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An open letter to the straight men of this world

My body is not for your pleasure.

It never was and only will be if so choose.

My body is not for your pleasure.

It is a vessel for my brain.

Flipping pages through books.

Writing words on a page.

Making my point known in class.

Standing up for what I believe to be true.

My body is not for your pleasure. 

It is for running: to class, to the bus, or to see what’s at the end of 13.1 miles.

It is for biking, around lakes, to work, to see my grandmother.

It is for stretching, for reaching up to the sky and back down to the ground. For lying flat on the floor or balanced on my elbows.

It is for portaging in the wilderness and climbing up a mountain.

My body is not for your pleasure.

It is for praising God in worship, raising my arms as I sing or washing my hands after making a hundred biscuits at a soup kitchen.

It is for chopping vegetables, baking cookies, and practicing hospitality in the simplest of ways.

It is for bending down besides a student’s desk and helping him or her, or sitting cross legged on the floor, leading a lesson.

It is for climbing on top of the monkey bars with my students and flipping back off of them.

It is for encouraging hugs, pats on the back, and enthusiastic high fives.

It is an embodiment of love.

My body is not for your pleasure.

It is for walking down the street, without you cat calling me.

It is for dancing at a party, without you grinding on me.

It is for swimming at the beach, without you eyeing me.

It is for dressing however I feel comfortable without being responsible for what you think of me.

It is for eventually feeding a baby without being told how I need to cover me.

My body is not for your pleasure.

Maybe it will be one day, for one of you.

Maybe together, you and I will make half a dozen children or just one.

Maybe we’ll wake up every morning and tell each other how beautiful/handsome we are, even though the wrinkles are growing and the hairs are graying.

Maybe I’ll dress up for you at the end of the day or wear nothing at all when you come home late from work (though, Lord knows, I’ll be working late, too).

Maybe we’ll be those old folks at a nursing home who get in trouble with the nurses for “doing it.”

Maybe I’ll make you the happiest man in the world, in so many different ways.

But right now,

My body is not for your pleasure.

And to Robin Thicke and all of the Robin Thickes out there, no, I don’t really want it. You are never having it.

Sincerely,

Christina K.

Note: This post is a response to a lot of the content circulating around the interwebs right now, but specifically to Robin Thicke’s song “Blurred Lines” and anything that makes rape culture seem acceptable, to the Atlantic article published yesterday about Jessica Rey’s swimsuits and the Christian modesty culture in the U.S., and to the idea that women’s bodies are (or should be) a source of shame and guilt. I acknowledge that this post is highly hetero-normative and that objectification can occur between any two bodies, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. However, I also write from experience, and as a straight cisgender woman, this is what I’ve seen and felt. And to all of the straight men in my life who choose on a daily basis not to objectify women, you’re the best. 

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