Saturday, June 17, 2006


Over at Hugo's blog, there's a discussion going on about going shirtless in public. One of the comments is by a someone called Mermade:

Yes, we women are attracted to a man's nice chest, but I don't think that girls struggle nearly to the same extent as guys with staring at a man's chest, grabbing it and making crude jokes about it.

What bothers me the most about the statement, "Men can expose their chests in public, so women should be able to, too" is more or less about the undertones of it all. Basically, that would mean that a woman's breasts are no more special or valuable than a man's chest. It kind of means that they don't hold any uniqueness. (I know that's not what you mean, but that's how I feel). And I just don't buy into that. I think a woman's breasts are a part of the body that is very, very, very special. They already go under enough scrutiny when covered up.(emphasis mine) So I don't know... I just can't see eye-to-eye with you on this.

I disagree with this statement quite a bit, mainly because I know that women aren't any better at hiding our lust than men are, there are just stronger reprocusions when we do it. If I make a guy uncomfortable about looking at his chest, he might kick my ass, or at the very least, there are strong social reprocusions for it. I am already castigated as a slut for being "openly" sexual, it would be even worse if I did the creepy lust thing that guys feel okay doing. My breasts ARE NOT any more special than a man's, mine just happen to be a bit bigger and a little more useful when it comes to child-raising. As a sort of tom-boy, I'm telling you: you can be "groped" without it being anything sexual, as has happened when I played football or wrestling. The fact that my breasts are under scrutinity a lot means that many guys don't respect boundries, not that they are inherantly sexual. I mean, when ankles had to be covered up, they were considered sexual. I could be dressed as a nun, and I could still inspire lust. So, it's not my body, or any particular part of it that inspires lust or is inheirantly sexual: it's other's responses to it that does.

Perplex's quote was this:
I'm in agreement with Mermade here. Men's chests and women's breasts are obviously different, with a stronger sexualisation of women's breasts than men's chests - the reasons for which belong to another thread. Nevertheless, this is a fact. Correct me if I'm wrong, but are their any strip bars where you see SINGLE women (as in, walking in on their own) ogling men's chests? The only male strip bars I see are where you get "hen parties" (like a big group of women) who treat it all as a big laugh watching some guy strip. And I just see them laughing and enjoying themselves, not really ogling men's chests in silence. Also, what about porn for women? Again, can we really compare the amount of porn aimed at women's breasts (for men) with men's chests (for women)?

My point is that sexual parts of the body are covered for decency. That's why both men and women must cover their genitals. If it was a patriarchal conspiracy, men could walk around completely naked.

The fact that others sexualize me as a female is NOT my fault. I more than the sum of my body parts. And just because women express sexuality differently then men, and just because we have been socialized to not express that toward men, does not men that it doesn't exsist or that it isn't as strong. Consuming porn isn't really the must healthy way to express oneself as a sexual being, anyway, in my mind. My body is NOT indecent, and neither is a male's: it might be the nudist in me, but I don't think that there's anything wrong with it.


At 3:38 PM, Anonymous Teddy said...

It's the nudist in you. And if you look at laws as rules that the society has set up as the rules you must adhere to in order to be a functioning part of society, then that becomes the society's value set. In the majority of American society, women's breasts are sexualized, Men's too but to a much lesser extent, much like thigh. You can show it, but some may stare.

As such, with society viewing women's breasts as inherently sexual, we're going to slot them next to genitalia as things that can't be shown in public out of respect for those who'd rather not see your genitalia.

That's why you're allowed to walk around butt naked in your own home or in private areas that have designated it okay, is because we're not protecting you from stares, we're protecting others who's religious or other beliefs may mean that they have no interest in seeing you naked. It's about respecting others, same reason most people try not to swear in front of children, and the FCC has a list of words you can't say on TV.


At 6:15 PM, Blogger Goddess Cassandra said...

What about respect for my values? What about respect for my body and not treating me as a sexual outlet for others consuming?

What about respecting what I consider sexual?

At 9:21 AM, Blogger Jeni.Ann said...

"The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one."

In America's society, we're not concerned with the individual's rights instead we're concerned with creating a status quo and listening to those that bark the loudest. As much as we may want to do something that, in our minds doesn't harm anyone, there are those that would deem it destructive or sinful.

You've already shown that you're very intelligent and have seen the hypocritical behaviours of this quasi-Puritanical society. I personally feel that it is because of this forced perception of sexuality and the "evils" of this same sexuality by religiousity that makes others be so focused at seeing men or women purely in a sexual manner.


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