So, since the Oscars I have been having lots and lots of thoughts about the “We saw your Boobs” song. In case anyone didn’t know, I’m a feminist. This isn’t something that someone should have to say – it should be the default setting for everyone. Assumed until proven otherwise, because of course everyone thinks that women and men are equal, right? and should have equal rights? Right? default setting folks.
Anyway I digress. We saw your Boobs. There is a lot of “feminists can’t take a joke” around on the internet and comments about how really the joke is about guys and how they react to boobs, but it bothered me and I had to think about exactly why.
As a base kind of point, I didn’t initially have an issue with the fact that guys thought this was funny. I have a delightful recently 3 year old son who is very fond of my boobs. Innocently, happily, mad about my boobs. He tells me “I love you(r) nipples Mama” and is always trying to cop a feel. He also does this to his Dad, but finds him disappointing “You nipples different”. So yeah, guys – default setting operates as follows – “Boobs! Yay!”. Of course I fully intend to train him out of acting on this constantly by the time he grows up, but I am ok and in touch with the fact that he, and most guys, will always have this basic reaction.
So initially I thought that my problem was only that they included references to movies in which the boobs were seen as part of a rape scene. Because, if your reaction while watching a rape scene is “he he he he Boobs!”. There is something wrong with you. Ok fine, yes it’s a comedian whose known for pushing the envelope – but rape is not sexy, rape is not yay boobs. It would be more clever and funnier if they could do it from sexy scenes with boobs.
But then I realised. This wasn’t about how guys react to boobs. This isn’t “thank you” or “we’re so lucky we saw your boobs” or “we’re so grateful we saw your boobs”. This is nah nah nah nah we saw your boobs. This is slut shaming. You look at the reactions of the women (which were apparently filming beforehand – so they were in on the joke). Their reactions aren’t Yeah, you saw my awesome beautiful boobs, and you should be grateful! They mention that we haven’t seen Jennifer Lawrence’s boobs yet and the reaction they have for her is a celebration. So this wasn’t lighthearted fun laughing about guys and the way they are about boobs – this was shaming these women in public, on a night meant to celebrate success, for showing their physical bodies in pursuit of their art. And letting guys see their boobs – something guys want!
If they had done the joke and had the women reacting in a proud way, having it actually be a song about how the guys are pleased they got to see boobs as people keep trying to say it really is, then yeah. I wouldn’t necessarily have laughed my ass off, but fine. You want to celebrate the fact that you got to see boobs, great! Celebrate it. But don’t then make it a negative thing for the women. Because you will probably get to see more boobs in the future if you make it a great thing for everyone.