A former paramour of mine was a blazing feminist. She pointed out that among many positive traits, I was a typical chauvinist in many ways, ways I worked hard to excise from my personality (what can I say, I was “whipped”).
Most of these were unconscious. I grew up in the `60s with 3 older brothers. Playboy magazine was a sleepover staple. “Miss America” was “must-see” TV. We even watched “Petticoat Junction” (suffice to say, NOT for “Uncle Joe”) and had a running argument about who was hotter, “Ginger” or “Marianne” on “Gilligan’s Island.”
Until we met, I always felt that the best thing about women’s lib was women not wearing bras. Seeing barely concealed nipples through fabric was every adolescent boy’s dream.
At first I resisted but when she explained why she found my sexual programming offensive, it made sense. I modified my behavior accordingly (of course, she went braless, so..it wasn’t that tough.) I was in love with a feminist. I stopped using “girl” when referring to any female over the age of 13. I omitted the word “chicks” from my vocabulary (except when discussing fowl.) I stopped ogling and in general, behaving like a construction worker. Had she asked me to wear panty hose so I could truly feel her oppression, I would have. Thank God she didn’t.
You know what? I found out that OTHER women actually LIKED it. Feminism made sense and it also seemed to impress the LADIES! It had benefits. (What can I say…I was young and hormones constantly assaulted my brain). I was a feminist! I lectured my male peers and they thought I was daft.
My Steinem-reading love and I split up but many of her lessons lingered. I had learned to look well-endowed women in the eye. Chicks were baby chickens. Women were grown up girls. The “good old boy” network sucked. Sexist comments were out of line. Women weren’t “objects”.
For decades, I eschewed pageants as just a bunch of pin-ups parading around in high heels and bikinis, spouting what they considered profundities, essentially selling themselves for a quick buck. Talented or not, looks aside, they didn’t appeal to me. I had been thoroughly re-programmed. Beauty pageants were wrong. Bikinis and heels just don’t go together. I considered them a cry for help.
The woman I ultimately married couldn’t care less. She’s beautiful. Nothing about her is forced. While a feminist, it’s more an active, practiced trait than one she wears on her sleeve. When we were younger, she watched beauty pageants (I refused). Over time I found them even tougher to watch because I felt like I could be any one of the contestant’s fathers. Leering made me uncomfortable. But I must confess, I still like getting a good hug from an attractive young lady.
The same thing happened to me when as a young businessman, I’d go over to campus with male friends for lunch. The “scenery,” of course was terrific, especially in the spring. All that youth, all that inhibition; sunbathers–it brought back youthful (and lustful) memories. But As I got into my forties, I started to want to throw them towels. It was the “dad” thing to do. Now, I take my “Little Brother” over and tell him not to be so OBVIOUS as he gawks. I look straight ahead.
This is perhaps the longest lead I’ve ever written to expose my core thought, which is: Bikinis and High Heels Look Really STUPID Together. When one wears or has worn a Bikini and Heels, any subsequent attempt at verbal communication other than, “Does this make me look FAT?” (and we all know the answer to THAT one) should be COMPLETELY overlooked. IGNORE THIS RULE AT YOUR PERIL.
I think I’m dead right about this. The following clips are evidence enough. When you see women in bikinis wearing heels, unless they’re on fire, IGNORE THEM! And that’s all I have to say about that.