I wasn’t trying to be a sex symbol. I was just trying to trim the weeds. (More)

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break.

There is sexism in our society. This is not breaking news. I have a new observation to offer, but first I want you to imagine Madonna in one of her dominatrix costumes where her breasts are covered with pointy cones decorated with metal or rhinestones and she’s wearing leather hot pants and thigh high boots. Next I need you to picture a camp ground host in jeans and a sweatshirt and hiking boots. The second person is me but the Stihl company who makes my weed whip and the harness for it is apparently hell bent on transforming me into Madonna.

The harness was obviously designed with a flat chested man or a small breasted woman in mind. For either of those bodies I’m sure it is both comfortable and functional. For me, even using every strap adjustment on the harness I look like the north woods version of Madonna. The harness straps are black and a bright orange plastic plate fastens the straps together. It is not very comfortable after a few hours.

I know there are people who think that women imagine sexism where none exists or was intended. Sometimes those folks even have my sympathies, but not on the harness. You may think I am imaging the visual effect of this getup. I wondered that same thing. Friday as campers were arriving I was out weed whipping and trying to catch up after a week of rain. I’d turn the weed whip off after people stopped to ask a question but it was still hanging from the harness as we visited. People tried, some of them, to not stare at my chest. Not everyone was successful.

How do I know that I am not just imagining this latest round of sexism? Well, a young boy, maybe 7 or 8 years old was standing waiting to go fishing as I talked with his grandparents.

He looked at me and said, “What happened to your boobs?”

I told him nothing happened to them but the harness for the weed whip wasn’t designed for certain women’s bodies.

I rest my case.

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