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Don’t Th(ink) It Appropriate? I Couldn’t Care Less

I always wondered what a world where the tables were turned would look like. You know, a world where it was women giving their unsolicited opinion about men and their bodies for whatever the reasons (some) men in 2018 (still) think it’s appropriate or called for to do so. I wonder what I would say or what I would do or which topic or specific would tip me over the edge just enough to force me to send not one, but three letters addressed to the editor of a local news outlet stating just how important my opinion is. I know, I know, it sounds a little bit farfetched but one local resident (and his merry band of ‘supporters’) decided to do just that last week. I’m assuming since you love writing letters so much, and keeping up to date with the daily goings on about town, I thought I would write you something in return, a response I guess you could call it, to the way you feel about my tattoos. Also yes, I know you don’t know me personally and you’ve been on the back foot for the past week spinning your story and finding new ways to apologise to your wife late at night but I hope you find the time to read this.

Firstly, I’m so sorry, for the ridiculously small life you must lead, if an experience such as going to the bank can be so easily spoiled by seeing a woman with tattoos. I mean, judging by your tone and the overall sentiment which runs through each one of yours, and your supporter’s letters, women are simply here to sit still, smile and provide you and you alone with eye pleasing aesthetics as you go about your day. I do not get dressed or modify my body with anyone but myself in mind. I’m sure your wife would be the first to point out that she was not in fact put on this earth to please and or appease you. Speaking of, would you think differently if someone decided to openly pass comment on someone close to you? Maybe your wife, a sister, your next door flipping neighbour, whoever, it makes it all a little more personal don’t you think?

The hypocrisy surrounding your opinion honestly baffles me. On one hand, you say (how you type and shake your fist at the world at the same time is a real talent you should take that on the road) having tattoos is the “worst thing a female can do to their bodies” but you can also handle seeing “a good tattoo on a male if the art work is decipherable”. You idiot. You also go on to mention how tattoos can look threatening or at least make the person sporting them look threatening. Maybe you’re just threatened by powerful women who aren’t going to sit here and take your bullshit.

See, what you’ve done, with your cranky little keyboard warrior rant, is open up a flood gate of conversation with other like minded people. Because suddenly, the whole issue isn’t just about women having tattoos anymore. One reader kindly slapped you on the back and attempted to feed the world with yet another spoonful of misogynistic crap when he insinuated that women with tattoos would perhaps give birth to infants who would emerge in a ‘smudged state’? Sounds fake but ok, is all I have to say on that front.

Like I said, you spent the week scrambling and trying to back track, probably after your wife or significant other, tapped you on the hand and said ‘that’s enough now dear remember your heart condition’. So you decided to mansplain your actions apologise, and look you’re right. You didn’t bring into question the ‘character, integrity, honesty or mannerism of any female with a tattoo’. In your eyes you did nothing but put your two cents in, rant about a section of the population you don’t like, and let women know how to treat our bodies and live our lives in order to be more aesthetically pleasing. You probably added “…and anyway, you’re much prettier when you smile I’m just looking out for you,” at the end of your last letter but advertising revenue didn’t allow for the space.

To loop back, I can’t actually imagine a world where the tables are turned. What I would like to imagine though, is a space where men realise (and remember) women aren’t here for their entertainment or aesthetic enjoyment. I’d also swear at you now but a) I have tattoos and I’m apparently intimidating enough and b) advertising revenue doesn’t allow for such a thing.

Written by Laura Kebby

I write words about talented people doing talented things, and translate chatter by putting pen to paper.

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