Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Suddenly sexless

It’s interesting how men avert their eyes most conscientiously when a woman is breastfeeding her baby on the bus. When there is soft brown skin being exposed from beneath a sari blouse.
Connections are instantly and unconsciously made - motherhood, family, wholesomeness, duty, purity - and eyes to dart away reflexively. Suddenly breasts become asexual.

My own body is undefined. Almost invisible through layers of gym clothing, yet it still draws stares as I buy my ticket and find a place to stand, leaning against the side of a metal seat. One arm raised to hold on to the bar above. Backpack strapped purposefully over my shoulders.

There are eyes that suddenly look at my chest, authoritatively, intrusively, searching. When there’s a bare breast not even two feet away from me. (No sports bra, camisole and cotton jacket to hide naked skin.) Unlayered-upon, unhidden. Just sheer chiffon leaving little to the imagination. But still, there are eyes searching for mine.