Like a Take Your Boobs To Work Day? A Shake Your Boobs At Work Day? Or Super Casual (& Smutty) Friday? Puh-leeez.
I’ll guarantee you that the girls (lower case here because we’re now talking about a group of young females, not my breasts) who participate in this “holiday” are “third wave feminists” who think that proffering crevice, tit or ass (via whale-tails etc.), is akin to rolling down one’s stockings: an advance for female equality. Only, see, we don’t allow men to show pecs and gluts in public either — and that means we don’t see their cracks between such flesh in the workplace either, hun. That’s equality.
If I sound like a crotchety old anti-porn feminist, know I’m not. (If you want proof, I’ll send it.) But I just get so frustrated with the lack of class. Leave a little mystery, damnit. And save the intimate visuals of intimate spaces for intimate times & intimate places.
And as for you, Wonderbra, shame, shame, shame on you.
If Wikipedia is to be believed, the “corporate sponsorship” is intended to be as uplifting as the Wonderbras:
According to Samantha Paterson, the brand manager for Wonderbra, the National Cleavage Day is started according to a design to solemnize women’s independence and power in all facets of life, from their careers to their relationships to their own destiny. Anita Meiring, public relations consultant for Wonderbra, explained the event, “It is a day for women to realise that their cleavage is something unique and that they should be proud of it”. Paterson explained “It gives women a chance to be beautiful and glow in the furtive, yet appreciative, glances their cleavage evokes from men”. She also explained “It gives men a legitimate reason to stare at boobs”.
Just how does one “solemnize women’s independence and power in all facets of life” by proffering exposed breast? And hey, Meiring, I completely realize that my cleavage is “unique” and I am “proud of it” — but I know (at least) two things that apparently you don’t.
One, this ain’t Utopia, sister; women who expose themselves in public are seen as “asking for it” and that puts us in danger twice (first for being assaulted, and then at the mercy of a court who holds us and our mode of dress responsible for male actions).
Two, my pride isn’t dependent upon flashing it to prove it to you, to leering men, or to anyone/everyone else. Confidence just is.
Quietly just is.
And that’s the way I like it, especially in public.
I’m not asking for the burka, baby; just some rational acceptance of public decency as reflective of both no need to push my privates into public spaces and people’s faces and my desire to not see every body part others are proud of. That’s what manners are all about, making people feel comfortable. Can ya dig?
In reality Wonderbra is pimping: they’ve created a faux holiday through which they can use sexism to profit off of the display of female bodies — selling women and sexist misogynistic fantasies under the guise of pride.
The final nail in National Cleavage Day’s coffin is the fact that Cosmo supports it. Again, from the suspicious Wiki page:
Vanessa Raphaely, editor of the Cosmopolitan, argued the NCD is not intended to objectify women, but to celebrate in a fun manner.
It is sexy to feel like you are in control of your beautiful bodies, ladies, but the realities are that even here in the US of A we women are not in control of our own bodies — but we are somehow responsible for male reactions to our bodies and, in cases of rape (for rape is all about rage & power, not lust & sex), we are somehow responsible for that too. And when women are harassed and abused for busting with pride and showing off their cleavage, you know what will happen.
Oh, it’s a mess out there, Virginia. And while I’d like to let you boldly go forth, displaying your confidence laden cleavage, I know better.