The bra-burning days may come to mind when we think of women’s lib but this history reminds us that the brassiere evolved as a softer and kinder (and cheaper) alternative to restrictive corsets.
Note: The 1893 patent did not conceal the nipples by design or in depiction.
The underlying theme of controlling and containing those frisky boobulums retains an overemphasis on men’s opinions. The current dustup over Chelsea Handler paying homage to Putin on horseback, topless, questions the logic of hiding female breasts online. From pasties to burkas, dictated decency doesn’t seem to be about what women prefer to wear but what must be done to appease men’s “inability to control themselves” sexually. Sadly, it comes down to that. Are we conceding that men are so craven, so weak, that they cannot be taught to control themselves if they see nipples online? Come on, we’re showing side-boob and under-boob and everything-but-dead-center-boob on mainstream media, and self-sourcing glory-hole sex everywhere else.
This is just one ridiculous aspect of the slippery slope that excuses male predations against women in the courtroom, the boardroom, the living-dining-bed-bath-mud room. It’s the same faulty presumption that protects the male ego from admitting they aren’t superior as a gender because women are not inferior as a gender. Compare and contrast within a gender if you wish, but we should accept that the purpose-nature-value of the dual-gender system is not ours to judge, yet if ever. We the people should advance the people, all the people, not just some of the people, not just some of the time.
Pixilating digital titties is a symbolic battleground. Whether women “need” bras is a matter of fashion for the most part; if we needed pouches to mask the breasts so they could function then we would have evolved a pair of pockets — and probably would have to hide those too!
Women are not anti-bra. When an undergarment is artfully designed to frame and flatter then form finds function. Consider the delectable presentation of bosoms in a bustier engineered to lift and separate. It is only natural we’d invent ways to protect and proclaim these outcroppings, so briefly if at all used for nursing, steeped in the secret spice of hidden even forbidden intimacies. There’s nothing wrong with the allure of peek-a-boo lingerie… breasts are sexualized at a basic level for both genders: no problem. There’s a problem when those who don’t have breasts presume to impose special rules on those who do.
Just the gist: Keep your uninvited mitts off our tits no matter how we display them.
For earlier commentary on the social impact of underwear, please see A Musing: Bras in Space, Boobs in Government