Exactly. See, here you get plenty of bare boobs at the beach. It’s not a big deal. But I don’t think it has diminished the sexual aspect at all, just that they’re sexual in certain contexts.
I have pretty nice legs too, and everybody sees those. And men’s chests are hot too, and they’re no less hot at a beach where everyone sees those lovely chests. I just manage not to go overboard sexualising them. It’s not that hard.
My experience is that - in general - Europeans who are used to public toplessness have gotten over the adolescent comment stage. Perhaps because they have the very real reality that topless women can be 70+ years old with mastectomies and it isn’t just the Swedish Bikini Team running around the nude beaches and sunbathing in public parks. There are still issues - rape isn’t lower (but it isn’t higher - overall, some countries are a little higher or lower than the U.S.), the rate of eating disorders is fairly stable between Europe and the U.S. Toplessness does not seem to either create or resolve big issues on scale. But its more the little issues - the “heh, heh, boobies” - that seems to be somewhat less of an issue in Europe.
And I don’t know, is the prevalence of “women need to protect themselves from rape by not wearing short skirts or high heels to tempt men” an issue in Europe? Because I’m NOT willing to be told that being topless shouldn’t be any big deal on one hand by part of society while another says I should dress conservatively to discourage unwanted advances - or rape. Well, I guess I am because I have to be, but dammnit - I get whiplash - am I proud of my body and take power in my own sexuality, or should I “be safe?” Talk about the mixed messages. We seem to be rather Jekyll and Hyde about the whole thing.
Many of the Pilgrims were Puritans and we seem to be unable to shake that prudish outlook on things. It doesn’t help that some religions teach that the human body is something to be ashamed of. Children are also the product of their parents’ misguided morality, notwithstanding the fact than any child who can reach a computer keyboard can see breasts and much more with just a few keystrokes. My kids spent their tween and teen years in Europe. The Bundesbank park was right next to the housing we were in and people sunbathed in the nude there all the time. That which is commonplace isn’t offensive or even worth comment.
It is part of why it is often ok to have an insane amount of violence in a TV program, but not ok to show various parts of the human body.
This leads to the idea that parts of the human body are ugly (bumping uglies), shameful or sinful.
Very bad for body image issues.
Fact is kids by in large don’t care, I know I didn’t.
Unless they have already had such shame impressed on them.
For instance how many regular movies or TV programs ever show a vulva?
Which often means showing only a line, far from offensive.
And then it comes to properly showing beyond the labia, I am only aware of Orange is the new black, which is from netflix I think and not a normally distributed production. (And still only a photo of one)
Also it is important to note that nudity does not equal sex, and sex does not equal shameful, by default. Heck eating is not shameful or disgusting by default, but you could eat in a manner (or food which is) far more offensive than having sex in public.
Sex is wonderful and we all owe it out existence. (even artificial insemination begins with masturbation)
Honestly I think there should be more things like the world naked bike ride.
Actually it might be a very effective means of protest, it might distract from the message but it sure will get lots of (censored) media attention.
Which is a good point. Women commonly show their legs in skirts or shorts. Legs are attractive but because they’re a common sight they don’t draw crowds. If female breasts were a common sight, people would still appreciate the sight of them but they wouldn’t go nuts over it.
Another good point. People can complain about nudity and claim they’re thinking about how it will affect children. But children generally don’t care if somebody’s naked.
THIS. I don’t stick my nose (or other convex body parts) into threads about sex much, but this remark gets to the heart of American problems with sexuality.
The American culture is neither exactly phobic nor philic about sex. Rather, we are utterly schizophrenic about it. We glorify sex with books like The Joy of Sex now in at least its 6th edition; Viagara; coming to accept the idea of sex therapists; new-agey philosophies including tantric sex; using sex to sell everything (especially cars and cigarettes); etc and on and on ad infinitum.
While, at the same time we are aghast at any hint of it. All the books banned in Boston (that still would be banned if they could); all the anti-birth-control and anti-abortion holier-than-shit crusaders; all the horror, I’m telling you horror!!! when Janet Jackson’s tit popped out for about one third of a second; all the fear that our children will be traumatized for life if they saw that; all the disgust that some adolescent males (or worse, adult males) might have <gasp!> an erotic thought if they glimpse cleavage . . .
These are the mixed messages that pervade American culture about <hush, hush> sex – We are just totally bat-shit crazy schizophrenic about it.
You realize, of course, that a century ago, only a low-class harlot or tramp would allow strangers to see even her ankles. Women did not wear trousers, lest men have thoughts about legs and where they meet. In polite society, skirt hems did not expose knees even into the 50s. Today, in the US, swimwear is just enough postage to cover the parcels (bits that differ from the surrounding flesh), what we have is a sort of false modesty. In two or three decades, we may be seen as prudes, only able to get it up because we had to imagine what was hidden behind that form-fitting doily.
I’ve heard the Puritan influence idea before, and it makes a certain sense, but I sometimes wonder if Americans are actually that prudish, or they just love acting shocked and victimized. Seems like for many decades now young Americans have had access to the occasional nude beach or took a trip to Europe and they all come back talking about how prudish Americans are but they aren’t. A few years and maybe a kid or two later and suddenly they’re all fragile and easily shocked. I think it’s recreational shock.
The notion that there are social conventions that apply to clothing really does not surprise me; I’ll bet that even in Europe there are some social conventions about what one wears in particular places. I can further understand why the ESB might conclude that it has a commercial interest in not wanting to be known as a place where social conventions are violated, and why it would be irate at someone seeking fame and fortune on its property by doing just that.
All of that said, the lawsuit sounds like a stretch and an over-reaction.