Naked.

March 23, 2007

Here’s a topic likely to drive the wrong sort of traffic to my site. First thing’s first: this is not pornography. This is not voyeurism, as such. It is, however, about empowerment.

I spotted on Flickr a set entitled Support Topless Women. Now you see why I placed the disclaimer at the top of the post; no doubt this entry will attract attention either via Google or via the various appropriate tags.

The purpose of the set seems vague. Certainly the last photo in the set celebrates a woman’s right to be topless in public in one part of New York. Which brings up the question: why, in the enlightened 21st century, is it actually an offence in some places for a woman to walk around topless?

Let’s think about this.

Primary sexual characteristics are those parts that are required for natural procreation. The external genitalia, to use such a horrendously clinical term, are the bits that we can see and, erm, touch. I can understand people covering these parts, for reasons of hygiene, dignity, etc. The other guys on the street don’t need to be embarrassed when I gleefully swing past them, for example.

Secondary sexual organs are the bits that help define us. Things like facial hair, muscular definition and strength, general body shape, placement and volume of body hair, placement of body fat, etc. The things that make women women, and men men. These things are never as ubiquitously offensive as, say, a naked penis in the bakery section of the local grocery store. Some people may be offended by a muscular man, just as some may be offended by a naked breast, just as some may be offended by a hairy back.

So why exactly is a naked breast considered illegal by some, while a hairy back is not? I’d wager that more people would find a hairy back more offensive these days than a naked breast.

Of course, I can understand that the idea of exposing breasts on the street as casually as you would a Somerfield bag is a scary one, especially given the number of men around who barely manage to scrape together the requirements to join the human race. But that’s not my point.

Why is the naked breast, arguably a thing of beauty in the same way the rest of the human body is, such an offensive thing to some people?

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12 Responses to “Naked.”

  1. Queen Minx said

    I don’t know why it’s so taboo, or why the sight of boobs/tits/bazonkas is considered offensive. I don’t think it’s the aesthetics of the breast that’s the problem, it’s the sight of them in ‘certain’ mundane public or private situations.

    When on a Spanish beach, many women will whip off their bikini tops and enjoy the sun on their diddies but catching the 219 into town, or nipping into Marks and Sparks for a ready-cooked meal … nope.

    Maybe it’s because there is still the ‘whore’ attached to a woman who is comfortable and active with her sexuality … this attitude isn’t held by just men, women ‘whore’ each other too! So any woman eager, willing and happy to get her baps out is by inference a right old slapper … she has to be right?? Because the only reason a woman gets out her jellies is because she wants to attract a man for sex.

    I love my body, I love my diddlies … and if it’s a matter of when and where I choose to free them from the constraints of their knocker-bag without incrimination or prosecution, then good … would I??

    In some situations, hell yes … sitting in the park on a sunny day … with the opportunity of an all-over – hmmm … not so ‘all-over’ … my puttini would still be covered – maybe an almost-all-over tan then yes, I would slap out me jugglies … although, I hate sunbathing so I would probably sit in the shade … it would be nice to feel the sun on me melons though.

    Those photos were beautiful, really really beautiful, I loved every single one of them.

    I checked out the Beautiful Agony site too, but I am at work so will have to view when home.

    Thanks for both links.

    By the way … I tried to use as many words for ‘jugs’ as I possibly could!

    wink!
    xx

  2. “Maybe it’s because there is still the ‘whore’ attached to a woman who is comfortable and active with her sexuality … this attitude isn’t held by just men, women ‘whore’ each other too! So any woman eager, willing and happy to get her baps out is by inference a right old slapper … she has to be right??”

    Sure, people might consider such a woman a whore, slapper, slut, confident, sexy, ugly, whatever they want. But that’s okay — if we each gave a damn about what others thought all the time, we’d never get anything done, and we wouldn’t be free.

    No, the bigger question is, why might it be considered indecent? Why might a woman who chooses to expose one part of her body be spoken to by the police for her behaviour? These days, I’d go so far as to say that a hairy armpit on show is more offensive than a naked breast. So why is it okay to have a hairy pit out in public but not breasts? Hmm.

    It seems archaic, and reeks of Victorian/Edwardian Britain, and modern day USA.

    “I checked out the Beautiful Agony site too, but I am at work so will have to view when home.”

    BA is an interesting site. It’s erotic, and quite far away from most of the pornography out there.

  3. damewigginsoflee said

    I recall taking the tots to a beach in Miami where suits were scarce. After the initial giggling ceased, I remember saying to my boy, ‘In ten minutes, you’ll get used to it, and please stop making tittay sand castles, you’re embarassing me.’ Sure enough, before long, no giggles, just kids playing, as were others. And mommy got to burn her little silos off (well worth it, though.) There’s just nothing quite like a nude dip in the hot salty Gulf, yes indeedy.
    Anyway, to make a long story longer. Boobies are purty, anyone that says otherwise, is da devil. But I think if we sported the little darlings wherever we went, well — as you mentioned ‘… a naked penis in the bakery section of the local grocery store’ might become increasingly more common. Doh!

  4. “After the initial giggling ceased, I remember saying to my boy, ‘In ten minutes, you’ll get used to it, and please stop making tittay sand castles…'”

    Certainly, if we were exposed to the human body from an early age in a sensible manner, we’d all be a little less childish. If I found myself at such a beach, I’d be smiling from ear to ear for at least those 10 minutes. Why? Because breasts are generally hidden, except from when I’m, um, ‘entertaining’, or minding my own business on the internet late at night. They are, so far as a guy is concerned, something ‘naughty.’

    I do believe we think it’s naughty because they’re hidden from sight and from conversation until we reach puberty. I’m a fairly mature young thing, but certain responses to new or unusual situations still take hold.

  5. damewigginsoflee said

    ‘except from when I’m, um, ‘entertaining’, or minding my own business on the internet late at night’

    Aaaahahhahahaa, too funny!

    Well, I was raised hardcore Catholic — where nudity is hush-hush (unless you plan on confessing about it.) I managed to save myself long enough to not have any ‘too weird’ nudity/sexual hang-ups, but most of us have that ‘naughty-about-naughty-bits’ thing instilled in us pretty early on.

    I have no idea why, but I just thought it best to approach my son’s curiosity with a ‘yes, those are breasts, aren’t they neat-O? Get used to them, they’re everywhere and they’ll always fascinate you’ almost matter of factness. Whether or not that will turn out to be a healthy thing remains to be seen.

    He still giggles, as expected. But he doesn’t giggle then hang his head in shame afterward, which is probably good — nor does he hypnotically ogle like its the rack of Eve, which is probably also good. But he’s not allowed to look at them when I’m AROUND, and if there were boobies all over the walkways, I don’t know what I’d do! (I’d probably laugh a lot, though.)

    But I do believe you’re correct. We learn this mentality very young, when most impressions stick like perma-seal.

  6. Would it be bragging to say that it’s legal in Ontario for a woman to walk around topless wherever and whenever she wants to? Except in private establishments where there’s a dress code of course… but otherwise, flap and bounce away. Of course “legal” doesn’t mean “without consequence”. It’s also legal in Ontario to take a photo of anyone in a public place. The two don’t mix, so it might be legal but it’s a rarity. The last time I saw someone taking advantage of her Right To Bare Boobies In Public was aboot four years ago in Ottawa… I was just minding my own business walking down Rideau Street (a major downtown mall-surrounded street) and two women walked by sans shirt… “most impressions stick like perma-seal”. Yes. Yes they do. At any age.
    The coolest thing was when the activists were first trying to change the law and they had a group of topless women smoking pot on Parliament Hill… good times.

  7. “it might be legal but it’s a rarity”

    Sure it’s a rarity. Just like, in general, it’s a rarity for a guy to walk around topless (well, here it is, but that’s because it’s so cold most of the time). But at least the choice is there… 🙂

  8. damewigginsoflee said

    “The coolest thing was when the activists were first trying to change the law and they had a group of topless women smoking pot on Parliament Hill… good times.”

    Aaaahahahahaaa! That CRACKED me!

  9. Queen Minx said

    ‘if we each gave a damn about what others thought all the time, we’d never get anything done, and we wouldn’t be free.’

    Fact is: We ‘do’ give a damn about what ‘others think’ which is exactly why bearing breasts is an ‘issue’.

    And … we are not ‘free’. Freedom comes with complications … my ‘freedom’ is not ‘anothers’ … I could prolong this by saying a person who considers their ‘freedom’ being ‘child-love’ … is not mine, nor … with the best open-mind in the world … the childs.

    ‘Freedom’ is a utopian society’s nightmare.

    My freedoms … are not yours … and if I accept ‘your’ freedoms … are you willing to accept mine??

    So said the guy fucking his Grandmothers cat.

    And the cat said ‘shit … I don’t even like him … but he offered me a dog’s life’.

    xx

  10. “Fact is: We ‘do’ give a damn about what ‘others think’ which is exactly why bearing breasts is an ‘issue’.”

    It’s an issue in two ways:

    1. Other people might be offended.
    2. It might be against the law.

    My intended point was that if we gave a damn about number 1, we wouldn’t be free to choose our own path or do our own things.

    We have to give a damn about number 2, because the purpose of law and order is to maintain our freedom. (Not the freedom of those who abuse innocents, be they drunk women on a night out, young children who don’t know better, or cats.) Given that law and order is there to protect us, it’s also our responsibility to question whether it makes sense or not. So does it make sense to enforce a law stating that boobs must not be shown in public?

    I consider freedom to be freedom of choice. I’m generally quite open to damn near everything else that doesn’t involve depriving somebody else of something valuable (money, limbs, innocence, life, etc). That’s the sort of freedom to which I’m referring…

  11. damewigginsoflee said

    Hey! What’s wrong with drunk women on a night out!?

    It’s liberating. 😀

  12. JustOnce said

    Well it is probably illegal because the law is meant to protect people. If you’re all out there it’s alot harder to protect you. Plus women could sue a man for touching her breasts but at the same time she’s giving him signals that are all pointing in that direction. While I’m not saying that it’s liberating for women, I do think that the law is there for a reason that in the end is much cheaper, safer, and less complicated.

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