Ryan Grim defends his choice of words when describing Ann Althouse’s Boobgate:
12:12 PM kentucky: I don’t understand why Jessica is so defensive about what you said in your profile of Ann Althouse. I personally don’t think her chest was the focal point of the photo, but you, as a young man, are welcome to that opinion. So why does holding that opinion mean that you think she was flaunting her secuality, or however she described it?
Ryan Grim: I bought Valentiâ€™s book the other day and am about halfway through it. The title, Full Frontal Feminism, is an obvious play on Full Frontal Nudity, a porn term that letâ€™s folks know how much theyâ€™re about to see. And then thereâ€™s the cover, splashed with a nude womanâ€™s midsection. And then thereâ€™s the content: a steady theme of the book is sexuality, getting into specifics like oral sex and masturbation.
On the Colbert Report the other night, she said, “Nothing says feminism like a naked woman’s body.” Okay, fine.
I donâ€™t care one way or the other what Valenti writes about. But to pick that subject matter and then object to me saying that sheâ€™s â€œnot shy with her bodyâ€ strikes me as a double standard. A woman can talk about sexuality but a man canâ€™t then say that sheâ€™s comfortable doing what sheâ€™s doing? And why would anybody object to that characterization? Whatâ€™s wrong with not being shy?
Thanks to several women who have discussed that very question to me, I now (think I) know why she objects to that. When she says â€œeveryone knowsâ€ what I meant, sheâ€™s saying that I was using coded language to call her a â€˜slut.â€™
Now, if you take the line I wrote completely out of context, I can agree that such an interpretation is possible, though itâ€™s a stretch. But I can also say that that interpretation couldnâ€™t be farther from the truth. What purpose on Earth would it serve either me or the story to call someone I never met a slut?
Not only wasn’t intended to be offensive, the line wasnâ€™t even remotely intended as a criticism. What could possibly be wrong with not being shy about oneâ€™s body? A lot of people arenâ€™t and, I would think, thatâ€™s a trait shared by mature individuals.
I remember a time when guys would use “If I told you you had a nice body, would you hold it against me?” as a pickup line. I’m glad to see that Ryan Grim has taken it to a much higher intellectual level although there is still something to be said for the minimalist “Nice tits”.
I bet you thought I was going to use the Hewitt manboob picture, didn’t you?