Man Wants Woman

by Ghani Kunto

Short skirts, low cut blouse, a sexy strut, and an inviting pose.  Eye contact.  A come-hither smile.  Under the low lights of the club you lean over and speak close enough to her ears so the bumping music doesn’t drown you out.  Her hair smells nice.

You exchange phone numbers, and return to your friends with a proud smile.

They’re smiling too.

Wait, no, they’re laughing.

That’s when they tell you that she is actually a he.

***

Noticing what women talk about when they talk about their bodies is always interesting.  You might dig this out during a focus group discussion, ethnographic research, or even just by peaking into the bathroom when they look at themselves in the mirror.  They’d mention how the undersides of their arms (triceps) are not firm enough.  Or that their thighs are too close together. Or how their tummy needs to be tighter.  And always something about the skin and the hair.

When you notice what a man talks about when he’s talking about a woman’s body, he might mention something about the legs, or the hair, or the lips.  But almost always, it’s the T & A.  Boobs and butts.

Some say we’re obsessed with sex, but while gender related, I don’t think this fixation with–what Fergie called–sexy humps are sexual.

Whenever I’m driving through Taman Lawang, this becomes more apparent.  Anyone in Jakarta knows that the area to find transsexual prostitutes.  A lot of us avoid the area because they get so aggressive that they’d jump in front of cars to get the driver to stop.  They wear blouses so low that you can see every inch of their hormone-induced breasts but the nipples.  They wear skirts so short and tight that you know what color of panties they’re wearing.  It seems that even as women, these men are still obsessed with those body parts.

So why are we obsessed with breasts and butts?

I’m still figuring it out.

I need more hands on experiments.

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