Why are Women’s Nipples More Regulated than Guns?

From the time we are born, our culture shows (okay, demands) basic adherence to fashion rules related to our gender. Girls learn to be cute then, eventually, pretty. They learn to navigate the tightrope of bare legs in short skirts, keeping those knees together. Ridicule is a powerful enforcer, and what girl has not been mortified when she is teased for accidentally exposing something private.

Boys learn to be … I’m thinking … still thinking. Boys don’t learn to focus on their looks. Clothes are simply clothes. Clothes are not meant to encumber. They can climb to the top of the jungle gym, hang upside down, sit with legs agape. Freedom, silliness and perhaps a little mischief is called for.

This is how a culture reinforces the importance of activity and freedom for boys and the importance of pleasing other people for girls. Cultural values.

So, nipples. Definite taboo. Well, except for men’s nipples. Actually it was only in 1936 that men won the right to go shirtless in the U.S. It doesn’t matter if I would rather not see them because it’s not about me, the viewer. But, somehow, exposing women’s nipples is all about the viewer. Seeing a nipple can trigger lustful thoughts – and – my goodness – it can be hard to just move on.

“And what were you wearing that night?”

Does the US have a problem with topless women?

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