We live in a global society. Things move speedily to spark fires and ignite entire cities, to bring about change. One idea can cause havoc. Wage war or even bring empires to their knees. One idea, perfectly crafted and executed can breed difference.
According to Disruptive Films Inc on the website ‘Free the Nipple’, it is “a movement that pushes for gender equality and female empowerment. It is a fight against female oppression, censorship and the stigma of shame attached to the female anatomy”. With that definition in mind we look at the world in which we live and how such a movement gels with our day to day livelihood. Culture and society are grounded on perception.
Perception states in today’s world that a topless female is obscene, unacceptable and unnatural. Such a woman is classless, has no self-respect and clearly no morals. These descriptors however are less likely to be hurled at a topless male. It lends itself to the question of why? Society has sexualized a woman’s body to the point where any inkling of exposure is taboo and out-rightly viewed as wrong.
Arguments against the movement highlight that predators will unleash on women who seek to be exposed in public and frankly speaking such an argument is baseless. Women, whether clothed or naked are never asking to be preyed upon by any person. Positions against the movement highlight too that it would be a distraction to everyday living and prove unhealthy modeling for our children and youths. While this might be true, it is a faulty line of reasoning, for years ago when racism was prevalent to the point of enslavement, no one dreamed of a world where blacks and whites could live or even rule side by side.
Now, what the movement pushes overall is equality for public nudity among the sexes. First of all, which self respecting male, who has dreams and standards for their life, would go about their day shirtless? Similarly, which self respecting female would seek to bare her chest to carry out her daily activities? One cannot enter a business, place of worship, food or any other professional establishment without being properly attired, whether male or female – full stop! Yes, society permits males to go shirtless when around water bodies and in professions which require excessive manual labour. Do those instances however justify the need for women to campaign the right to be half-naked in public and term it “fight for equality?” Well apparently!
Personally, what an individual wants to do with their body is their own business; the problem arises when those actions infringe upon another person. I support equality among the sexes; but shouldn’t equality in gender roles and attributions raise the standard of living and pride factor for each sex? No one is belittled when equal, looked down upon or ogled. Both genders receive equal employment and religious opportunities and ergo the same ladders to achieve success. How does freeing the nipple achieve any of these goals for a better standard of living for females?
Yes, society oppresses the ‘lesser’, whether it is blacks, minorities, homosexuals, the mentally ill or ultimately women. Society is fearful of change and to a larger extent, change that it does not understand. Now, I do not contest that groups have the right to protest and to push for change of views, but at the end of the day, do those “rights” if awarded, enhance the quality of your life?
Empowerment is not in nakedness or being clothed. It is not wealth, beauty, fame or power. Being empowered is personal, innate, and not at all reliant on external factors, for you could have everything in the world and still have the self esteem of a gnat. We occupy a global space. Females everywhere struggle in similar ways and very differently too. While lobbying to free nipples for public view, think of females around the world who would love to have someone push for them to have food, shelter and simple human rights like the opportunity to speak. A voice is a revolutionary tool, regardless of its sex.