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D E A R  M A L E  M C

A letter of gratitude and recognition to someone I think hurt me at some point in life.


Dear Male MC,


We were onstage at One Eyed Jack’s in New Orleans. It was a battle—my first—and also my last. The first words out of your mouth were, “Hey Blondie, you need to buy yourself some boobs.” Words didn’t come. You played dirty. Big guns out, no pussyfooting. A heated wall of stun and anger distended awkwardly towards its zenith, rioted for ammunition that was just not enough, then buckled, caving my silence into sobs. 


I bolted backstage and was inconsolable. I had, at this point, no idea how horrible men were. No grasp that that was how I flatly registered. I was plenty preoccupied with my other flaws—chest topography wasn't even on my radar. And it’s taken me 15 years or so to come up with my retort:

You can’t capsize me with 

cup size! 

Maybe the shallowness of my chest 

reflects the mess 

of your mind and your 

kind who views a woman in pieces and parts. 


you lack the art and the heart to 


Whack me with your club and drag me 

back to the cave, 

primate. I’ll illuminate the real eyes 

on the wall that write, 

“elevate, not depreciate.”


Yeah, so... I wish I would have said that and dropped the mic instead of being so vulnerable and running away. I think I have protested against this misogynistic view of how a woman’s breasts should appear, for the enjoyment of men, so much so that I have ended up missing out on my own fun if I would have indeed "bought myself some boobs." 


So thank you, in a fucked up way, for saying it like it is. Maybe you were actually right. I think I’ve proven my no plastic surgery for the patriarchy point. But I can forgive myself, you, and the rest of humankind for being passionate about a bit of volume or aesthetics. Additionally, I can forgive my prejudices against womxn who have gone under the cosmetic knife. You made me hate my own kind when they were simply living their best lives. They get the last laugh, as their cup is full. 



Shelley Pellegrin

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