#DearPrudence thoughts – bras and when they come off

#DearPrudence thoughts – bras and when they come off

A letter about wearing bras leads to #DearPrudence thoughts

dear prudence

“Dear Prudence” on Slate, starring Daniel Mallory Ortberg.

#DearPrudence thoughts

The latest ep of Dear Prudence, Slate’s advice podcast and column, included a letter written by a woman asking advice about wearing bras. The letter and conversation between the host and his guest had me fascinated.

Prudie Pod

The “Dear Prudence” column goes back to the early days (if not the beginning) of Slate.com. I love it and always have. Prudence redefined advice columns. The column departed from traditional “Dear Abby” letters. They considered sex, serious relationship issues, and workplace thoughts. Over the years, several writers assumed the role of Prudence. Daniel Ortberg is the current incarnation of Prudence.

The column remains. It also morphed into a podcast, like so many things have. Danny brings a fascinating perspective to the conversation. His guests read letters and share their takes on the questions. Many are queer, another dimension that makes the pod so good.

Bras

So, Prudie and her guest this week, Tonya Mosley of KQED, read a letter about a woman who likes to take off her bra when she gets home. While that’s quite common, the problem comes in when company come over, after she’s lost the bra. Her husband wants her to put a bra back on. She doesn’t want to. The vibe from the letter indicates hubby thinks wife is inconsiderate to guests.

Prudie and Mosley roasted the husband. Danny (Prudie) is transitioning. He hated underwire bras. They both agreed that men who have never worn a bra don’t get this at all.

I have questions!

First, for y’all: would you put your bra back on?

Second: who has company over that would giveĀ  shit? It’s evening. You escape reality in your home. Off comes the bra. If you knew guests were coming, would you have taken the bra off in the first place? This woman’s answer is, clearly, fuck yes.

What do you think?

Dear Prudence – touchy feely relationships in a #metoo context

Dear Prudence – touchy feely relationships in a #metoo context

Dear Prudence tackles an interesting letter

dear prudence

Slate’s “Dear Prudence” pod, starring Daniel Mallory Ortberg.

Dear Prudence advises

The latest number of the “Dear Prudence” podcast presented an easy but thoughtful situation. A woman wrote, seeking advice on how to discuss playful/casual groping by her boyfriend. The boyfriend gives her the occasional caress on her butt, or boob-grab. She’s been OK with it. Until lately, that is. The whole #metoo thing triggered her. She’s less interested in in random touching. That boob-grab that was once fine now concerns her.

Unspoken triggers?

The letter-writer expressed problems with the groping and touching of late, but did not really offer a reason beyond #metoo, in her letter. That’s her privilege, of course. If a person wants more space, end of discussion. Many things trigger this sort of reaction. Cat-calls, a work colleague who doesn’t respect personal boundaries might be the issue. Maybe it’s just too much time on social media, listening to other womens’ stories.

So, let me re-iterate: Whatever her reasons, if she doesn’t want to be touched, that’s that.

What about the boyfriend?

The letter-writer seeks advice on how to explain this to the boyfriend. She factors in potential reactions from her partner. Daniel and his guest made it clear, this is about what she wants. While the hosts understood her concerns, they wanted to be clear, this is about HER. They understood. This is a relationship, therefore, a dramatic shift should be discussed. The writer wants an approach. The reply was simple: tell him how you feel!

That’s rarely bad relationship advice. So, hopefully the boyfriend will get it. Understanding and empathy are important.

What if he doesn’t?

Short letters allow Daniel and his guests opportunity for expansion. They moved from specifics to general observations. Boyfriend behavior in #metoo shouldn’t be a challenge. Still, defense mechanisms kick in when we tell someone they’re doing something unwelcome. The hosts explained that this presented an opportunity to the letter-writer. After presenting her thoughts on the boob-grabs, she receives the opportunity to observe. Will he understand? Will he freak out? This issue changes boundaries, even temporarily. Reactions tell both partners if they’re a good fit.

I wish we could see how this turns out.

#metoo means working on relationships

Guys often resist change. They resist challenges to their masculinity. A woman rejecting an advance, even in a consensual context like this relationship is problematic. What was once playful may now be triggering. Guys need to understand how that works and adjust.