27 April, 2011

The Genitals Of You Oughtn’t Matter

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those only of the author and may only coincidentally reflect those of Mystic Metals, its employees, or associates. All responses should be posted as comments here, or mailed directly to the author, A. Robert Basile, at ihatebasile@gmail.com. Mail sent directly to Mystic Metals will not be read.



The Genitals Of You Oughtn’t Matter

4.26.11



I got pierced recently, and I think the stares have increased. Strange. I didn’t think that adding snakebites to my already confusing and uncommonly symmetrical mush would garner any new notice. But it seems as if the stares have increased. Or maybe I just think they have. Maybe the snakebites were the mod that pushed my socially acceptable face over the line and now it looks strange and noticeable. Probably not. I probably just forgot to take my pills. In other news, waffles are delicious.


So I was trolling around the internet today and guess what I found! Yes, I’ve already seen the YouTube video ‘kitten on a slide.’ (http://youtu.be/gppbrYIcR80) And yes, I’ve already seen the YouTube video for ‘bird pushes turtle off of table.’ (http://youtu.be/7vG8-fO9_mg) No, I found a website about Uganda. Or at least that’s what I can ascertain. I can’t really find an ‘about’ page. Oh, wait. I think I just found the link. Hold on a sec while I read this. Say this five times fast while you wait: A Thai guy named Ty tied a tiny tie. (I made that up! That’s pretty good.) OK, I just read a little more. The website is Uganda online. Uganda is in East Africa, and is landlocked. It’s also called the “Pearl Of Africa,” which seems weird to me because, you know, it’s landlocked. I don’t think a lot of oysters are hanging out in Uganda. At any rate, I was reading Uganda Online today because the topic was piercings. See? This relates.


Now, I don’t claim to be able to understand other cultures. I don’t even claim to be familiar with other cultures. I’m pretty stupid. So I’m sure there are some things I don’t understand in the presentation of this little article, but it starts thusly, “Have you ever wondered why while some girls are yelling yuck, you will find most dudes screaming ohh yeah when their babes have pierced navels or tongues and eyelashes? Apparently, apart from one looking sexy and chic, it also shows some kind of strength and power in a woman.” I’m glad the cat wrote navels in stead of bellybuttons, but eyelashes? Who has her eyelashes pierced? That’s kind of weird. But that’s not the point. I’m not even going to write about this article, actually. The point is the last bit. “… it also shows some kind of strength and power in a woman.” That’s an interesting idea.


I’m not a feminist. I’m not any kind of -ist. I don’t think. I don’t believe in -ists. I think they are a waste of money and resources and their marches cause road closures that make commuting irritating. That’s a dumb reason, but I also don’t believe in empowerment. I think that groups that ‘empower’ themselves in the name of equality are misguided to the definition of empowerment. I do believe in more of a, say, re-enfranchisement of social groups that may have, in the past, been disenfranchised. Be it women, blacks, gays, Italians, Irish, whomever. Groups over time have been disenfranchised, and in the name of equality, these groups have worked hard to become more reintegrated into society as just another silent partner. Equality, to my understanding of the definition, doesn’t lend to any group having power or supremacy. It’s contradictory. Equality puts us all on the same plain. Which means that benefits that women or gays or racial groups may have gotten in the past in order to be re-enfranchised ought to be a thing that has an end. Once blacks are availed the same opportunities, the United Negro College Fund should become obsolete, right? Once gays have full social rights, then social equality establishments, like hiring practices at jobs, ought to become obsolete, right? And as one group becomes the majority, oughtn’t the new minority groups that were not availed the benefits of being a minority due to their former majority status be granted new benefits that the once minority now majority had perviously?


Anyway, that’s where I stand on all that, and that’s important context. Women in modification and strength. That’s what started all this ranting. I have a great respect for women. I think that women ought to be revered and respected and treated with a certain care that ought to only be availed to them. Modification in women is an interesting beast because it comes with a specific set of stereotypes that are unique to them. The dangle navel jewelry. That’s an example. The silvery, jewely, gaudy, dangly thing that hangs passed the edge of the belt and is exposed by the off the shoulder half shirt. What do we associate with that? After all, it’s just a navel piercing, right? But why do the words stripper, slut, loose, and woo girl creep into my mind? That’s terribly unfair, isn’t it. I have my navel pierced, but I’m not associated with being a slut. At least, I don’t think so. And yes, it’s a pink jewel. A barbell in the tongue of a young woman. What are the implications? I imagine that you can surmise what the popular assumption about that mod in women is. Yet certain other mods are more of a pass in women. Nostrils, lobes, napes, and even a Monroe here and there are more reminiscent of feminine features. When I had my nostrils pierced, I once had a stranger ask me, “Isn’t that a woman piercing?” How were these sex oriented associations established?


Women have a tough lot, I think. Yes, I believe women ought to have every opportunity that a man does. I also am not so naive to think that the WNBA will eventually be more popular than the NFL. There was a time when women were treated differently than men in this society, and we oughtn’t forget that some of that treatment was to their benefit. Don’t misread me; I’m not saying that our society ought to degenerate into the sex classism of 1952. What I am saying is that a women never touched a door when she was with a man. A man always walked on the street side of the sidewalk as to not avail the women the danger of the passing cars. Men would stand when a women entered a room, hats were removed in the presence of women, hard labor and military service were reserved for men only. These things were small social recognitions of a respect for the fairer sex. With empowerment and faux equality, these things are levied against job opportunities, equal pay, and a social acceptance parallel to men. With progress comes sacrifice. Just don’t bitch to me that your man doesn’t open your car door when you’re the CEO of a company making more money that he is.


That last bit was a little mean, I guess. The point is that yes, women participating in behaviors traditionally associated with men can be empowering and strength creating. The problem is that our acceptance of things in this society is a slow mud dragging. This includes modification. Is every girl with a dangle navel piercing a whore? Not at all, but the problem is how do we eradicate that stereotype? How do we eradicate any stereotype? Good questions. Women in modification seems to still be a thing that is considered fringe. A women with a full sleeve tattoo or a septum ring or stretched lobes gets the second look. A man with the same mods maybe not. The beautiful thing about modification is that it is a blind society that is predicated on aesthetic. What an odd paradox. How is it blind? We have, in the same culture and society, men and women; gays and straights; blacks and whites; people of all religions or no religion; liberals and conservatives (and yes there are modded conservatives, of which I am one); misanthropes and social butterflies. We combine them all in to a truer melting pot than the one we are taught about in social studies class. I honestly believe, and this may sound absurd, that modification is a social key that can more freely unlock tolerance and acceptance than interest groups, marches on awareness days, or endless and resolution-less lobbies in the senate. The thing about interest groups who go to bat for a racial group, political group, sexually oriented group, or gender group is that if you’re not one of them, you’re not allowed in the club. Or at least, they don’t serve your needs. Modification, however, welcomes everyone and serves all of their needs. The goal is beauty, and the modification community doesn’t care how you start; we just want you to represent us regardless of the shade of you, the genitals of you, the preferences of you, the politics of you. What’s more empowering than that? Yes, the gamma bomb that turned Bruce Banner into the Hulk is probably more empowering. Good call on the gamma bomb. Stay beautiful, kids.







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