Reply to P L’s Rant on Women’s Breasts

I received a ranting comment from someone known only as P L on my post Bare Breasts are a Right in Ontario. I’ve deleted the comment–it was offensive–but I’m going to respond to most of it here. P L begins by quoting me:

“While there are primitive cultures where open display of women’s breasts is the norm, they are operating on a tribal scale. I agree that small children are not going to be affected by the sight, but adolescent boys will be.”

I stand by this statement. Once a culture exists in groups over the size of a tribe where everyone knows each-other, cultural norms change. There are very few non-tribal cultures where women baring their breasts is the norm.

Yes Jim, only in primitive cultures are there open displays of women’s breasts, in places like Greece, Australia, and France, you sheltered throwback.

I’ll ignore the immature insult and address the content. You’ll note I said tribal, not primitive, which shows your bias, not mine. That said, I do happen to agree that most tribal societies are primitive. “Primitive” is not a slur, as far as I’m concerned.

I’m not sure what’s more offensive, your colonial 1980’s National Geographic point of view of “primitive cultures”, or your moral high ground of looking out for adolescent boys.

Offense can only be taken. I was pointing out that the reaction of boys (and the reactions of their mothers to those reactions) is likely the reason why the water park, whose target market is families, might want to ban bare women’s breasts. Families tend to include adolescent boys, and tend not to include women who want to bare their breasts.

Did you know that the distracting and physiological effects on adolescent boys were the reasons given for why women were barred from attending universities in Ontario?

This is hardly relevant today.

When you say that “[T]he baring of female breasts is a sexual display”, you expose yourself as someone who sees women as mere sex objects.

Women have a sexual nature, which their breasts are part of. If you want to deny that fact and the science of human sexual behavior, that is your business. If you think that understanding sexual attraction is the same as seeing women as mere sex objects, you are deluded.

[Here I’m removing P L’s bizarre fantasies regarding what I think]

i-make-milkA woman’s bare breasts may be “displayed” to feed her baby, or to expose them to the sun, or for any of the other possible reasons why men like you might expose your breasts; or is sexual display the only reason why you expose yours?

There are certainly times when men display their bodies for reasons of sex, but sexual attraction is one of the areas where sexual dimorphism in humans exists. A woman’s breasts are always attractive to most men. I’m not sure that it works the other way around.

[I now remove some disturbing animal fetishism theories discussed by P L]

By preventing real breasts, in all of their shapes and sizes, from being free and uncovered…

What? As I said at the beginning of my article, I don’t care whether women want to bare their breasts. My point is, there are consequences to doing so. These may be mild, or, for people like the water park owner, they may be (at least perceived to be) very serious indeed. But don’t think that I’ll be offended or upset in the least.

You’re inadvertently continuing the promotion of the idealised silicon valleys that come from cosmetic surgery. Real breasts are rarely viewed by boys and men, but also by other girls and women, despite the prominence of the saline and silicone variety throughout modern viewing means. Breast surgery continues to grow in popularity with an increase of 39% between the years 2000 – 2010 alone. By looking out for the virtue of young lads, you’ve forced my 10 year old daughter to feel a little less equal and a lot more self conscious about herself. It’s that exact cultural reasoning of protecting the distractible boys that forces adolescent girls in areas around the world to be covered completely.

No idea how this follows. Regardless, as a libertarian, I believe that if someone wants to have cosmetic surgery, it’s their business, not yours or mine. There are very good reasons for some people to do so. I agree that it’s not generally a helpful or healthy thing to do, but we have no right to prevent those who want to. BTW, did you force your 10 year old daughter to read my post?

If you really believe in equality, you can’t support a law that only applies to women.

I believe in equality of opportunity. I agree that women should have a legal right to wear what they want. Like men, they will have to live with the consequences of their choices. Fortunately for us, the consequences in our society are rather mild, like having to deal with water park owners who don’t want your business.

Either the tops are on for everyone – and that was prevailing law until only recently btw, or tops are off for everyone. Every woman will choose for herself if she wants to exercise her rights.

I agree 100%. As I said in my article, there is little chance men will be willing to swim in shirts. I predict that if female (human) topless bathing becomes popular, it will be other women who object, not men.

About jimbelton

I'm a software developer, and a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, and I blog about movies, books, and philosophy. My interest in religious philosophy and the search for the truth inspires much of my writing.
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