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

I have a friend who attended Berkely in the 90's and knew "Naked Guy". It's my understanding that he was required to use a towel when sitting, except in the bathrooms I imagine.
I personally couldnt have gone the whole nude route.
When i was in my late teens/early twenties I would often rise to periscope depth for seemingly mundane reasons. (Calves of a tennis player, soccer legs, pretty much most of the female anatomy) Shit, I'm 40 and it still happens....
I'd really dig it if I could get away with a kilt tho.
We need to say "it's okay if you want to take the first steps" and "do what you're comfortable doing" (to both women and men).

Word.
Yes. I'd like to do away with nudity taboos entirely and allow nudity.

I have the power of changing your mind! :P
1) In New York State, where I'm from, there is a law stating that women may go topless anywhere that men are permitted to. A couple months ago I read a young woman's account of testing this by going sunbathing in Central Park. I don't know where I read it, but you could probably find it with some googling. I don't do much topless myself because, well, I like to run and jump around and there is a very good structural reason to wear a bra at such times. I have often been known to borrow a pair of men's swim trunks and swim topless when I don't have my own suit with me.

Personally, I'd like shirt-wearing rules to be based on body fat rather than gender o.O

2) I wouldn't be with my boyfriend of five years if I hadn't been willing to be the aggressor. Lately, that's how we both prefer sex too.
Personally, I'd like shirt-wearing rules to be based on body fat rather than gender

It really should be all about your preferences rather than other people's comfort.
Totally. :-P
1) Not sure it would bother me other than the hygiene thing. It's incredible how many people don't even wash their hands after going to the toilet. I don't trust them to properly wipe their bums. And I personally wouldn't do the topless thing. I guess it's a matter of "You have to earn the privilege to see me nude." That, and while I respect the rights of others, I'll be doing a lot of eye-averting. Spandex should have a weight limit.

2) Yes. Just wish I weren't so painfully shy about it.

"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)."

Very skewed. I for one am fairly certain my last boyfriend broke up with me in part because while the sex was great, I was way hornier than he was. Who knew that was even possible given the stereotypes?
"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."

1. I feel you answered this question with your quote above, we can only be SO equal in so many ways, some things are going to be different, like a womans body, there's really no way around that. I am okay with this, for lack of a better word, discrimination because there is a blatant difference in male and female biology. I wish everyone was able to see past the sexuality and just see a body part, but unfortunately we don't live in that world. We live in a world run by religious people. I'll admit even I have been affected by this way of thought, it's just societies perception of right and wrong.

2. We can only fight our nature so much. I think women do seek out men, but it is predominantly men doing the searching because like I said, it is in our nature.

"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"."

It comes down to the Puritanical thinking that's been ingrained into society throughout the ages. Breasts are prominent, they stand out, making them more offensive apparently. I know what you are getting at but I don't think it's a matter of less or more attractive, it just comes down to what is supposedly "right" or "wrong", "morality" and that's been decided by the religious zealots throughout history, and it has affected damn near everyone.

Good post.
On other occasions, breastfeeding moms have been ejected from airplanes (before take-off) for discreetly nursing infants. WTF?!?!?! And this was in the US! The "beacon of freedom" in the western world.

That is so wrong.
I know it's not funny that this sort of thing happens, but the "ejected from airplanes (before take off)" sentence makes me laugh, because I can just see someone missing the parentheses and conjuring an image of a woman with her maternity bra undone being shoved out the exit of the airplane at 40,000 feet and all the depressurisation and wobbling that would create.

Caffiene clearly hasn't kicked in yet. :D
In all fairness though, in such cases we're talking about private companies in that case. They can say you have to fly wearing a Snuggie if they want and suggest you use another airport/airline if you don't like it. Additionally, in such cases men are also required to wear shirts.

The breastfeeding thing. I don't have a problem with you popping out your bazongas around me, especially if it shuts your kid up. Some people do though, some of the same people who don't want naked male chests in their restaurants/airplanes/whatever. And you know? That's okay too. None of the stories I've read of women being asked to leave airplanes have been cases where women were forbidden to breastfeed. (I'm sure it's happened, but I suspect that's more a bossy flight attendant than company policy.) In all the ones I recall, they were merely asked to cover up with a blanket or something and the women refused. While I'm all for standing up and making a stink about something I'm passionate about, I also recognize that companies are perfectly within their rights to ask me to leave when I do so.

I'm not big on special privileges for anyone, and that's what the breastfeeding fanatics are asking for. Where men can be shirtless, women should be able to expose as much boob as they want, breastfeeding or not. However, if it's a situation where everyone who is not breastfeeding has to wear a shirt, a mother should be prepared to toss a jacket over their shoulder.
I have five younger siblings. Babies who are hungry will eat with or without a flap of fabric covering the breast in question. I don't see why mothers should have the right to pop boobs out where others aren't. As I've said before, I don't have problem with nudity in general. When you do something like plan a trip, you plan around airline regulations. If you're a breastfeeding mother, you pump or be prepared to cover up.

Now, I don't object to special allowances being made for nursing mothers. I'll never object to that. I just don't have a lot of sympathy for the women who demand it.

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