Hot Enough For You?, by Elayne Riggs

Elayne Riggs

Elayne Riggs is the creator of the popular blog Pen-Elayne on the Web. She was a founding member of Friends of Lulu, an organization dedicated to increasing the involvement of girls and women in comics, as readers and creators. She is married to inker Robin Riggs, with whom she shares two cats, and has odd love/hate relationship with Hillary Clinton.

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7 Responses

  1. Neil Ottenstein says:

    This past weekend I was at a college reunion at Swarthmore (in PA near Philly) and staying in a dorm without air conditioning. At least I brought the same fan I used way back then, but it was still not easy sleeping. I tried to spend a good portion of the time in the shade while outside but the back of my neck and ears got burned. All in all even though the weather wasn't pleasant I had a great time.When getting into the car Monday evening to go home the outside temperature reading on my car was 100. Yesterday it was only 99. When I arrived home yesterday, the air conditioning on the first floor and basement was working, but on the second floor it had stopped at some point and was at least 85 degrees inside. I had to get the house fan out to try to help cool out that floor. After I opened the thermostat and blew on a cobweb inside it, somehow it started the heat pump back up again and I was able to get the temperature down to 80 last night.Monday night Alan had a baseball game at 8:30 and it was still steaming. In addition the mosquitoes were very active. Tonight he has a game at 6:15, but it is supposed to be only in the high 80s today."And do you know, projecting forward, by August it'll be like 800 degrees? But maybe it'll be a dry heat." Colbert used a similar joke Monday evening at the Daily Show end tag as if the heat market was like that of oil prices, while Jon Stewart tried to explain it doesn't work that way.Neil

    • Elayne Riggs says:

      Yeah, we saw the Colbert line. Robin immediately said, "Hey, he stole my bit!" We've been mocking the "projecting forward" mentality for years at the Riggs Residence.

  2. Mike Gold says:

    "My opinion: as long as women taking off their tops elicits a reaction of "look, boobies!" from the minds of most onlookers, I continue to agree with the status quo here."I understand that. However, the reason why people react with ""look, boobies!" is because boobies have been the forbidden fruit. Every couple of years, particularly during weather like we're having right now in the Atlantic Northeast, some feminists get together in groups and go topless for equality — usually on buses and subways. It's the right idea if you want to achieve egalitarian chestal freedom. Before World War I men weren't allowed to go topless on the beach, and many still didn't until the 50s.Problem is, some people — women and men — don't want to demystify boobies. We can't have it both ways. Either boobies are objects of awe, or they're body parts. Personally, I don't fully comprehend this whole clothes thing, although "deodorant" is a concept all should embrace. I think most nudity to any degree substantially beyond what we currently consider kosher will be greeted not with awe, amazement or lust… but with "Oh, yick."

    • Elayne Riggs says:

      I don't think the "forbidden fruit" aspect is the only reason prurient interest is piqued when women remove their tops. I think it's mostly modern advertisement. As long as "sex sells" we're going to be socially hard-wired to think differently of male and female chests.

  3. Michael H. Price says:

    Reminded of a tune that Robert Crumb and I retrieved via the Wayback Machine for our first "R. Crumb Comix" stage revue: "When it gets too hot for comfort and you can't get ice-cream cones — 'Tain't no sin to take off your skin and dance around in your bones." (Lyric, Walter Donaldson; melody, Edgar Leslie; 1929.) Or "daynce around," as we tend to renunciate it down here in the too-sunny Southland.No kin to Saint-Saens' "Danse Macabre," although it might as well be.

  4. Russ Rogers says:

    The Tyranny of Clothing. Just as heavy firepower is the great equalizer when it comes to physical combat. Clothing is the great equalizer when it comes to physical beauty. As a general rule, most people are better looking with their clothes on. I know I am. It's not just a matter of modesty or personal protection, it's a question of aesthetics. Clothing is "deodorant for the eyes" and a concept that all should embrace. Clothing makes the concepts of physical beauty, sexual availability and attractiveness a bit more secondary. It allows people to focus on more important issues, like making correct change at the drive through window.Society has determined that women's breasts are erogenous no-fly zones. It's poor manners to stare. And it's grossly offensive or battery to grope without permission. American Society (and others) have an unwritten code (and in some cases written laws) that the fewer clothes a woman wears, the more sexually available they are. I'm not saying that this is the truth. I'm not saying that this is fair. I am saying that women who want to look sexually attractive are encouraged to show more and wear less. Women who want to appear demure are encouraged to cover up. That's the game. Them's the rules. I didn't make up the rules and I'm not enforcing them.Do I think women should be allowed to go topless wherever it is legally and socially acceptable for men to be topless? Yes. Would I encourage my daughters to do that? No. If they were in the south of France and were at a topless beach would I be OK with my daughter going topless? Sure. Because Nice girls do that there. (It's a pun. And puns that you explain, are they really all that funny?) It's a question of context. Where and when you show your body has a lot to do with what message you are trying to convey. Even if the message you want to send is just, "Oh my GOD! It is so HOT! I just NEED to take off my top," the message you send in the good old USA is, "HEY! Look, boobies!"Take a look at the debate (that yes, I started) about the naked girl on page one of "The White Viper." What is the message that the authors intend to send? Is it, "Here is a woman who is very at ease and in tune with nature," is this integral to the character or plot development? Or is the intended message simply, "HEY! Look, boobies!"? Part of my problem is that there is NO context for the girls nakedness. We don't know who she is, where she is, what she is doing or why she is getting naked. It's all left open to my prurient interests and base imagination. Whose at fault for that, me, the authors or society?…Again, if clothing is the great equalizer, bras are the GREATEST of weapons. They minimize. They maximize. They conceal. They enhance. They are a wondrous and wonderful blend of fashion and engineering. They help maintain a woman's body against the ravages of time and gravity. I'm waxing poetic, like a booby crazed fetishist. Maybe I am one. I'm a product of the society where I was raised.