It’s been far to long since I had a discourse on a social issue, so let’s talk about something I’ve known about that I’ve been meaning to get to for a while.
For those out of the loop, Free the Nipple is a gender equality movement that seeks to eliminate an inequality between men and women that most people over look; the fact that men are allowed to go topless while women can be charged with indecent exposure.
Full disclosure; I never got that even as a kid. Why do women have to stay covered up when men don’t. I mean, barring size, shape, and the amount of hair, male and female boobs are exactly the same. Hell, men are even capable of lactating under the right circumstances.
Which brings me to the issue of public breast feeding. Here’s the deal, babies have no concept of “there’s a time and a place for everything.” A baby simply does as it needs to do when it needs to. It eats, sleeps, and poops at the whims of nature. As such, poor mom isn’t always in a position to find a way to hide herself to take care of junior. And before you suggest bottle feeding, there are already several lists about why store-bought formula is crap compared to breastfeeding for baby and mother alike.
So, yeah – women should be allowed to release the ta-tas without fear of legal ramifications, judgmental stares from conservative women, and drooling men who can’t keep it in their pants.
The problem is that the actual process of getting to that point will be slow and painful.
Let’s be realistic; social evolution, like Darwinian evolution, is slow as January molasses. People have been living with preconceived ideas and notions for generations and don’t take kindly towards people rocking the boat. It takes a great deal of time for new ideas to take hold when they have to contend with history – in this case, the history of the exposure of breasts being a dividing mark of class throughout much of western history.
Also, there are some difficulties in getting people to jump on the bandwagon. I’ve spoken to many women who can’t see themselves without a top to provide some support (I honestly can’t imagine how difficult it must be to carry a pair of chest-mounted 5-pound weights). People like that might not be so keen on the idea and may not stop to think about others for whom that isn’t as much of an issue. After all, nobody’s FORCING anyone to go topless; it’s just an option to consider.
There’s also the issue that most social movements suffer from, people who use movements like this as a platform for showboating and gloating about their moral superiority. These people always hurt well-meaning movements by making everyone else in the group look like self-important butt holes.
I guess what I’m trying to get at here is that Free the Nipple is a worthwhile endeavor and that those who have never heard heard of it until now or rejected it originally should consider or re-consider supporting it. As for those already on board, don’t lose faith; keep sticking with it. You’ve already made great progress.