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The Great American Breast Debate
The Great American Breast Debate
In one day, I ran across three articles in the local paper that illustrates how insane America really is.The three articles in question covered the following topics. First,there was a conflict over the cover of Baby Talk magazine, a free periodical for new parents that featured a baby breast feeding. The second article was about float trips on the San Antonio river in Texas, the third was the arrests of streakers at the Jackson Domolition derby.
Concerning the first issue, the baby breast feeding. Let me preface this by saying that I am and will always be a big fan of breasts, I doubt there has ever been a bigger fan of the female charecteristic, except maybe Reubens or Helmut Newton.The most important aspect of the article was the insane back lash of people who were offended by the sight of a bare breast with a baby attached to the nipple.Considering the context of the magazine, I fail to see the 'obscenity" so many others saw. One person quoted claimed that a breast is "always a sexual' object and as such should always be kept from veiw. This is the same blue nose puritanism that resulted from the Janet Jackson Super Bowl "wardrobe malfunction", which was a tempest in a B-cup if there ever was one, and overly enhanced at that.A breast is a breast, but a breast with a baby attached is a wonder to behold, only because of the miracle of life and the mother-child connnection.Now, admittedly, Lee Marvin once went nuts in "Paint Your Wagon" when he saw "a women pressing her breast to a baby" butI would hope we had evolved beyond the Victorian Era Mountain Man mentality of people who rarely ever saw a breast and thought that the female from had to be covered like furniture.Obviously,we have not.
There are two interesting issues here. One, a breast with a baby attached is not a sexual object, the sex occured quite some time before and that baby sees a breast as a very warm and pliable lunch box.And daddy is probably jealous as hell that he doesn't get a turn as often as he would like.Second, topless and nude beaches are common all over the world, especially in Europe and the South Pacific. A breast is a breast, it is not a "sexual object' and given the context, the people who feaked out over a bare breast, in profile, with a baby attached have got some very serious issues of their own to deal with before they can start telling the rest of the world how to behave.
The second issue is much the same. It would seem that near New Bruenfels Texas, it is possible to book a float trip down the San Antonio river in the company of very lovely and personable strippers.Now, the section of river being run is quite far from habitation,there is no way that "innocent children" could see what is going on and nobody except other floaters would ever have the opportunity of witnessing the scandel of nearly naked women floating down the river on a raft.However, indecent exposure and public lewdness was not the concern.The prime quote of this story was that local police were concerned that this activity was taking place on a sunday "when people should be in church."
Excuse me? When did this country make church attendance mandatory? And didn't we have a war back in the day so that the people did not have to support a state sanctioned religion? Now, my dad was a licensed and ordained minister for more then 30 years and back in the '70's I did so much work with my churche's youth group that I won a four year free ride to Baylor University's Seminary.Then, I made the mistake of actually reading something other then the dogma of the Southern Baptists and have never been back.
I can see some more important issues about men, strippers and alcohol on a large pontoon raft in the wilds of Texas, and church attendance or public decency are way fucking low on the list. I would think that drownings or sexual assaults would be of prime importance, not the fact that a bunch of people are floating a river naked instead of bleating to the mythological supreme being of Texas' choice.
Now, the Streakers at the jackson Hole Demoliton derby. Again, we have a problem of indecent exposure, but this time at a venue that would allow small children to be present.But, it is a long way from the stands to the pit and unless the kids have vision like an eagle, I doubt thay are going to see anything that will tramatize their little psyches.If a group of drunken idiots want to air their shortcomings in public, let them run.Hell,the crowd can all laugh and we can pass out squirt guns loaded with fertilizer to the women so they can hose down those saplings in the hope that they might grow. Although, once a bonsai,always a bonsai.Not much hope there. Why not just let the streakers run at the end of the derby, as a way of saying that "The end has come.'(Please insert your own smart ass comment here, I have far too many to include at this time)
Now, I remember the streaking craze of the 1970's (damn dated myself there) and I admit that I truly enjoyed the spectacle. Nothing of my mispent youth rivals the memory of the Wonderful Wanton Winter Sister's (Kelly and Wende) running naked through a football game, or a few years later the Sexy Shapely Shipley Sisters (April, Michelle, and Kim) trotting naked through the yard during a kegger. The naked human body, if in reasonable shape, is a wonder to behold,(I wish I was be holding some more often, again, a whole other tale.)
But, when the police use a Taser to put a naked man to the turf just because he wants to wiggle his wee wee in front of a few hundred people,where exactly are the priorities?An arrest won't stop that kind of asinine behavior. Now, the sight of the entire crowd standing and laughing at said indescretion would send the nudie slinking back to his momma's basment, never to be seen in light of day again.
What is the common thread in all of these cases? The idea that the human body is somehow shameful and bad and must never be seen in light of day by anyone other then a legally married spouse of the correct gender.The human body is not obscene, there are far more obscene items being packed as entertainment every day. I offer as exhibit A, Fear Factor,(somebody is going to die on that stupid show,and I hope it happens live and without a seven second delay), Jerry Springer and his hillbilly guests airing thier sordid lives in public, the Slyvia Brown/John Edwards "psychic scam, and so much more.
What kind of a world is it when the naked human body is considered obscene, but murders, , and terrorism are entertainment on every prime time of the week? Csi(Vegas, Miami, New York) Law and Order and 24 are far more obscene then any naked body could ever be.(Well, okay,I'd qualify that in that there are obviously some bodies that should never be seen naked, but those are issues of esthetics and hygiene, not of public decency. The sight of some 300+ pounder parading naked in the streets is an image that inspires me to gouge out my short term memory with a melon baller.)
Europe is much more liberal in this regard. I have seen nude beaches on the banks of rivers in Germany,the beaches in France, and in the the Netherlands,a walk through the Red Light district is like going through a buffet line.By the time you finish walking a block, one is ready for a cigerette and a nap.And the beaches in Austrailia are fucking fantastic. I spent a glorious day feigning sleep just watching some of the most awe inspiring bodies pass my vantage point.I had quite the sundial going that day. Wish I had remembered to put sunscreen on it.Again, a tale for another time.
This country is hopeless doomed, because the Religous right have all the power and those of us who are rational have not the numbers or power to shut down the nutcases running this nation into the Taliban West it is slowly becoming.A naked body is a naked body, it only becomes sexual in a specific context, and the American Religous Right needs to realize, nudity does not equal sex, not in all cases and not in all contexts.Real obsceneity is in the mind, not the body.