“Lucia, I heard something interesting that really has me thinking in a different way.”
“About the whole sexual identity movement we’re going through. You know, the Me-too movement, and all the others that I don’t even know the names of. Know what I mean?
No response from Lucia. So she shouts “Lucia!”
“Uh, no. Actually, I don’t think too much about it.” Lucia takes out an herbal cigarette.
“What do you mean? Oh, no, Lucia you’re not going to smoke now?”
“Aye Dios mio, fine, I’ll smoke in my car.” Lucia gets up from the outside café table where you are allowed to smoke.
“Not now! It just smells so strong. Fine. Fine,” says an exasperated Laura.
Lucia sits back down, and holds the cigarette without lighting it.
“When all this stuff came out about Weinstein, Cosby, Lauer, on and on – it looked like women were fighting back on behavior that women always tolerated. You know, it was out now, and now we’ll fight back. It’s given us a position of reference where we don’t have to explain ourselves just go for the ‘don’t you dare touch me’ or just say “me-too” statement. I think we can fight back better now.
Okay, it’s not so much about that but how… okay…yeah…but I was thinking, in my mind, that we all have an identity. A young female may feel she’s in the wrong body, a male may like males sexually more than females, and so on. Then a movement forms where everyone wants a label and a pronoun. So no he, she, man, woman, but they, them, those, and transgender, transsexual, bisexual, gay, lesbian, and the people who are questioning themselves because they don’t’ know who they are. That’s how I looked at it Lucia, I thought about gender identity in that context.”
“Laura, that’s a good context actually because when you think about it – it’s an acceptance of whatever you think you are.”
“No?! Then what do you mean?” Lucia looks at her cigarette with a desire to light it up.
“What I’m beginning to think it’s changing the value system. As a society. You know what I mean?”
“Hmmmm, I’m not sure. Because everything has value according to what a person gives to it, no? I mean what is valuable to me may not be valuable to you.”
“But that’s not really the idea, Lucia because now society using all kinds of movements are redefining the definition of value itself. It has to change so that it devalues or revalues our identities.”
“Uh, what are you talking about?”
“Well, think about it, the value we gave a relationship between married couples was man and woman, and that value was considered sacrosanct. We changed the value so two men or two women may marry. We changed the old value to a new value. So, are we also changing the value of the human race through our gender/sexual identity?” Laura is getting a little excited now because it’s coming all together in her head at that moment.
She continues, “Here’s a weird example okay? Women exposing their breasts and considering it equivalent to a man showing their breasts. I mean there’s a woman, true story who was arrested and in court for exposing her tits to her step kids, alright?”
“Damn. Why did she expose her breasts to her step kids?
“Oh, because it was really dusty in the area they were going to paint and they removed their tops. But she was arrested for exposure, but not the husband!”
Lucia winces and says, “A women’s breasts are a lot more…attracting…for lack of a better word.” Finally, “Sorry, Laura, but I’m lighting up. It’s an herbal cigarette and we’re allowed to smoke here.”
“I know, but herbal cigs tend to smell strong” complains Laura. She gives in so she can continue her point. “Okay, go on. “Okay, so, what if we change the value of women’s breasts being attractive and sexual. And make the value be functional and not an attractive feature? Doesn’t that change the response of someone? Doesn’t that change the value and if the value is diminished, won’t society then behave differently? Respectfully, even?”
Lucia ponders Laura’s statement for a couple of minutes, and then says “objectify.”
Laura looking at Lucia saying, “What is the definition of ‘value’? We should have started with that, huh?”
Lucia picks up her phone and does a search. “Wow, it’s a noun and a verb – noun has six definitions and verb has two. The definition that most fits is…noun number two – a person’s ‘principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life’. Well, I think these women movements wants society to change the value of what or who women are when it comes to sexuality. Otherwise, why compare a woman’s breasts to a man’s? Do women consider men’s breasts as sexual or an object? No. Really when you think about it. So why can’t we be seen that way?”
“Yeah, that may be true, why is it that we don’t look at men’s boobs as objects or even sexy? Their boobs are just there. To remove any sexuality so that we won’t need to have me-too type of movements, then changing the value makes sense, but to what exactly?” asks Lucia.
She takes a deep drag from the cigarette and cloaks herself in the deep smoke.
Laura coughs and uses her hands to fan the smoke away. “Well, wait a minute. It won’t work no matter what we do.”
“Why? Why can’t it work?”
“Men’s connection to women’s boobs are maternal, sexual, beautiful and security for men. However, men’s breasts are not anything to women, just a nice sexy chest if he works out, but if not, he’s just flat chested.”
Lucia takes another drag of her cigarette. Again, Laura fans it away and says, “You know, as much as we may want to change the value of something, especially something like women’s boobs, it won’t work. Because what creates the value within us? I mean, men can pretend they won’t see our boobs as sexual, but can they? They’re driven differently than women.”
“It’s like when a person moves from one country to another Laura. You were born and raised here, but if you went to another country that is not like ours, your value system will have to change to match theirs otherwise, you won’t fit in.”
“Ay, Lucia that’s a whole other conversation.”
All rights reserved. No part of the short stories may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the author, “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” and email to email@example.com