April 04, 2006
by: jovial_cynic
Exactly why is it ok to show a man's bare breast on television, but not ok to show a woman's? Is there something inherently harmful about a mammary gland?

That's the question posed by Bennett Haselton of on a recent boingboing article. I've quoted a large chunk of the piece here, since it makes a very interesting point.

From the article:

A good sign of a widespread belief that has no supporting logic is that if you ask people why they believe it, they always pass the buck on to someone else. "Our society has decided..." "The community feels that..." "Judges have ruled that..." -- except with that last one, if you listen to what judges say, they pass the buck too, saying "According to contemporary community standards..." What's missing is someone standing up and saying "I, yes *ME* *PERSONALLY*, I believe that seeing a mammary gland is harmful, and here's why."

To people who say that inciting any male lust is bad, I tell them I grew up in Denmark (although I'm American) and there you could see bare breasts in public advertisements, on the covers of supermarket tabloids, and on the beach, and nobody cared. And, the sex crime rate is much lower there.

On the flipside, it must be noted that Denmark has legalized prostitution, as long as it is not the woman's sole means of income. While I don't believe in legislating morality, I do think that there is a deterioration of society when such immoral acts are legalized, and that such legalizations reflect the general debased nature of that society.

If men in Denmark can view women as objects of sexual gratification and legally act on their urges with prostitutes, perhaps Haselton has missed a connection between the impact of public nudity and prositution, and the outlook on sexuality in general for the folks in Denmark. But I suppose it's difficult to pinpoint cause and effect here...
np category: politics


Lee said:
As A European I think you're equating nudity with sex, to be honest.

Just because prostitution is legalised it certainly doesn't mean all men in a location where that's the case will " and legally act on their urges with prostitutes".

Simple nudity, per se, is boring, period. On any European beach it's perfectly acceptable for a woman to sunbathe topless and no-one bats an eyelid as it's the norm.

Men view women as objects of sexual gratification in places like New Orleans where women will flash their breasts in return for some beads, or the like, not by sunbathing on a beach.

April 05, 2006

jovial_cynic said:
good comment -- I'll reply in a followup post.
April 05, 2006

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