The Feminist Movement is hardly a new conversation topic sweeping the nation. Women have been striving for equality for many years now. According to the basis of the Free the Nipple Campaign, we have not. The idea of the Free the Nipple Campaign is to allow women physical equality with men through being allowed to be topless legally. It is often expressed that women should take advantage of this opportunity. It’s the idea that physicality is one of the major factors in why women are not perceived to be equal with men. This whole idea that men and women are not equal has been reinforced by years of sexist perspectives. Perspectives that men are better than women. If you observe sociology, you find that many societies have more gender equality awareness. In California, a new law for equal pay for both men and women in the workplace is about to pass.
Many statistics declare that more women are being hired in the workplace than men. These statistics are indicators of the gender role change that is occurring. The final boundary between gender inequality is physicality. The Free the Nipple Campaign is about eliminating the physical boundaries of genders. The theory behind Free the Nipple is that physical differences are what divide genders and is where gender roles began. There is a few arguments that can made against this idea. While it is a good theory on paper, when looking at history we find that in the naturalistic order of people that it is not the physical appearance of someone that creates the gender divide. The biggest argument would be that in Africa there are still existing gender roles in African tribes. The men are the stereotypical hunters for the tribes and the women are the stereotypical gatherers.
There are variations of these roles throughout many tribes in Africa. But in many tribes women’s breasts are exposed in their attire, making them (according the theory of the Free the Nipple Campaign) physically equal to men. This has not changed the gender roles in Africa. Breasts being desensitized will not change the fact that they are breasts and breasts are most commonly identified as a female physical trait. It is the thoughts behind being female that leads to gender discrimination. I do feel that women should be able to be express their bodies in whatever way they choose to display themselves.
The idea that being shirtless in public has not been a legalized action for a long time. It was legalized for men to be shirtless in public in 1936. I believe that the physical body should not be the primary focus for equality or acceptance. This nation should focus on accepting people for who they are, not how they look. Focusing on what makes you special is a key to happiness; celebrate who you are! In this country women spend a lot of time trying to mold themselves to men’s standards in order to be equal. In order to acknowledge that one is equal with another both parties must acknowledge the faults and differences between each party. The basis of the Real Beauty Campaign a few years back was about physical beauty not being modified in the media. Both Campaigns are based off celebrating a person’s differences. The idea that women have to be physically equal with men on all categories is impossible. There will always be physical differences between gender, but that doesn’t mean that equality cannot be reached.
Differences should be celebrated between people, not discouraged. In issues discussed about sexuality, many celebrate the fact that they are different to gain acceptance. I feel that breasts are something that are special for women and should be kept special. Not to say that the choice for toplessness shouldn’t be allowed. I am saying that you are making the conscious choice to take away something that makes women special. That defeats the point.
Veronica Reeder can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org