05 April 2010

Things That Would Be Entirely Unsurprising to Just About Everyone Else on the Globe...

A few women marched toplessly through the streets of Portland Maine this past Saturday. (ht Drudge)

Clearly, the organizer of this event, Ty McDowell, has lived most her life in some alternate reality where she wasn't aware how this sort of display would be consumed by a significant portion of spectators (my guess, that alternate reality probably goes by the name of Bowdoin Gender and Women's Studies Department, but can't find hide nor hair of her elsewise on the internet, so who knows)

Here's her reaction as described in the local rag:
Ty McDowell, who organized the march, said she was "enraged" by the turnout of men attracted to the demonstration. The purpose, she said, was for society to have the same reaction to a woman walking around topless as it does to men without shirts on.

However, McDowell said she plans to organize similar demonstrations in the future and said she would be more "aggressive" in discouraging oglers.


She's angry because people spectated while she chose to make a spectacle of herself and her compatriots.

If it's important for her to make toplessness normal for both men and women, then don't march in numbers Easter Weekend through the center of town. Folks took snaps, leered, and possibly jeered (though doesn't sound like there was jeering, just creepy leering), because it is unusual, because it was intentionally staged to be a spectacle, and because BOOBIES!!!

Sorry, boobies make some men a bit infantile, or at least juvenile. Male toplessness will never be equal to female toplessness in our society, get used to it. People discriminate between male torsos and female torsos, and that's that.

A suggestion for McDowell, for the next march, seed a few (obviously) under 18 year old girls in the mix, then any photos snapped by any creepy guys won't be publishable anywhere given our overly aggressive interpretation of what deserves to be described as 'kiddie porn'. That would turn the oglers from creeps to criminals the way our laws are currently interpreted.

Nudity shouldn't equal pornography in anybody's mind, yet that's how nudity is now treated in our culture (and that's a recent development). Make that nude person under the age of eighteen, and suddenly that nudity isn't just mere pornography (which is still ridiculous), but that nudity is transformed into outright obscenity (which is really ridiculous).

So, if you are going to challenge one social norm, might as well attack another one while you are at it.

I personally don't see a problem with women letting their areolae air out in public (and this is really about nipples and areolae, cause you can tool around in a bikini top that exposes everything but in every corner of this country already), and I doubt there are many public prosecutors who would charge a woman for letting hers free in a non-lascivious manner regardless of what the statutes say in that jurisdiction.

Beaches hereabouts for awhile were unoffcially topless. It wasn't explicitly stated that it was allowed, but folks (especially foreign tourists) weren't hassled on the beach if they chose to expose their breasts in a non-sexual way. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your attitude), that has gone by the wayside, and lifeguards are supposed to discourage the practice again, even when it's a lithe young frenchwoman showing off her moneymakers (and that's a travesty if you ask me).

Also, apparently, aliens totally dig it when women show off their areolae in public. I know this because the person behind National Go Topless day (and there is such a thing, though this recent thing in Maine appears not to be part of that) is the head of the Raelians. GoTopless.org (link shows some shots from past GoTopless days, so in the world we live that makes the site NSFW, which is another ridiculous thing) was founded by Maitreya Rael.

Here are few shots by a professional photographer taken at the Venice Beach event last year (also, NSFW given the idiotic and nervous attitudes people have in workplaces around the possibility of even the appearance of some sort of perception of sexual harrassment, but despite finding it stupid, I understand why human resources departments institute these sort of policies given our litigious society).

Seems like there are bigger things to worry about, whichever way your personal preferences fall on this matter.

And to be fair and balanced, here's a link to a more feminist-minded take on the same event from Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon.

1 comment:

Pogo said...

Good point.
Why demand to walk without a shirt on and simultaneously demand no one look at your exposed secondary sexual characteristics?

Beyond moronic.