Everybody’s doing #Freethenipple. Rihanna’s doing it. Bella Hadid’s doing it. My dad is doing it. If first wave feminism brought us white women suffrage, and second wave feminism brought us cis vajim-jam libertayy, third wave feminism is also about movin’ on up— approximately a foot and a half up depending on the length of your torso—movin’ on up to free those nip nops.
When we beat the patriarchy on all fronts it’s gonna be because all of us decided to ditch the bra and let those breasties bounce. Or so I thought.
I was under the impression that peak gender equality looked like two pepperonis making love to two black olives on the pizza that is your body, which is why when I said are-¡hola! to my areolas this past month I went all out, all in, all nipple, all the time.
For one whole month, I didn’t wear a bra to class and I didn’t wear a bra to work. I showered braless. I worked out braless. I went up and down all nine flights of the Caples stairs braless and titty punched (read: my titty did the punching) everyone and anyone in my way.
It was good at first. I was more confident. I got better at maintaining eye contact and my nipples never once lost a staring contest. I got a raise. I was at the pinnacle of equal pay and assertiveness. I had broken the patriarch with my emancipated mammaries. But there is such a thing as too free, too unrestrained. There is a fine line between freedom and anarchy and by golly, my boobies crossed over. At the end of the month, my titties were so liberated, so free, my left one literally left my body.
I checked everywhere: by my left foot, under the bed, in the fridge, behind my ears. Ask me if I’ve looked here. Or maybe there. Go on, ask me. Do it. Because the answer is YES, I have checked there and NO, no left titty in sight. That liberated titty rolled off my body in the middle of the night, took all the cash I had and fled Gambier. Last I heard, that financially independent boob took a plane to L.A., has a tattoo and a barbell piercing, works at some organic breast milk start-up in the valley.
This isn’t the #freethenip I wanted. The left titty I freed isn’t the left titty I used to love. My left titty isn’t the feminist it always said it was— just some Machiavellian opportunist who left me in the dust. What is it with the beneficiaries of feminist movements leaving their struggling compatriates in the dust? Why does this betrayal hurt so much?
Left titty, if you’re reading this, if you’re out there, know this: I’m not mad at you for achieving freedom, I’m just disappointed you didn’t take me with you.
Come back to me, left titty, come back. Come home.