Someone wrote…

Today I was in the car with friends, and we saw three boys ride past on bicycles, shirtless. I commented that I wished girls could ride around like that on a sunny day. My male friend replied “I’m sure people wouldn’t mind!,” and I just thought to myself, “I wish you meant that the way I want you to mean it.”

What’s your experience?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?

Posted by on August 1st, 2009 at 08:00 am

Category: your voice 10 comments »

10 Responses to “Shirtless.”

  1. Miriam

    If you've never heard it…this reminds me a lot of Dar Williams's song When I Was A Boy.


    sarahdopp replied:

    I LOVE that song. Thank you!


  2. BfAM

    The one thing I'm jealous of boys of is their flat, hard chests, and their ability to flaunt them in public.


  3. julian

    I was going to ramble about patriarchy and men's ownership of women's bodies and blah blah blah, but I should be showering instead, so I'll just stick to:
    There are a lot of places (including Austin, TX, Portland, OR, and NYC, off the top of my head) where it is perfectly legal for a female/female-bodied/female-assigned-at-birth person to be topless along with men.

    I am male-bodied and don't know that I have ever (like, EVER) had my shirt off in public. I am just not comfortable with that much of my body being visible. I kinda think if I had breasts I would do it, though, if for nothing else than to fight the dominant paradigm of female nudity=SEXXXX!!!!/dirty while male nudity=perfectly normal.


  4. Gabriel Grom

    One thing I never understood about sexuality is how th breasts of a biologically female body become almost equivalent to a sexual organ. It did not completely click with me from the start, because when I think of the breasts, I normally just tend to think of the life they give (i.e. breast feeding). But on a contemplative note, people get aroused very easily by the male nipples and chest. It may be just one more mystery of the human sexuality. Anyway, I still think that the chest of a male body is pretty equal with the chest of a female body. I am actually attracted to the male bodied chest, but everyone should have the same chances at comfort.


    julian replied:

    I am not a hugely visual person (when it comes to sexual arousal) — it's more about touch/texture…but I do have a thing for bellies, and it's the first thing I look at when I see a shirtless person of whatever gender/sex/expression.

    I don't really understand the appeal of breasts. Not that there's anything wrong with them, I just don't get how/why they are so supposed to be so much more exciting than the lack of (or why bigger ones are supposed to be "better" than smaller ones, etc).


  5. Rory

    Yeah it's bullshit. I was thinking about that a while ago when I saw a shirtless guy jogging by and he basically had breasts about the same size of mine so it's like wtf, why is that so much different than what I have on my chest. Why is it fine to jog around shirtless with "man boobs" but not with "woman boobs"?!

    I dunno if I would want to go around shirtless though even if i had a flat chest. But when I was a child I totally ran around shirtless all the time so one has to wonder if I would have just kept doing that if puberty didn't make my chest grow?


  6. BfAM

    When I was a kid I used to go around shirtless, too! I loved the freedom and innocence that accompanied.

    What I miss most though is being able to come out of the shower with the towel just wrapped around my waist. I hated that after puberty I had to come out with the towel wrapped around my upper body too, like my mother.


  7. Dru

    I believe it is legal for women to go topless where I live (Ontario, Canada)–but no women ever actually do.

    I could ramble on more about how unnecessary the massive distinction made between men going topless and women going topless is. . .


    Nobody replied:

    I'm pretty sure it is legal here in Ontario…but you never see people taking advantage of that law.


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