Women, Let Your Nipples Out: A Pro-Nipple Rant (Part 2)

If a woman takes off her shirt in public, she’s cited for public indecency. It’s the same skin as a man, but not in the eyes of the law. She has a stomach, a belly button, a chest, nipples… but a woman’s flesh is considered to be criminal. Why? Who decided one day that women’s skin is so sacred, so scandalous, so dirty, filthy, and menacing, so sexual that her skin is a criminal in its own right? It all started long ago with men who cited the bible to keep women subordinate and submissive. Even as the years have passed and we’ve progressed as a society, legislation refuses to revisit women’s rights. It’s like people look at statistics that state “Women are inferior because they just are,” and accept that as a blatant fact without question or hesitation. Hello! Wake up and smell the reality check: that is someone’s opinion and we’re living by it today like it’s a damned gospel. 

In case the correlation between nipples, women’s rights, and legislation doesn’t make sense, the following is current law in 2015. Women can only bare their breasts in 33 states in the US, but in even less cities within those states, which have passed legislation to prohibit and override state laws regarding women’s breasts. Even if over half of the US states have passed law to let women walk around topless, why is it not every state? And further, why are cities overriding state law to continue to keep women’s bodies criminalized—wouldn’t that be a waste of time and taxpayer’s money to undo laws that affect only the rights of women and don’t infringe on other’s rights? Speaking of time and money wasting, in the cities that it is legal for women to be topless, police are still arresting and detaining the women expressing their right to be topless.

Image found on https://corporealfem.wordpress.com/category/politics/. Real image from real arrest. Original photo location not listed. Photo used to demonstrate how serious equality gap is.

Image found on https://corporealfem.wordpress.com/category/politics/. Real image from real arrest. Original photo location not listed. Photo used to demonstrate how serious equality gap is.

Still think that women are equal? If you do, you’re wrong. And if you’re among those offended by nipples, then I can’t imagine how you shower. If even one pair of breasts offends you, then all breasts offend you, including your own. You can’t have it both ways, and neither can society. Women can have their breasts out if men can, period.

Image found on guidetoiceland.is

Image found on guidetoiceland.is

What motive could certain cities have to continue to repress women from reclaiming their sexuality? I believe, for some cities, politicians’ reasons are purely prude—women’s nipples offend them, as if seeing those bare breasts, with rosy-pink buds of skin staring them in the eye, are going to swallow their souls whole and send them straight to Hell. Their reasons may be religious, because separation of church and state doesn’t actually matter if you can justify political decisions for the sake of the “masses,” right?

But what if these decisions are based on reelection, donations, or the facilitation of money? Then the answer is right before our eyes: what would happen if media and propaganda couldn’t capitalize by selling women’s bodies any more? In the film Free the Nipple, one of the women in New York says: “Our sexuality has been taken away from us and is essentially being sold back to us, through advertisements.” This is exactly so. Women can’t walk around topless, but can go to the magazine stand and purchase a magazine full of naked, pornographic women—this form of nudity is legal. Legal nudity logic: if “we” can sell it because there is a demand for it, then it’s okay. But if we hand back the rights to our subject (women), then how do we find a way to keep our buyer (mostly men) interested? Breasts would be everywhere, there would be no need to buy it, sell it, or even use it as a topic because the demand for it would drop.

Some people are just embarrassed by the female anatomy, even though a woman’s breasts are not much different than men’s. In the film, a woman in Sweden shouts out, “My body’s not yours to feel ashamed of!” This concept hits home for all of us, nude, dressed, or just in general. For some reason, society feels a need to be ashamed of fat, “ugly,” or naked people. When did someone say, “You have the right to be offended by nipples, fat, and lack of beauty, and due to said offense onto you and your life, you can name-shame and shun them?” No one! No one ever said someone else’s body is yours to critique or reject. How has this become a normal thing for us at all? Just because someone looks at a woman’s body and blushes does not mean she should have to cover up. Advert the eyes! She’s proud of her body, not ashamed of it, so why are other people?

Image found on picslist.com

Image found on picslist.com

People make excuses for their inability to be respectful: if they are able to see women’s nipples walking around the street, what person could control them-self? Capital “B” to the “S.” Logic and reasoning like this facilitates rape culture mentality—“If its mine for the viewing, then its mine for the taking.” If both men and women could learn common courtesies such as respect and human decency, then women’s nipples wouldn’t even be an issue in society, because its entirely the person’s fault if they stare. They can control themselves, but they choose not to.

Some people screech, “What about the children!?” Well, what about them? Is it so offensive for children to actually see and learn about the human anatomy? A young girl will see men walk around shirtless—she’ll be scarred for the rest of her life because she’s seen his nipples! No, actually she won’t. I’ve never heard someone complain that girls will be over-exposed to a man’s naked chest.  So why would boys be traumatized by women’s nipples?

Hell, the younger a boy is desensitized to the female breast, the less likely rape culture is to survive in our society. When you take away the reasons to covet the flesh, and make non-sexualized nudity the norm, what’s left to “desire” in a primal way? Women in society are over sexualized, and that is the root source of rape culture, body shaming, and criminalizing a woman wanting to show her natural skin. If we could all just desensitize ourselves, and make nipples normal, then we would be crashing through so many walls. We’d end sexism, sex scandal, rape culture, body shaming, and so much more.

Image found on s1.zetaboards.com

Image found on s1.zetaboards.com

This is about more than just nipples. Nipples are just the tipping point in a tower of Jenga filled with hate, fear, and law. Gaining this freedom would be the peg that brings inequality crashing down as we progress into future generations. This is the pinnacle of societal acceptance for all, and includes more than just women being able to let their nipples out. Legalizing and accepting women’s body in a desexualized state of being includes a level of acceptance and desensitization to hyper-sexualized images, which will create a balanced norm for the future generations to grow up in. It’s hard to think of a child growing up to covet breasts, flesh, and sex if we have made breasts normal, ended over-sexualized ads that depict women as sex toys, and created a world where woman are actual equal to men.

Think about it. Rape culture is a lure created by a hyper-sexualized society that excuses male behavior because we see men in a dominant role, allowing any man to rape a woman if he so wanted, and we’d blame the woman. But if we change the standards for both men and women, then we can overcome sexist lifestyles. Freeing the nipple is the first step in all women’s equality—it’s not just about the nipple, it’s about what the nipple stands for.