To The Daily Sun,
This letter is in response to Russ Wiles and his letter "Pretending there is no difference between a male and female breast is ridiculous."
Firstly, I must point out that in actuality there is no difference between the male and female breast and nipple. They are both anatomically the same and to suggest otherwise is ridiculous. In fact, in the womb babies develop nipples before genitalia. They develop nipples around 5 1/2 weeks and it isn't until around week 11 that a fetus begins developing genitals. Also, even though females generally have more milk ducts and larger milk ducts for breastfeeding, males do still have milk ducts and can lactate. In fact, there is evidence that shows men in internment camps begin to lactate when they are starving. With that said, the point isn't if we are indeed physically the same, the point is that we are all humans and deserve the same rights regardless of gender.
Later in his letter Russ makes the brilliant point that Free the Nipple supporters have made countless times. He says, "isn't the female breast, to which those nipples are attached to, a sexual part in a way that a man's is not?" If the breast is the part that is sexual then why are women allowed to show that part but not the nipple? Why is it that I can walk around completely topless as long as my nipples are covered? This makes no sense to me. We use breasts to sell everything from cars to cheeseburgers; We have giant billboards and magazine covers that show women with large busts and deep cleavage. If it is indeed the breast and cleavage that is the sexual part, then we might as well free the nipple too.
Russ then responds to what I said about breasts being for babies and children, not men or lovers. He writes, "I have always been under the impression that they served both purposes magnificently." The truth is, they do not. Our society values the sexual part of the breast over the actual nourishing function of the breast, hence why women are shamed for breastfeeding in public and often times encouraged to feed formula instead. Breasts are beautiful and they can be sexy and erotic much like any body part. Free the Nipple's goal is to knock the breast off the pedestal on which it has been placed. Breasts and nipples shouldn't be so hyper-sexualized to the point that a woman cannot even feed her baby without fear and embarrassment. I find men's calves sexy and attractive but it would be unfair to tell all men they must cover them.
Then, in his letter, Russ hypothesizes why people were offended and why it was illegal for men to expose their naked chests. He asks, "But didn't that have to do more with sartorial etiquette, rather than being titillatingly offensive?" Perhaps we should do some research and read some old newspapers and magazines to see what men and women alike were saying about this issue. Furthermore, can't we argue that today a woman is "supposed" to cover her breasts and nipples because it is a sartorial etiquette of our time? At one point it was offensive to see a female's naked ankle in public, but that changed, why can't we progress and lift the taboo from the female breast too?
The fact of the matter is, I shouldn't have to keep my breasts covered just because someone else finds them attractive. That is unfair. It is not my job to control the thoughts of others. If a woman is reading this and thinks to herself, "I don't want to show my breasts to everyone. I would rather only my lover see them." I say, wonderful! It is her choice to cover and she can if she wishes. I, on the other hand, enjoy swimming and tanning topless and that is my choice.
- Category: Letters
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