Shocked to see a topless woman on my otherwise, staid, stodgy blog? Well, racy as the above picture might be, it is not considered obscene, although you can see virtually all of this rather attractive young lady’s breasts. Why not? Read on…
Over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed some articles in the newpaper concerning some folks, usually, though not always, teenagers, who have decided to get back to nature and share the beauty of the human body (theirs) with their fellow human beings. This does not usually end well for the afore mentioned naturist. The phrase “indecent exposure” springs to mind here
I’m not going to get into just how and why the human body came to be thought of as indecent, (at least not in this post), but the incidents of the past few weeks has reminded me of an incident that happened here in Massachusetts last summer, where several hundred women protested on the steps of the State House demanding the right to go topless in public, and, just to make sure that no one was missing the point, very obligingly demonstrated the body parts in question.
What made me think of this? Well, working as I do in a tobacco shop that is within walking distance of several colleges, I am, on a daily basis, brought into contact with dozens of young ladies who are not shy about exposing substantial amounts of cleavage in this balmy September weather, so I suppose the subject is on my mind rather a lot lately.
But it’s also fair to say that the more I think about it, the more the absurdity of forcing women to cover up their chests while their male counterparts are free to walk around bare chested becomes apparent. Now before you dismiss me as either a perv or a radical feminist, I want you to think with me on this for a second:
Suppose for a moment that a woman goes to the beach and removes her bikini top. What happens? She’ll probably be arrested, or at the very least, told to either cover up or face a ride in a police car. So what can we conclude from this? That a woman’s breasts are obscene?
Not necessarily, as I will now demonstrate.
Suppose instead that this same woman had kept her bikini top on, but it was one of these really, really, tiny bikini tops that really didn’t cover anything except her nipple and areola. What happens to her then?
Nothing that’s what. She is free to show as much breast as she wants to, but as long as she keep her nipples covered, she’s ok. Conversely, if she were to wear one of those strange bras that covers up the entire breast while only allowing her nipple to show, she would also find herself breaking the law.
So apparently the only thing we can conclude here is that it’s not really a woman’s breasts that are obscene, but rather her nipples which are so lewd and offensive that they must be covered at all times.
What makes this even more absurd of course is that a woman’s nipples- unlike a man’s-actually have a valid biological function. But if my wife exposes her nipples for any reason, even for the afore mentioned valid biological function, she becomes a criminal in the eyes of the law, whereas if I expose my nipples I’m guilty of nothing more than extremely poor taste (and believe me, the sight of me without my shirt on really is obscene).
Now the arguement against this does merit some attention. While I realize that topless beaches are commonplace in Europe, they would, at least for a while, certainly be a novelty here. And let’s be realistic here: the sight of a woman’s breast arouses desires in the typical male in a way that the sight of her elbows simply does not (with all due respect to any elbow fetishists out there). So it occurs to me that, should women ever win this right, they should probably exercise some caution in actually exercising it, at least until such time as the sight of woman’s chest becomes as commonplace here in America as it has become in Europe.
But all in all, women will not truly have achieved equality with men until they can show their nipples in the bright noonday sun along with the men.