The other day, I went for a walk at the Lafayette Reservoir, and among the bounties and beauties of nature I saw a man with his shirt off. He was about sixty years old with a healthy muffin top. His breasts flapped. They were approximately cup-size B. He said, "Hi," and I said, "Hello." He flashed a rakish grin. I wondered if he thought I might leap on him and roll us into the poison oak for a quickie. I restrained that overwhelming impulse and kept walking.
Along my way, I saw another man, a few years younger than the first, who also had his shirt off. He had a muffin top as well although his muffin could pass for love handles. His breasts jiggled; they were growing and would soon need a training bra. He asked me what time it was. "Three fourteen," I said, and he winked. Again, I had to slowly count to ten in order to keep myself from tackling him down to the clover and ravishing him with kisses.
As I concluded my perambulation, I mused on what would happen if I walked around the reservoir with my shirt and sport bra off. Being seriously middle-aged, I have my own sweet muffin top, and of course, being a woman, a couple of breasts swaying in the breeze. Most people, seeing me half-naked, would think I was a nut case, and quite offensive. I would probably be taken to a hospital for treatment or jailed for questioning.
I continued my contemplation on the body and nudity while driving home. If the undressed men at the reservoir were young with ripped abs would that have caused me less consternation? Possibly, but I still pondered another aspect of this scenario: Why is a woman's body considered so differently? Because we have babies? Because men are beasts who can't control themselves, so women must cover up, or their natural accoutrements will incite riot?
I know it has to do with culture and how we raise our children and indoctrinate them with Boy Ways of Being and Girl Ways of Being and all that rot. Is that it? Or am I missing something essential here?
Today, I'm taking a six mile walk at the reservoir. I'm going to leave my shirt and jogging bra in the car.
I, too, would like to feel the warm summer air on my muffin top and mammaries. I will remember to bring sun block and bail money and a whip to tame the tigers.
Causes Susan Browne Supports
Run Together, A Race to Raise Money for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society