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Offline Danee

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Why Are We So Scared of Breasts?
« on: February 19, 2014, 04:11:16 am »
From: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/barbara-speed/breasts-in-the-media_b_4803156.html
We encourage our residents to leave comments on her article at the site

If you spent any time browsing the Daily Mail's eponymous sidebar this week, you may have chanced upon two stories about breasts. The two women attached to these breasts, Miley Cyrus and Beth Whaanga, were treated very differently by the publication. One had her "racy" mammaries blocked by a little black box, while the other had her photos shown in full and was lauded as "brave" by commenters for "baring all".

The difference? Whaanga's nudity exposed surgical scars from a double mastectomy and hysterectomy. Her photos were posted on her Facebook page as part of the cancer awareness-raising Red Dress Campaign, and 100 of her "friends" promptly deleted her. The Mail rightly came to her defence. But where does this leave Miley and her equally blameless areoles?

As a society, we've got our knickers in a twist about nudity. Specifically, female upper-body nudity. Where should it be allowed? On TV, but usually only after 9pm. We can't be naked in Tesco, but Adele Stephens on page three of the Sun is more than welcome. We can be topless in the bath, unless it's the big kind, in the Leisure Centre, with other people in it. No breasts allowed on Facebook - unless it's to raise cancer awareness. Breastfeeding in public? We're not sure how we feel about that.

It's easy to argue that nudity is all about context. While you might be happy for your children to see a Caravaggio on a wholesome trip to the National Gallery, you may be less keen for them to flick through Nuts magazine. Yet when it comes down to making laws or social media policies, judging "context" is far from easy.

The image-sharing website Pinterest recently loosened their no-tolerance policy to allow nudity in "art" images, following complaints from artists and photographers. Facebook, however, stands by its policy that "breast or genital" nudity is, in its nature, "pornographic". Yet they have made an exception for Whaanga, assuring her that her photos will not be removed.

I once posted a picture on Facebook of a burqa-clad Muslim woman bearing her breasts at a protest. She had less square inches of flesh on show than your average woman wearing a jumper and jeans, yet I received a warning from Facebook moderators, who removed the image. This, too, was an awareness-raising photo - yet Zuckerberg and co. (in their infinite wisdom) decide which causes are worthy of a little breast-flashing, and which are not.

Women across the world have protested for the right to be topless. In New York City, topless protests led to police agreeing not to arrest topless women in May 2013. Meanwhile, in the same month, European protesters from pressure group Femen protested topless in Tunisia against the state's patriarchal regime.

The Femen protesters were arrested and later were allowed to leave the country, while the NYC victory still leaves the rest of the country with their tops firmly on. In a country where gun-wielding is constitutionally encouraged, women are still fighting for the right to bare breasts, protesting annually in 30 US cities on Go Topless Day (24 August this year).

Perhaps it's time to admit that context doesn't have the power to make our breasts offensive. Breasts are breasts, and pornographic content should be identified by its participants' actions, not by the exact pieces of flesh on show. As it stands, we still allow a normal part of a woman's body to shock and horrify us. Are we really living in a world where it's unacceptable for women to show their breasts unless they're riddled with scars?
 
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Offline AElf

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Re: Why Are We So Scared of Breasts?
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2014, 02:57:42 pm »
Support the right

           

to bear breasts!
"Mankind is a frigid and ashamed creature. If we cannot deal with the basics of nudity then how on earth are we to make it in the world?" Naked Imp

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nudistwannabe

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Re: Why Are We So Scared of Breasts?
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2014, 03:53:12 pm »
I remember hearing about a woman who was told to stop when she was breastfeeding her infant in public.  I can't help but wonder if we forgot what breasts are for.

Offline MustardHo!

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Re: Why Are We So Scared of Breasts?
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2014, 09:40:22 pm »
Quote
Perhaps it's time to admit that context doesn't have the power to make our breasts offensive. Breasts are breasts, and pornographic content should be identified by its participants' actions, not by the exact pieces of flesh on show. As it stands, we still allow a normal part of a woman's body to shock and horrify us.
Quote
Part of, I think, comes from the fact that to a lot of men, and a great deal of women, breasts are a highly arousing part of a woman's body. So to try to curtail this, they are asked to be covered. The other part is that many cultures require the clothing of parts that both sexes don't have. Look at what most people do not cover with clothing. Faces, arms, legs, stomachs and such are all common no matter what sex you might be. But men don't have mammaries, so they are covered. Women don't have the same genitals as men, so they're covered. That way everyone is on "level ground" as it were.

It seems though, that breasts have become fetishised simply by being covered up - as often happens when something is deliberately hidden it becomes coveted (and men have greatly enjoyed hiding away and coveting women for centuries..). Do you really think there would be the level of crazy obsession with breasts if we all just grew up being used to seeing them as normal? I feel like the author nailed it with her last paragraph - there's nothing either intrinsically arousing or offensive about breasts, it's just the way we've been conditioned to react to them. Breasts can become a sexual interest, but many gay (and I dare say straight) guys would also class their nipples as sexual when they are in a sexual environment. However men are free to pop their shirts off whenever, why should it be any different for women?

Offline AElf

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Re: Why Are We So Scared of Breasts?
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2014, 12:40:45 pm »
Though I will admit on the two occasions when I was around women who were breastfeeding, I averted my eyes and excused myself from the room. Out of respect for them. It's not my place to be seeing their breasts, even if they don't mind my doing so. Does that make sense?

No, it doesn't.  No doubt it made the women feel that you were judging them and that you thought that what they were doing was somehow wrong.  I don't question your good intentions, I just point out that the road to hell is proverbially paved with them.
"Mankind is a frigid and ashamed creature. If we cannot deal with the basics of nudity then how on earth are we to make it in the world?" Naked Imp

"Don't make me release my flying monkeys" Elphaba Thropp, the Wicked Witch of the West

Offline Leah

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Re: Why Are We So Scared of Breasts?
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2014, 04:28:54 am »
You do know this is a naturist's forum?

Your precise choice of words - avert, mammaries, indicate insult - suggest you are not yet comfortable with people living outside your belief set and/or societal expectations. 

The woman was being generous to you - what she would have liked was a cup of tea, a bickie and a conversation.  But you gave her averted eyes and she forgave your shortcomings.
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