Okay, for the podcast title I actually called this one “All About Boobs” but I couldn’t bring myself to put that on the title for the blog!
Rebecca and I are talking about EVERYTHING to do with breasts today, as it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and some disturbing quotes from a new Christian book seriously objectify breasts.
I feel like the title of this one could be One Boob, Two Boobs, Small Boobs, Big Boobs, but here we go!
(And my mom joins in for a part too!)
Or, as always, you can watch on YouTube:
Timeline of the Podcast:
2:15 Let’s talk about boobs!
6:15 Power imbalances cannot be ‘flashed’ away
13:25 Boob size doesn’t correlate to sexual motives
20:30 Boobs are great…unless they’re tiny?
24:20 Breastfeeding boobs!
34:00 Your boobs are YOURS, and your experience matters
36:50 Research: Bra size!
38:10 Breast cancer awareness
41:15 Sheila’s mother, Elizabeth, debuts on the podcast!
53:15 Ending with encouragement
Main Segment: Let’s Talk Breasts!
Two things prompted this podcast: Breast Cancer Awareness Week, and the launch of Gary Thomas’ and Deb Fileta’s new book Married Sex, which includes several pages about how much men like breasts and were designed to like breasts (written by Gary). This quote was published by several who are reading it on Twitter and Facebook, and to say that things have erupted on social media would be an understatement. I made a Fixed it for You out of it too:
We talked about how inappropriate it was to just gloss over the fact that there may be power imbalances in the marriage, let alone to then suggest that the solution to those power imbalances was for her to show him her breasts. Here’s how one woman reacted on Facebook to this quotation:
Let me get this straight: The thing that “enthralls” a man … the thing gives me “influence OVER” him “that can reset ANY power balances that occur because of other issues” …(whatever that means, but I won’t go there now)… is something determined by my genes over which I HAVE NO INFLUENCE?It’s not my CHARACTER … it’s not the way I THINK … it’s not the way I choose my WORDS … it’s not my COMPASSION … it’s nothing that makes me UNIQUELY ME …In fact, it’s something that if my genetics didn’t “bless” me, I could save up enough money and BUY as an add-on …Good God. If I’d read this 33+ years ago, I would have become a nun.
Later in the same passage Gary actually suggests flashing your husband to do so. He goes on to explain that what differentiates people from animals is that we have “full breasts” from puberty onwards, whereas apes only have them when they’re nursing.
We talked about how inappropriate it was to talk about pubertal girls in this way (they’re only 11 often) and also how referring to breasts as “full” is problematic for those who DON’T have full breasts.
We went on to discuss:
- How it feels at puberty when you develop breasts too early
- How we associate sexuality with the size of one’s breasts, and often infer sexual motives on very young girls just because they have breasts
- How it feels for women with smaller breasts to hear all of these things
- What happens when you have a mastectomy and then you hear things like this
- How we shouldn’t tell nursing women that their breasts still need to be for their husbands–and a rather graphic description of what can happen during sex if you have oversupply issues
- And, of course, Breast Cancer Awareness Month with my mom (who is 35 years cancer free this month!)
We also heard from a reader who was ostracized for breastfeeding in front of male family members.
And my mother shared the great privilege we’ve had of collecting thousands upon thousands of bras from a very generous bra company here to take over to Kenya to a children’s home where my mom often volunteers. They don’t get a lot of new items, and bras–especially for larger women who need the support–are actually quite important. That’s been a wonderful privilege for us to do.
What we love about the Mulli Children’s Family is that it’s entirely Kenyan run. We go to help, but it’s all done by Kenyans.
They run the show, and we just support them any way we can (even if that’s bringing bras and setting up a knitting program so young moms can make things to sell and support themselves!).
And it’s just so ironic that my mother spends most of her time now sorting bras–when she’s actually had a mastectomy!
Things Mentioned in This Podcast:
- Our wonderful sponsor Femallay
- Our Patreon–support getting our research out for as little as $3 or $5 a month!
- The Great Sex Rescue–and our video book study that goes along with it
- Link for breast self-exam
- Link for Married Sex on Amazon–many of the reviews refer to the breast problem, and Shannon Ashley’s write-up about the issues with Married Sex (and how it intersects with me)
- Our puberty course The Whole Story
- Post on Developing Bust Early:
What do you think? Did you have shame when you developed early? How did breastfeeding affect your sex life? How can we talk about breasts in a healthier way? Let’s talk in the comments!
Sheila Wray Gregoire
Founder of To Love, Honor and Vacuum
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