It occurred to me, at some point, that I had somehow picked up some very skewed perspective of female sexuality (e.g. women don't like sex, but rather simply submit to it to satisfy men).

Since I made this realization, I have been hard at work to correct my misconceptions. A neighbor and I were recently discussing gender sexuality. I told her that I felt it was a piece of sexual discrimination that men were allowed to go without shirts in public (under certain circumstances, like running or a day on the beach) while women were not permitted to do the same. Now, I realize this is due in part to the way that our society has defined gender sexuality, specifically the sexual aspect of women's breasts. They are mammary glands, functioning biologically for the purpose of feeding the young; however, they tend to give rise to sexual arousal in men, and I think this is why, primarily, that we have such a discriminatory rule.

Also, I feel that, as we are gaining ground in gender equality and as women and men near parity in gender equality, the expectations that we have for men and for women respectively should begin to apply to the opposite sex. For example, I feel that women should begin to assert themselves with respect to approaching men that they find attractive, those men that they are interested in (a role that we have traditionally put men in) , and that men should be more willing to become more passive in sexual activity (presuming an increase in women's desire to be more active/dominant).

Here are my questions:

1.) Should women be allowed, upon the basis of gender equality/non-discrimination among genders, to go topless just as men do in certain circumstances, e.g. a day on the beach?

2.) Is it acceptable or desirable that women should become more active or assertive in pursuing or approaching men that they desire, thus engaging in an act or fulfilling a role that men have traditionally found themselves in?

It is true that I am biased. I, being a shy kind of guy, do not approach women in bars or clubs, and it would be to my advantage if women were more apt to approach me. Also, I do feel a kind of hurt resentment with the notion that men's chests are somehow not as sexually appealing as women's breast, such that there is no prohibition against men displaying their torsos because it will not excite the sexual appetite of most women. However, I do not deny that this could very well be the "reality of things".

Tags: gender, nudity, public

Views: 38

Replies to This Discussion

If I don't start losing some weight I might have to start wearing a bra myself.

To the point in question, I think it should be legal for women to go topless. Mechanical considerations being a point of personal preference.

Male dominated society has over sexualised breasts and maybe that would change in a society in which unfettered breasts were common-place. Though I reserve the right to stare and drool moronically right up until I get a slap in the face.

Perhaps in a generation or so, once the number of breast related road traffic accidents has plateaued out, we might actually reach a stage of male sexual maturity, wherein breasts no longer dominate the minds of the male heterosexual; but its doubtful. - But then nothing ventured, nothing gained eh?

I can't actually see it catching on much here in England though, except for perhaps one day at the height of summer. Perhaps it would be easier just to make all public topless-ness illegal, though I suspect that has no ones approval?

As for the latter of the two questions. I would bloody love it if women were to take the active role in the pursuing and approaching men. Indeed, I wasn't overly aware that this was not - to some degree - the case; but I think I get your meaning.

As assertive and empowered as many women are, there do seem to be certain social rituals that are either perceived to be the domain of the man or are in any case left to the man for whatever reason.

My own personal torment is fear of rejection and so I do not pursue, perhaps this also true of women; but because the traditional onus of pursuit is placed on the man, it has gone largely unnoticed?
Well, I did mention going to the bar/club, but as a general statement, it would be misleading to assume I go with anything resembling 'frequently'. I may find myself there 3 or 4 times a year.

Living in the southern U.S., it's probably the case more so than in other regions of the U.S., that men are expected to be the approachers, the aggressors, the ones who go out on a limb here (Ariel, if you're reading this, don't set me on fire; I realize you are an exception). That is, it is more unusual for women to do these things, though of course there are rare cases where they do, and that, I think, has plently more to do with that unique individual than it does with gender expectations or socially scripted behavior.

I just wish there weren't any of these cognitive channels already carved out...that the prevailing idea was that if PEOPLE wanted to approach others, then there was no greater or lesser encouragement (or mental atmosphere thereof) for certain TYPES of these people to do so. Also, I do feel that if women are reaching for greater equality (and they certainly should, I'm on their side), then they should be willing to face up to accepting some of the downsides that come with being a man, mainly like you said, Chris, about the fear of rejection, which I suspect is the reason for millions, both men and women aplenty, when it comes to 'not pursuing'.

Also, and I invite feminist and opinionated criticism here, IMO women are more choosy or picky about their guys...men are less so....that is, men are more open, in general, to being approached and talked to because our standards are broader. And we're not just talking about looks here, either. Remember that I'm speaking in aggregate generalities here; disconfirming cases can always be found, and I also think that the notion that men are more 'looks'-oriented has a part to play in how we look at which gender is more approachable. I'd say that, in that capacity, women probably have the more generous outlook and are not as likely to rebuff an approaching man who isn't as good looking (in gender-equated terms of physical attractiveness) as his female counterpart who approaches men. Does that make sense??
Though I reserve the right to stare and drool moronically right up until I get a slap in the face.

This is why I wouldn't. I don't feel comfortable wearing tops low enough that you can see what miniscule cleavage I have, if I thought there was even a chance of someone oogling me, I wouldn't even consider going topless.
Though I reserve the right to stare and drool moronically right up until I get a slap in the face.

I'm kinda/sorta with Mel here. Though for me, it's the very fact that our knockers are biologically designed to - among other things - hypnotize, mesmerize, and bend the male species to our will. Ok, we wish they had that much absolute power...

I don't think it's just society that has sexualized the breast. It does indeed seem to be biological and to that end I'd rather leave mine up to the imagination until we're in the privacy of the bedroom and you've earned the right. ;-)
Oh, see therein lies the dilemma for me. Breasts are an erogenous zone to begin with. For me, they are a MAJOR erogenous zone. Any guy I date had better be a breast man or we just won't be compatible in bed.

Even more reason for me to leave mine tantalizingly tucked away. Like the classic car only a privileged few are allowed to touch, much less drive.

(Ok, can't believe I just compared my boobs to a hot car).
This is definately an interesting point! Very effective means of selecting friends.
I just think I'd die of a combination of pissed off and embarrassment before I got any real benefit out if it.
To your comments:

Yes, there are some women who have no sexual Drive, and some men. It's more likely to be women. More importantly, sexual drive between men and women at different stages in their life is dramatically different. And considering that males have approx 10 times the testosterone as females do, the belief that women are not "interested in sex" might be changed to women are not interested in having sex as much as males, on a regular basis. There is nothing wrong with this. The sexual standard for society shouldn't be set at either the male or female level, but hopefully a combination of both.

As to your questions.

1. I don't think it's healthy. We would probably end up with nipple cancer for one, and it would just be uncomfortable. I do think topless bathing is fine, but males simply do find female breasts desirable, more so than male chests. We do LIKE male chests, but it's different. (Go team Jacob!! hehe ). I wouldn't feel comfortable at this point in society doing it. I think it's fine to have nudists beaches however.

2. Yes, I think it's nice if we can approach males, but in my experience men once they just begin dating, prefer to call the shots. If we call you every day, or re-arrange our lives to fit you in, it's disconcerting. I've learnt it's perfectly fine to approach a guy and strike up a conversation. But if we start dating, I let him direct the show for a while till he feels comfortable with me and I with him :)

Cheers

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