Not that long ago there was the ‘free the nipple‘ movement that I could never get behind, even though I fully support the not wearing garments that oppress your chest. Free the nipple was a campaign to protest against the legal and social taboos regarding female breasts. Of course, it was nothing more than silly stunts, graffitis, and women degrading themselves for a cheap shot at fame, all in the name of promoting a film.
The thing is, rational and coherent people do not have a problem with women breasts or breastfeeding in the modern world. There is always the odd idiot out (both men and female), that considers the feeding of a child a matter that should take place in secrecy, lest he or she forgets his own upbringing, or for that matter, millions of years of evolution that have made it so. It is interesting to note, however, that remote tribes of any color and creed don’t have a problem with female breastfeeding or the female anatomy per se; and having your breasts out to feed your infant son is never an invitation to copulate.
Notice how the silly stunts are never performed in the Middle East, or any specific countries where female oppression is rampant, and the mere uncovering of one’s hair can land you in jail.
These stunts are done, in my opinion, as a way to manipulate the masses and distract them from the truly important events occurring both nationwide and worldwide. What’s more, they accomplish nothing other than degrade societal values and put civilizations further into decline. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem against women breastfeeding, as it is the most natural thing in the world. Just as old as mankind itself. I have no problem with women exposing their breasts or full body at the beach to get a tan. A few years back, while traveling around Oslo, I was amazed at how open and liberal Norwegians were, as women would routinely sunbathe topless in parks and nobody would bat an eyelid.
I appreciate not everybody feels the same way, nor do they have the same worldly views. To each their own. However, as my brother always said to me: “there is a time an a place for everything“. Take being topless, for instance. While I have done so on many occasions in front of friends and strangers, I only did that in front of my brother once, already halfway through my thirties, and with my husband, then boyfriend, with us. It was awkward for both of us. Not because either of us has a problem with the female anatomy (he is somewhat of a Casanova in his circle of friends), or because we haven’t seen countless of breasts down the beach, but simply put, because we are brother and sister. This might very well have to do with the tirade of unresolved childhood traumas we both have, or might just as well be a perfectly normal and healthy response between siblings. Either way, I don’t think I’ll be comfortable doing that again in front of him, even when I am perfectly comfortable with random strangers seeing ‘the girls’.
But just like he says, “there is a time and a place for everything”. I don’t mind breasts; given that I myself have two perfectly shaped, perky, small ones, nor I do mind other women’s breasts. However, there are allocated places to display them. I don’t want to be walking down the street and be hit in the face by them. I appreciate female beauty. I even tried the lesbian thing, but it wasn’t for me. Women are too much drama. I don’t want to see breasts popping out of nowhere by an angry mob of social justice warriors with colored hair and poor hygiene on the park bench where I like to sit to read my novels. I don’t want an angry mob of breasts harassing a beta male and him being too scared to act. Or even an alpha male, and his having the better judgment and not retaliating because, in today’s modern world, a woman can get away with anything based on genitalia, but a man can’t.
Most importantly, I don’t want to have to walk down the street holding my nephew’s hand while an angry mob of breasts is on display and trying to explain to him that females aren’t like that. That if you want to be respected for your real self, you have to earn that respect among your peers, both males, and females. That if you want to be treated as an equal, you have to behave as an equal. To me, if your only means to make an argument is to get your breasts out, then you have no argument. You already lost. You cannot expect to be treated with dignity while flaunting your private parts, and claiming at the same time that you want to be valued for your mind, not your physical appearance.
I like men very much. I truly do. I actually like men more than women, if you can imagine that. I mean that in every possible aspect you can convince of outside the obvious sexual one (which I also do). However, my displeasure at men displaying their genitalia in public to protest, let’s say, the fact that they foot the bill for nearly everything, it would be just as vocal as when women do it. Men, however, under the patriarchal laws of society, aren’t somehow able to do that. They would get arrested for indecent exposure, at the very least. Tell me again about equal rights… Never mind, let’s explore that topic on another post.
Right up to this point is when the judgments of my persona come into place. The usual ‘backward‘, or ‘conservative‘, or any other appellatives to explain how out of tune I am with the modern world, and how obviously women like me would never ‘make it‘ when I have such ‘patriarchal‘ views. This isn’t so. I am a hippie. I was born among a family of hippies and I grew up with the same type of people. But while growing up, I had superb ethics and philosophy teachers that taught me many great valuable things. Among those things, was the understanding that my civil liberties and, in short, my freedom, ends right at the point where that of another person begins. This is an interesting topic, but even more so while discussing the flaunting of private genitalia while living as a part of a group, let be a city, a village, or any other minor or major community of human beings.
I don’t wear a bra and I get treated with respect from my peers. I don’t wear a bra and I don’t need to expose my breasts to prove that somehow my point is more valid than others. My points are either valid or not on their own merits.
From the top. I haven’t worn a bra in about ten years. I stopped wearing them at the age of 25 and I am 35 now (where did the time go?). I didn’t stop wearing bras out of some major feminist cause that wants to take down the patriarchy and fight female oppression for the last few centuries. It has nothing to do with any of that nonsense. If I wanted to ‘take down the patriarchy’, I’ll move to a male-dominated cultures in the Middle East and fight from within. It has nothing to do with my associating with feminism. That word had an entirely different meaning when I was growing up. Now, I would be ashamed to call myself a feminist. It had nothing to do with expression. It had nothing to do with the ‘looking pretty‘ for men or any of the dozens or so excuses women tell each other to seek validation and reinforcement. I never needed either of those things.
I stopped wearing bras for the mere reason that they are uncomfortable. I tried wearing the sports bras, well, for sports, and sometimes less casual events, but they just flattened my breasts and made my whole chest feel uncomfortable. On the whole, my preferred type of bras were the cup ones (you think I should know the terminology, but I don’t). Basically, the ones that push and lift your breasts up and have metal strips all around and below your boobs, and look awesome in adverts. Those were great right until the time you throw them in the washing machine and try to wear them again. Then the metal breaks through the nylon and starts piercing your side boob while you are trying to have an interesting conversation with a guy you just met, but end up looking like you are just containing diarrhea from all the moving and shuffling around. I’ve been told since that apparently I am to hand-wash those. Why then do I have a washing machine for?
Out of all the things I pride myself of, femininity was never one of them. I remember being sweet and naive, only 19 and pretty much ‘fresh off the boat‘ in England. I had this one night fling with a guy my age that was, in every possible aspect, my opposite. The whole affair lasted about two weeks. Later he broke up with me because I ‘wasn’t feminine enough’, I ‘didn’t wear ‘skirts’ (I do wear dresses thought) or ‘makeup’, and he wanted a pretty girl to ‘show around to his mates in the pub’. I laughed. I also realized then that you are likely to attract the same shallow partners as you are yourself. I vowed never to make that mistake again.
I grew up with men and my best friends were always males. And mostly they were the type of men that find you attractive based on your conversational skills, your ability to make them laugh, and the buying them an occasional beer here and there as to not seem the gold-digger type of gal.
When I stopped wearing a bra I didn’t feel ‘less pretty‘. I felt liberated. I didn’t have straps around my shoulders and back digging into my skin and leaving marks that would take hours to fade, no matter how many bras ‘my size’ I got, and no matter how ‘loose’ I made them. I pondered for a very long time whose genius idea was that we ought to have straps around our chests just to be more ‘sexually appealing to men’. I figured, on the whole, that it was probably a man that came up with that concept.
Interestingly, my bra-less approach to life has never been an encumbrance. I obviously don’t wear see-through garments if I am not hiding my breasts because I am not a slut, but I don’t hide my forms. For the most part, I noticed that the intelligent men I was attracted to were just as attracted to me regardless of my personal choice of wearing a bra or makeup or skirts. The same way I was attracted to intelligence, so were they. Not wearing a bra was never a problem in the workplace either, given that I always used baggy clothes or jumpers that could hide my nakedness on a cold a day. But to be honest, and on a specially male-related workplace, a general dressing down, the not ‘dress to impress‘ and the more casual look has a major impact on your opinions being taken seriously than your parading your curves around. Men can see through that. Believe me, they are not as stupid as feminists want you to think.
I remember clearly the day I made the choice of not wearing a bra. No, actually I don’t. But apparently, when one writes, one is supposed to be all-knowing and all-remembering. This isn’t my particular case. I remember the period of time though, and I remember the people I talked to. I remember reading a lot of articles about it, and coming to a simple, scientific conclusion: wearing bras is bad for you for the simple reason that the muscles in your back don’t develop as well as they should to provide support and thus, in the long run, women with big breast tend to suffer often with constant back pains. To put it simply, if you do not wear a bra, it doesn’t much matter how big you are up front since your back muscles will develop strength enough to carry the weight. If you wear a bra, however, the muscles don’t develop as fully as they should because the support is mostly being taken by the brassiere, and hence you will always have constant pain. See, if I had any doubts, I was completely sold from the time I came around to reading those articles. At the end of the day, it’s science, bitch! Who can deny that?
I always enjoy going back home and being bra-less. Especially during the summer, because it gets extremely hot in my hometown. I tend to wear small tank tops. I always get the usual questioning from either long-term friends that I haven’t seen in a long time or new acquaintances. On particularly chilly nights, the conversation always goes more or less along these lines:
– Him: I can see your nipples there under your shirt.
– Me: technically speaking, you can’t. You only see the silhouette against the shirt. I can also discern your nipples too. Why is it exactly that I can see your silhouette and that is perfectly acceptable, but you seeing mine it isn’t? Is it because they are bigger?
Him: * blank stare *
It is entertaining but also factual. After you point one of these basics as to why is your shape under a shirt acceptable but mine isn’t, and nobody is able to give you a satisfactory answer, people seem to move on from that and nobody cares anymore.
I admit though, despite being one myself, the female perspective is always a mystery and somewhat lost to me. I stopped wearing bras because they are uncomfortable and bring me no joy. The science I read after convinced me I was on the right track. What I will always remember, and there is no lie here, was the first time my brother noticed and told me why I wasn’t wearing a bra. I told him I wasn’t wearing them anymore, and he said that being a small town and all, I was going to be called a slut and plenty of other colorful things. Who cares?, I said. Why should their opinion matter to me?
If I need to sleep around or have a relationship, I don’t need a bra to lay the groundwork for me. I count on my own mental abilities to do the job. But because, as stated, I never really had a bond with the female community, there are some mysteries unsolved. So reaching out to the ladies all over, my questions would be as follow:
- Why do you wear a bra?
- Do you find it uncomfortable? If yes, why do you keep wearing it?
- Do you think that a bra gives you an advantage somehow?