It's not the looking that bothers her AS AN ADULT as she makes clear later in her essay. Did you bother to read the whole thing? If so, it didn't sink in.

Of course it bothered her as a kid--reasons being made clear by her discussion of how she would be treated by men even tho she was TWELVE. Not to mention being terrified of what could happen, given all those familiar stories of girls being kidnapped, raped, beaten, and left for dead.

It's not the mere VIEWING of that image that's problematic. It's what goes on in men's heads -- a "going on" that a man can choose to reject the way an honest man would reject the desire to steal a very expensive diamond ring or a car upon viewing them with instant jealousy.

There's nothing wrong at all with that ass and definitely not with the rose covering the essential parts. It comes down to: when you saw it, did you want to fck it? Did you desire to do that against the woman's objections? Did you objectify the body in the sense that you wanted to make it YOURS -- as in BELONGING to you; as in, it belonging to you so you could do whatever you damned pleased with it? As in, fck it to her screams?

If any of those things came to your mind & you didn't immediately reject them as horrible things to do to a woman, then, well, you are a target of the criticism here.

If you didn't respond to it that way, well then, you're in the clear. If you responded to it as a beautiful image without wanting to fck her brains out, then you're in the clear.

But you write here as if that's the sort of response she was trying to get from you, and from ALL men. Basically, sucking you in and then being condemned for being sucked in.

Again, it's not about the LOOKING. It's what's in your head WHILE you are looking. And apparently, you believe that as a man seeing that image you would INEVITABLY think the kinds of thoughts being criticized here.

It's the VIOLENT response--even if the violence is "only in your head." The POWER response. The "take what's mine against her will" response that is being criticized.

If you're the kind of man who, seeing a naked woman's body, wants to take ownership of it against her will...well, then, you deserve the criticism.

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Georgia NeSmith

Georgia NeSmith

Retired professor, feminist, writer, photographer, activist, grandmother of 5, overall Wise Woman. Phd UIA School of Journalism & Mass Communication, 1994.