Monday, November 12, 2007

Bara Bröst!

This translates to 'just breasts' and 'bare breasts' in Swedish. This article in a Swedish newspaper reports on exactly what I've been ranting about for a long while now: a woman's right to be bare chested where ever a man can be without the threat of being arrested. My point has always been one of equality. From the article:

"It's a question of equality. I think it's a problem that women are sexualized in this way. If women are forced to wear a top, shouldn't men also have to?"

A lot of women that I have discussed this with think that women shouldn't be allowed to walk around shirtless. But do any of you truly (and I mean TRULY) believe that it is okay for a man to be topless without any repercussion but a woman should be thrown in jail for it? That is discrimination, cut and dry.

I know that it would take this country many, many generations to shed the stigma of women being topless in public. We are a society that views women's breasts as sexual objects, not as the life-sustaining glands they truly are.

Americans have a few too many hang-ups in my opinion. Let me share a story on this topic. It will prove my point about how breasts are viewed.

I was shopping at IKEA with my daughter and her boyfriend a few years ago. We encountered a woman sitting in the cafe nursing her child. My daughter's boyfriend was disgusted with the sight of this, "She shouldn't be doing that here!" He and I then engaged in a heated discussion. Of course I told him that I thought women should feel free to nurse their babies in public without any second thought. That's what breasts are for. And that's what I did. But he was so appalled.

Later, as we were walking around IKEA and the subject long gone, I brought up the fact that some day I wanted to visit the nude beaches in Greece. I told him and my daughter that I would like to experience being on a topless beach where it was no big deal, not like here in the States. Well, my daughter's boyfriend piped in all enthusiastic saying that, yeah, he would like to check that out, too! (Ah-ha! I got him!) I said to him "So, you think it's okay to look at a woman's breasts on a nude beach, drool over them in sexual fantasy, but to see a woman nursing her baby is disgusting?" I told him how demented that point of view was.

I don't think I will see this change in my lifetime here in the States. We need 'hippydom' to become all the rage again; you know, open minds. By the way, did you know that it is legal for women to go topless in New York? And Ontario's topless equality laws have been tested a number of times and remain on the books. There's also a social movement called 'Topfreedom' that is all about equality.

That's what it's all about: equality.

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