03 September 2006

Section 16; in which men and women are equal in NY

  • Sep 3, 2006

Section 16; in which men and women are equal in NY

At least in terms of mandatory clothing.
To think I lived there for a year and didn't know about this.

I suppose it makes it somewhat less surprising that I saw a number of women wearing transparent blouses with no bras walking around nonchalantly in public.
The entire state has no laws against women going topless in any place men can, since the law was challenged successfully in 1992.
The same goes, apparently, for Maine, D.C., and Ontario Canada.


Obviously few people are choosing to take full advantage of it, as social norms are just as strong a force in dictating behavior as law is.
But really, it is a matter of equality.

It may be a really hot day.
Or you may not like the look of tan lines.

Breasts may be enjoyed in a sexual manner, but then again, plenty of heterosexual women clearly look at bare-chested men in a sexual manner as well.  (Does anyone seriously think that the shirtless posters of rap stars are marketed for their male fans?)
And one of the more common (albeit very strange) fetishes is for the foot.
By the logic of breasts should be covered in public because they can potentially be enjoyed sexually, we should go back to the dress of the Victorian period, or to that of an Islamic fundamentalist.
But just as the ankle was an arbitrary point to define indecency, the areola is an arbitrary point to define it today.

Besides, the nipple isn't even necessarily the best part.  The nipple is utilitarian, it feeds babies.  The whole entire breast itself is all full of squishy soft goodness.

It should be obvious from both history and other cultures that it is the very fact that a part is covered which makes it alluring and have a sexual connotation. 
It is a sad reflection on how much power religion still has over modern society that clothing equality (including lack of clothing) is not yet universal.

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you ask a question, I will answer it.

NEW: Blogger finally put in a system to be notified of responses to your comments! Just check the box to the right, below, before you hit "publish"