Vagina News Boob Flash-Flash

Today’s Vagina News is one of those topics that digs up deep, often subconscious, culturally learned sexism, which for me is is akin to the feeling of yanking up a weed’s deepest roots from the garden. (For you non-gardeners, it’s REALLY satisfying.)

Toplessness. When I first saw this article, I admit I thought, ‘don’t we have bigger feminist fish to fry?’ But it turns out you only have to spend a few minutes talking about laws and practices regarding toplessness before you arrive at some pretty fundamental questions; What public interest is served by the government enforcing different legal standards for male and female toplessness? Who is the government allegedly protecting, and from what? (Women from men? Children from… Breasts?) Doesn’t a main argument in support of public breastfeeding – that there’s nothing inherently indecent about female breasts – apply equally to the matter of female toplessness? And if ‘cultural norms’ dictate that female breasts are somehow dangerous or indecent, isn’t it time to change those norms rather than grudgingly capitulate to them?

While reading the Atlantic article, I realized that on some level, my gut reaction is to think, ‘yes, duh, women have boobs, men don’t, there’s a difference.’ But when I bring some awareness to it, obviously there are lots of men who could fill a ‘C’ cup, and lots of women who barely need an ‘AA’… It’s not a size thing. So what’s the difference? As far as I can tell, it’s a) milk production capability, and b) cultural hypersexualization. Neither of which is a sound basis for making something illegal.

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