Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Talking in Heaven

Ayden and I were talking on the way home from work/daycare tonight:
"Mommy, how does God make your spirit be away from your body when you die?"
"Ummmm, hmmm, I don't know. Maybe we can ask God that when we get to heaven?"
"Hahahaha! You are so funny! People can't talk in HEAVEN, mommy!"
"I THINK they can. The Bible talks about people singing in heaven, and if we can sing, why wouldn't we be able to talk?"
"Well, how does God make your spirit talk without your body?"
Geez, this kid doesn't let me off the hook, EVER.
"Ummmm, hmmmm, I don't know. Maybe we can ask God that when we get to heaven, too. I have LOTS of questions for God for when I get to heaven. We can ask him anything we like."
"Mommy, do you remember a long time ago when I asked you why do boys have nipples? Maybe I can ask God that question when I get to heaven."

Why DO boys have nipples, anyways?


Roboseyo said...

I was told on authority by none other than Charles Stankievich that men have nipples because their erotic possibilities are enjoyable enough that they do not require baby-nursing to justify their existence.

I read an article by a scientist that nipples are so important in the female part of the reproductive cycle, that they have remained vestigially in the male of the species. Likewise, the clitoris forms from the growth that, upon introduction of the Y chromosome, becomes the penis. As with nipples for nursing, the penis is so important to species propagation that a vestigial form remains even in females of the species.

(lucky females)

melissa said...

Rob, I'm going to pull a Maggie on you:
This is an incredibly patriarchal view.

First of all, baby nursing is not simply a 'justification for existance'....for females, baby nursing is THE REASON nipples exist. Just as one can enjoy navels, the small of the back, the neck, etc, in sexual manner, so can breasts. But that does not make sexual enjoyment their biological function. Navels are for umbilical connection providing nutrition transportation and waste removal for a fetus. Backs are weight bearing, flexible joints for movement and weight bearing. Necks house a pathway for brain nutritional and oxygen needs, airways, food pathways, and nerve connections between brain and body, not to mention the weight bearing of the head and the flexibility of the joints for movement.
Breasts feed babies.
Their 'erotic possibilities' do not justify their existance. Unless you are a bloody man for whom all female body parts revolve around his experience of sexual pleasure.

In addition, the female clitoris is actually functionally quite different from the male penis, though it is often described by biologists as similar because both have erectile tissue. So do nipples, and so do the pillori muscles in the skin. Goose bumps and penises have erectile tissue in common but it does not follow that goose bumps and penises are connected, similar, developing from each other, and etc.
It bothers me that the clitoris is scientifically described as 'similar to the penis' because this is so obviously a masculine attempt to understand or empathize with a female body part. Can't we just be different, and beautiful? Why do we have to be understood in light of the masculine experience? Can't our bodies just be described and celebrated the way they are, in their reproductive design, without being masculinized by comparing us to the male body or reproductive experience?

And can't men finally simply accept that nature designed breasts for babies and not for them? Sure, you can enjoy them all you like. We can enjoy their erotic 'possibilities' as well. BUT their function has nothing to do with you.
Maybe then society wouldn't find it so hard to accept breastfeeding because breasts would be seen AT LEAST as dual function, if not primarily functional as nutrition suppliers, and secondarily as erotic.

I must give you credit for describing the clitoris as being the physiological foundation for the penis, instead of the other way around: this would be a visually accurate way to describe fetal primary sexual characteristic development, and a LESS patriarchal way of describing male and female sexual organs, though still describing one in light of the other.

I must also give you credit for not being a sexist or a patriarchal thinker, which I know is true.

I also bow to your right to disagree, argue back, or rant in return.


Tonya said...

Wow, a tad to smart for me, this whole conversation. All I know is that while I read it, Josiah crawled up in my lap and said, "Murse Momma". And that is what he is happily doing right now! :-)

Roboseyo said...

don't have time to answer in full now, but it's on, mel! it's oooon.

(I notice you added comment moderation, just in case there's another case of "f*CK rob, you go too far!")

Roboseyo said...

Oh, Mel... is blowhard-baiting your new hobby?

To begin with, the phrase "justify their existence" pertained to MALE nipples' erotic possibilities; it is duly and properly conceded that nursing IS the most important function of female nipples. I am certainly not trying to marginalize breasts in general by suggesting that they are meant for men's pleasure alone, and that having jubblies for men to fondle were their main function: it is categorically true that jubblies are first for the nourishment of babies, second for women to secretly compare in the changeroom at the rec centre, as they attempt to establish social order as measured by physical attributes (the same way certain men shotgun beers, shout, eat meat, and break things to establish dominance), third, as an extra fat store to help women in cold climates stay warmer in the winter, and only FOURTH (if that), for the fondling and/or ogling of men (though this function is mostly beneficial only because of its role in attracting a man who will then spend money on the breasted female in question).

However, I am dismayed by your use of language viz: "why do boys have nipples, anyway". The very words you choose prove your own bias:

Rather than asking "why CAN'T men lactate", a question presupposing all humans' equal right to lactate, and protesting men's biological incapability of doing so, you ask "Why DO boys have nipples", a phrase suggesting nipples ought to be the domain and property only of females, and thus marginalizing men who enjoy having nipples (despite their only being usable for the fourth, and least important, function for which female nipples can be used).

It is surprising to hear you engage in such mechanisms of marginalization and suppression in the form of cute riddles --

another example:

"Why do we drive on a parkway and park in a driveway" sounds like a harmless turn of phrase at first, but upon closer inspection, look at all the first world assumptions built into it:

This riddle presupposes:
1. that we HAVE a car
2. that our country's infrastructure is advanced enough to include parkways
3. that we not only have a house, but
4. our house is big enough to include a driveway!

Even in Korea, where we HAVE parkways, parking is in an apartment complex's parking lot, or more often under the apartment, in the second or third basement. The simple posing of this ideologically loaded question is a tool that creates an inferiority complex in any person who does not live in a country with parkways, own a car, or have a driveway. Sure, the age of outright colonialism is through, but how often have your cute little e-mail forwards and snappy riddles made some other culture feel it was not good enough? By listening to your cute conundrum at all, I have already lost the game, set, and match, because I am entering the dialogue only in your colonial arena, according to your oppressive rules. The mere posing of the question stacks the deck against me!

We need to find a NEW kind of dialogue, free of such mechanisms of oppression, wherein we can celebrate lactating or not lactating, having driveways or NOT having driveways, where all forms of uniqueness are appreciated and not marginalized!

Next, I must ask, why CAN'T a man try to understand or empathise with the female parts? Is it simply the old fear that this, too, will be co-opted (cf: white people listening to rap:Eminem=men reading "The Vagina Monologues":???), leaving women with no domain to uniquely call their own, or could it be understood, not as a male attempt to co-opt and thus control an essentially female feature, but as a human's attempt to understand another human being, trying to create a non-patriarchal, non-sexist, non-anything-ist, category free space where a human can meet another human, and learn?

(though of course we can all agree that the clitoris exists for its own purpose, and not merely as a penile counterpart, and is probably more important not only to the reproductive process, but to humanity in general, because the highest achievement of humanity is universally agreed upon to be the pampering and pleasuring of women and their clitorii.)

care to respond?

tamie, the tamie said...

go mel. you rock.

nancy said...

You guys are all NUTS!

Roboseyo said...

"go mel. you rock."

what's this, Tamie? you taking mel's side on this one? after all I've done for you?

sure whatever i don't mind.

Mel. . . bring it on.

Anonymous said...

i was just pointing out that mel rocked. not saying i agreed completely with her *backpeddles*

i wonder how one accesses parentheses on a swedish keyboard.

perhaps when it is no longer the middle of the night and i am no longer jetlagged, i will have something useful to add to the discussion. i think there are important points in rob's ironic and hilarious diatribe, but i cannot find the brainpower or willpower to comment upon them or try to find any sort of other point to further make.

this is tamieby the way, but i can\t figure out how to sign in either