December 17th 2008 - One of the areas that astounds me about our culture is the way our culture is so scared of the human body. Is it because we think the body is sacred that we are scared of it? It reflects the fact that we are too self-conscious of our bodies in my opinion. I think the amount of plastic surgery also demonstrates that fact.
If one looks around, one can find humans baring their nakedness practically anywhere, whether it is in a swimsuit issue or on the tv where the smudged places are getting smaller and smaller to where just the nipple is smudged now. Yet, for a woman to breast feed in public is viewed often as disgusting. If you are reading this, in all likelihood, you were once a suckling on a breast yourself.
The other aspect to the ridiculousness of this is how men are able to take off their shirts practically anywhere they want. Now, why is it that women are not allowed to do that? Having studied human anatomy, I am aware that both men and women have breasts. They also both have nipples. They both have mammary glands. Yes, that's right! Men can even breast feed in the right circumstances. Now, the logical conclusion would be that if men can take their shirts off, then women can too.
Obviously, we live in an illogical culture, because that is not the case. The only place where that sometimes happens other than a nude beach is in New Orleans at Mardi Gras. There women take off their shirts and bras for beads. Why is it that they have to have beads to take off their shirts? I understand that women sometimes have sensitive breasts. I have no problem with them wanting to keep a shirt or bra on. That is their choice. But to be made to keep a shirt and bra on when that person would rather have it off, I personally find that quite odd.
So, in this American culture, we somehow do not find offensive the cutting off of people’s heads and other vile killings on television and on our electronic game systems. Yet, when it comes to that which we are and that which should be natural, we have immense hang-ups. Should our lives not reflect what is natural, rather than what is wrong? We allow babies to walk around naked, and they have the gender defining parts. We do not accost them with indecent exposure. Yet as we get older something changes.
Why is it we do not get upset when we have animals that are constantly showing their stuff? Many people have a dog or cat. Guess what? They have a genital area and nipples too. We can go to the zoo and see everything a gorilla or ape has to offer. That is not offensive, and yet somehow our own nakedness is. Why are not all the animals that have their genitals or breasts showing at the zoo not clothed? Not having clothes on those animals may traumatize some child for life. I was even at the local zoo once when two walruses were having sex. Not sure why, but people were not running away screaming in terror.
If one is getting a massage in Europe, one can expect to lay on the table exposed to the world. That is normal there. Here, we drape people to keep them feeling comfortable. We are a very self-conscious culture. So much here is about how we appear, and how young and virile we look. If bras were not used, then breasts might sag more than they do with age. Without those push-up bras or saline implants, how could a 50+ year woman still be walking around as with breasts that still looked 20? So, ultimately, I think the reason that the culture in the USA is so opposed to the human body being exposed is that if we were naked, others would see us as we truly are, and we are too self-consicous for that. We as a culture here are afraid of aging and afraid of going beyond skin deep. Being old is simply not something that is respected or venerated anymore.
For those interested in men breastfeeding go to http://www.unassistedchildbirth.com/miscarticles/milkmen.html
Timothy A Mast
1406 Falcon Dr
Louisville, KY 40213