And if they’re truly an ally, they should be actively working toward a better understanding of the marginalization that people face – even if it’s something as seemingly trivial as being really into boobs.

The reader mentioned in her question that she didn’t feel well equipped to call out their husband about his comments on breasts, and that’s perfectly fine.

Hopefully they’ll work toward correcting and checking themselves in the future.

You don’t have to be well-versed in feminist theory to confront someone on behavior that makes you uncomfortable.

Allies should be willing to educate themselves on issues as well; marginalized people are not walking encyclopedias of oppression for people to demand information from.

Let’s keep it real: People who speak up about objectification, especially when that is interfering with the male gaze and the normalization of men’s entitlement to the female body, are usually treated like a total buzzkill. It interrupts everything we’re taught about gender and beauty and attraction and dating and the pursuit of romance. There are alternatives and solutions that wont conflict with your feminist values! While some of you think this route is unnecessarily extreme, it’s important to realize that some comments are neither desired nor warranted.

For example, you can do what a friend of mine does and first ask permission to comment on someone’s appearance before actually commenting. People, especially women, are not always open and receptive to comments about their body, nor should they be.

We recently received a letter from a reader asking how she should approach her husband about some problematic comments he makes about breasts.

While her husband is an advocate for gender equality, she feels the things he says about breasts are objectifying and sexist.

For one thing, it’s cisnormative to equate breasts with femininity and womanhood.

Not everyone who has breasts is a woman, and not all women have breasts.

When it comes to being an ally, respect is just as important as recognizing all the terrible ways people are marginalized in society.

And part of respect in a relationship is acknowledging your partner’s feelings, earnestly engaging with their ideas, and creating a culture where everyone involved feels secure in speaking up for themselves. ”) This was awkward at first, but I’ve grown to appreciate my friend’s willingness to respect other people’s boundaries and make an effort to give others full autonomy over messages received about their appearance.

We’re told to “save the tatas” afflicted by breast cancer, but not the living, breathing person attached to them.