miércoles, 4 de junio de 2014

My tits and I - Traducción del blog de Yael Farache (Acapulco 70)

He traducido un texto del blog de Yael Farache, Acapulco 70, "Mis tetas y yo" para dejarlo disponible a amig@s angloparlantes. El texto original NO ES DE MI AUTORÍA, ésta es sólo mi traducción y, por el momento está incompleta, pronto sigo con la segunda parte. El texto original puede ser encontrado en el siguiente link: http://acapulco70.com/mis-tetas-y-yo/

This is a translation from the original text from Yael Farache’s blog, Acapulco 70, which can be found here http://acapulco70.com/mis-tetas-y-yo/. The original text IS NOT MINE, this is only my translation which, for now, is not complete, I hope to carry on with the second part soon.
There are some expressions that I was unable to translate and were kept how they were originally written, such as "choni". For some others, I tried to stay as true as possible to a translation that wasn’t so literal but reflected what the author meant, yet, I’m sure a native English speaker might do a better job.

My tits and I

Tits are a subject that everyone wants to address, but few people do it from an honest point of view. Magazines give you tips to make the best of them, your friends sit down to appreciate them, the politicians seek to legislate about the tits, social networks directly forbid them, the association against cancer warns you about its risks and surgeons warn you about gravity.

But the tits are part of a person. We learn early on that we have to fear our tits, and no one teaches us to love them. You might think this article is merely an excuse to show mine, but I can assure you once you are done with it you’ll be embarrassed that you thought so.

What does it feel to have tits? It is not a question that we often hear. Having tits is weird. A girl spends the first 12 or 13 years of her life without them. Then, at some point, she gets these two objects in the middle of her chest that redefine the way she relates to the world. You can’t be prepared for such a change.

Some girls develop them too soon, the first ones in their class. Their tits seem to them an advertisement, announcing to the world their condition. Some develop them late. Their friends have tits and they don’t. They are wondering if everything is fine, if they will get them too and how will they be. Some stay waiting their whole lives because they never get them. And all, no matter when it happens, feel anguish.

In front of the mirror, the girl discovers that tits do not have a purpose of their own. The tits are for others. To breastfeed a child in the future. To be desired by a man. The tits are no good if there isn’t someone else. They are a physical expression of their feminine condition. To be for another being. All the injustice of the species is, for her, concentrated in her chest. The uterus is also unfair but hating the menstruation is something socially accepted. You have permission to hate your tits but only as long as you hate their distinctive features, “I hate my tits because they are like this” and as long as you don't hate the concept.

Then, there is the subject of the attraction. The girl who has tits finds out that she’s not indifferent to men. Eyes follow her wherever she goes. Before having tits, the girl has a butt, it is true, but the butt is always leaving, the looks stay behind. The tits are always coming, and finding face to face the look of another person is a new experience. The girls feels protagonist, but doesn’t know how to feel about it. She doesn’t know if she wants the attention she’s creating. She might feel like she doesn’t deserve it, that she hasn’t done anything to get it. The tits grew without her intervention.

Some find themselves powerful. I had a friend in high school that had big tits and knew how to use their power. As a consequence she got the nickname “Chichi” for this song. It doesn’t take much to be the whore of high school. A lot of the girls owe their bad reputation more to the shape of their tits to their experience, their bodies betray them. No one wants to be The Chichi.

After high school the considerations are from a different kind. Depending on the place where you live, tits symbolize different things. For what you see on the news, you might think that in Venezuela is almost mandatory to have a boob job and showing them, but actually that depends on your social circle. In mine, having big tits and using close-fitting clothes is considered low-class. People with money takes good care of avoiding these sort of mistakes, because unlike Europe where the social order in most cases is determined by your race, in Latin America the social order is determined by your economic class.

Some of us suffer because we have them too large, some because they are flat. Some women don’t like the shape of their tits, others, the color. Hair is more common than what people think. Some have weird nipples, reversed, or too big, or protuberant. There’s not a tit prototype that is normal, although we all believe there is. Accepting your own tits is a process that lasts years and, when you finally do it, they start falling.


I knew I had big tits, so I made efforts to hide them. I didn’t want to be a “choni”. Besides, I liked fashion with all of its myths. I thought that a part of dressing well was the contempt for what’s sexy. So I spent around 10 years with turtlenecks, short hair and a wrong bra size.

Around two years ago I set free from the turtlenecks, little by little. It’s not that I’m showing my tits on the street, I just replaced jerseys for open neck shirts. It has been a struggle against my own prejudice, but I have succeeded. What is surprising is to see the reactions that people has to my new look. Nothing of what I’ve done in my life has been so polemic. I’ve been accused of all sorts of things. Of showing my tits to gain popularity, of having a boob job, of being misogynistic , even of “selling myself”.

My first “fan”, an Argentine named Serge, followed me since I opened my blog. He wrote me emails. He and his girlfriend had a photography study, or a fashion study, I don’t remember, the thing is that he sent me pictures for my opinion once in a while, and through a year we exchanged emails. Well, me posting this was enough for him to go from admiring me to despise me. He didn’t just leave me a couple of comments on a Facebook group “and that boobshot?”, but he also sent me an email telling me that he and his girlfriend had been wrong about me.

The truth is it was the first time I was on this side of the debate. I don’t blame them, because covered to the neck I felt too a moral superiority. I criticized other people’s cleavages. Once I told a friend she dressed like a “porn secretary”. I thought Kim Kardashian was shameless. Not Paris Hilton. It didn’t have to do with their attitude, but with the size of their tits.


Last summer Israel and I went to Málaga. We were lying down on the beach relaxed when, out of nothing, a topless woman showed up, she put her towel in the sand right in front of us and lyed down or sunbathing. She wasn’t particularly attractive and wasn’t even looking to Israel, but I was outraged.
To give you some context: I am not used to seeing topless women. In America is illegal to sunbath topless except for nudist beaches. Everyone has boob jobs in Venezuela, but no one takes off their bikini tops. So the image was something new to me. On the other hand, accepting my negative feelings was also something new. You are not supposed to be outraged by a topless woman. But I was practicing self-acceptance, and the first part of self-acceptance is to see yourself the way you are.
I was outraged, I got territorial. What I felt was treason. But nothing had happened. Why did I feel betrayed?

I said to Isra: “If she wanted to come to the beach topless, she should have come with her girlfriends. But, coming alone and lying there in front of everyone? You only do that if you’re looking for something”. I tried to explore the idea: what would happen is something had actually happened? Who would I be mad at? Mi answer confused me even more: I would be mad at my boyfriend. Then, where is really the problem? What is the treason she is committing? And, even more important yet: against whom?

Don’t think that I was easily accepting these ideas. I know they are really misogynistic. But the only way to fight them is to allow yourself to feel them, to understand where they come from. After thinking about it for a few hours I found out what I really felt: the act of going topless to the beach is unfair because it tents other men, including my boyfriend. At that point I heard an echo in my head. The idea was familiar, very familiar, in fact. It is a very old idea. It came out of the Bible, of the episode of Adam and Eve.

Eve tempted Adam. Adam is blameless of his sin, because Eve tempted him. Why didn’t Adam resist? Because he couldn’t. Eve is irresistible. Hew power lays there. Tits symbolize feminine sexuality, they are Eve’s brand. Feminine sexuality is the original sin, the woman is the sinner and tits are her weapon. The man defends himself from the power she represents by covering her. He makes her cover the same way Eve covers herself after tasting the forbidden fruit.


But the idea that the woman is dangerous isn’t exclusive from the Western society. The Bible didn’t create this idea; it is only a reflection of a feeling that precedes it. To study this sort of things, the place that a concept occupies (the idea of femininity) inside a culture is that linguistics is usually studied.
The words structure our world. Their categories give it order. We group under a same category the objects that we consider similar. The place of a woman is studied under a wider category: the gender. You study, for instance, the type of words that have feminine gender and why they are gathered next to the woman. What does it say about the way a culture sees the woman when she shares gender with certain things instead of others. Why in Spanish house is feminine instead of masculine, for instance.

Not all cultures have feminine and masculine gender in their language, English, for instance, is a more neutral language. In Spanish we have two genders: feminine and masculine. But in Australia there are among indigenous tribes a language called Dyirbal that has 4 different genders: masculine, feminine, vegetables and miscellaneous. Included in the masculine gender are men, fish, snakes, kangaroos and spears. Included in the feminine gender are women, fire and dangerous things (1). Women for them are fiery and dangerous. Someone to be cautious with.

The Dyirbal makes it explicit, but in most cultures women is seen that way: as a dangerous creature, difficult to comprehend and, at the same time, irresistible.

(1)    Women, fire, and dangerous things by George Lankoff


The woman is also feared because she is “the unknown”. The woman occupies the place of “the other one”. The man feels subject to his own world and puts the woman by his side. She is similar enough to him to be able to reflect himself on her and, at the same time, he also doesn’t know her, she eludes him. She is at the same time known and unknown, the question and the answer and since she’s different from him, she is, for him, his judge. That is why a business man asks about his decisions to the woman. She might have no idea about the subject, but he takes into consideration her opinion because she is the judge of his world.

The man is afraid of the woman’s power and when he covers her, her femininity “disappears”, her otherness, her threat. She accepts to cover herself as long as all the other women cover themselves with her. Since feminine sexuality is irresistible, the woman thinks that nothing can compete against some naked tits. It doesn’t matter how beautiful, smart, sensitive or desirable she considers herself, she thinks that in front of naked tits her attractive is “neutralized”. For this reason she only accepts to cover herself if there aren’t other tits on sight.

The Eve pact is also a pact among women, and betraying it has consequences. Covering tits is a disarmament pact. A lot of countries have nuclear weapons, but there is a tacit agreement, a pact, of not using them. If a country threatens to use its atomic power, the other countries condemn it. And the same happens with tits.

The woman that exhibits herself is breaking that pact. To go out topless is using your atomic bomb when everyone else is putting theirs away. It means violating a pact that men started, but we all perpetuate. The woman takes care that the pact is kept and punishes the one who breaks it with mockery, rejection or ostracism. The man, on the other hand, is eager for the pact to be broken, but when it is done, he brands the offender as a whore.

The woman subdues the offender to mockery to discredit the threat she represents. The man brands the offender as a whore to discredit her as a judge. The man is afraid of the easy woman’s judgment. If a woman has been with a lot of different men, she can judge him and, therefore, put his masculinity at risk. The virgin woman hasn’t been with anyone and the man feels safe next to her. The woman is dangerous to the man as she judges him. To brand a woman as a whore is to disqualify her argument a priori. The woman is dangerous to the woman as she annihilates her attractive. To brand a woman that is showing her body as a whore is for both of them a way to protect themselves.

But either she’s being punished by a man or a woman, for the punishment to be effective it must be done under the presence of a third party. That is why the punishment is always in public. The punishment is always social.

(The text goes on, but this is what I have translated so far…)