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Feb 26 2013

What is the Deal with Breasts?

By at 2:23 pm

bras hanging on clotheslineI wish the song had been, “We saw your balls!”

Seth MacFarlane, an Oscars host only a 12-year-old boy could love, chose to sing a puerile (and insulting) song listing the actresses whose mammary glands he gleefully got to see this past year at the movies.

You know, I’ve had it. In today’s culture, either women’s bodies are sexualized to the point that none of us can feel sexy, or they are derided as objects of fun. In any case, enough is really more than enough.

What’s the deal with breasts? Why are they the one body part constantly targeted as objects of fun and derision? Why is there a song, possibly being hummed by millions of people, mocking women who perform as serious actors because they bared their chests?

I just get so upset, I cringe, and you could see how uncomfortable the actresses in the audience were as the chorus sang that stupid song. Why are we women, from adolescence on, made to feel self-conscious about our breasts?

Having breasts is part of being a woman and no one should ever be made to feel embarrassed, ashamed, or uncomfortable about them, or about any other part of their body. It’s too bad that in our society, in which breasts are scrutinized and judged as too small, too big, too saggy, that women actually elect to be cut open and “fixed” with breast augmentation, reduction, or lifting. And it’s especially upsetting given the epidemic of breast cancer in our Jewish community. We all know women who have been irradiated, poisoned, and mutilated because of disease. Shouldn’t we just be grateful when we have two healthy breasts? And shouldn’t that be all there is to say about that particular body part?

Sometimes, in my opinion, women themselves contribute to society’s obsession with breasts. So often there is so much cleavage on display on the street, on the subway, all over, that it’s hard, even for a straight woman, to look someplace else–like at the face. Are women being taken seriously in board rooms, courts, and operating rooms with such low cut tops? Isn’t there a time to cover up, and a time to reveal? (Now there’s something Ecclesiastes missed with his “To everything there is a season” poem.)

Breasts are both sexual organs and organs designed to feed and nourish. With all the breasts hanging out all over the place, with all the crude jokes about their size and speculation about their authenticity, with all the interest in wardrobe malfunctions…people still object to seeing a nursing mother breastfeed! Seriously?

Breastfeeding in public is still a flashpoint, not a given. People endlessly debate the political correctness of feeding an infant in a park or restaurant. And yet, revealing dresses and not-funny jokes about bosoms are okay? Nipples and breasts in movies, in plays, on TV, in a song on a show watched by one billion people–all that is culturally acceptable but a nipple slipping out of a baby’s mouth is perverse? What’s wrong with this picture?

I have thought for a long time that the whole issue of breasts, actually the whole male/female dynamic, would be different if men had the equivalent of a bra on their crotches and the size and shape of their testicles and penises would be obvious to all. How do you think that would feel, guys?

Of course, we women know you’d all wear a size extra-large. Yeah, right.

 


Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on Kveller are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

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