"Girls will be Girls" by Anita Kunz



In the center sits a woman exposed. Is that a smile? Her lips are as inscrutable as her shaded eyes. Her sunglasses deny us entry into her thoughts. The basic irony: she reveals her body but conceals her eyes, while the two religious figures at her left and right conceal their bodies and reveal their eyes. They glance away. They are... thoughtful, uncomfortable, patient? Perhaps we cannot read them, after all. Perhaps we just think we can. "Window to the soul," maybe not so much. I look at the center woman's body. Her arms are almost noodly soft in their relaxation. Her toes sprightly in their flip flops. Her shoulders droop smoothly. She does not fear the women beside her. She towers in their presence. Can I read more in her body than in their eyes? Is that what it means to be "exposed"? Is being hidden a sort of power? Is being fearless a better power? Defensive versus offensive power? Passive versus active power? Is hiding one's eyes the same call to passive power as hiding one's body? What is the difference between the body and the eyes? When a stranger looks at a woman's body, the stranger regards it as an object, admires it, or judges its imperfections. When a stranger looks at a woman's eyes, that is a direct affront, assault, challenge, a message meant to be received, a come-on, or a threat. What is a world in which women are only admired but cannot be cowed? What is a world in which women cannot be admired but only cowed?

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