Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Breast: Sexualization and the Feminist Agenda

So, onward with my tirade about Feminism, huh? So lately, there has been a ton of humbaloo about breastfeeding in public. I like the post over on Why I Protect, Support and Promote Breastfeeding. I've heard many breastfeeding women and lactivists claim that the act of breastfeeding encourages that stereotypical gender role, but like my last post, it isn't about that.

As a feminist, this oversexualization is the problem. Breasts are for men's sexual pleasure. That's just wrong on so many levels. The presence of breasts is there for biological reasons. The breast as well as curvy hips are indicators of fertility, which is why men find them attractive. Biological factors influence attraction, which is why the current idea of the super thin woman goes against the biological drives of humankind. Extremely thin women are not seen as very fertile. The presence of the "child bearing hips" and large breasts are a way the males of our species identify the most likely partners that are the most likely to procreate healthy offspring. Indicators of health are also healthy hair, skin, and teeth. Sound familiar? All the "attractive" things men look for. Biological factors also are the reason men often seek muliple partners, in a genetic sense it is in the best interest of the male of any species to impregnante as many females as they can. This is overridden by our sense of love and reason in partnering, but in many men infidelity happens as a result of these natural, biological drives.

And yes, this biological attraction goes both ways. Women tend towards attraction to men with nice buttocks, thick thighs (signs of virility and fertility in men), and broad shoulders. The "V" from shoulder to small of the back is almost universally appealing to women. However, there is one more thing, women tend to look for financial stability to care for their children.

So yes, the presence of these sexual attractions are indeed there, and to deny it is to deny simple biology. HOWEVER, the feminist agenda comes into play in the idea that women should not be turned into "objects" of sexual desier. Just a women desires a man with a nice butt, men desire a woman with nice breasts. But does the presence of a man's butt put everyone on edge? No...so why should the presence of a breast do this?

Why the Breast? Because, over the years, women have been recognized as property. Women are "given away" at their weddings by their fathers, and/or brothers. Why is this? In old times, women were the properties of their fathers, and brothers if the father was dead, and at the wedding, would be "given" to the husband as property. And the famous phrase "if anyone has any reason these two should not be wed, speak now or forever hold their peace"? This comes directly from the idea that at the wedding, aka property exchange, should anyone have claim to the family's assests, they had to speak there or lose that claim. The whole wedding ceremony, wrapped in a religious garb, is originally one elaborate property exchange ritual. Today, they've omitted the "love, honor and obey" from the wife's vows, but they still pronounce you "man and wife" in most places, not "husband and wife" because the ceremony was originally putting the wife in the place of the man's property.

Now I hear the arguments already. Hear me out.

Why are abused women often faulted with their own abuse? Other women even often say, "well why doesn't she just leave the bastard?" That is part of the problem. With abused women, the reason many look the other way when they know it is happening is because it is "their business" and "she'd leave if she wanted". The truth is the old ways of having women as property influence this idea. "their business" can be interchanged with "his property". This extends to child abuse. Children are also historically viewed as property of the man, thus what he does with them was his buisness. And because of the wedding transfer of property, the wife is property as well.

Here are some interesting facts about abuse. Women who die as a result of abuse rarely die until they try to leave. Therefore a lot of times, women who stay with abusive spouses are doing so for their own safety. And with the involvement of children, I've haeard many times how "wrong" women are to stay for the sake of the children. Well, here's the trick to that. Women often stay to protect those kids. If a woman is being abused, she often intercedes to protect her children. If the abuser is beating her, sometimes she can get him to leave her kids alone. If she were to divorce him, most times there would be visitation. Meaning that she would have to leave her children ALONE with her abusive ex spouse. When she can't protect them. Out of fear of retaliation toward her thorugh her kids, she will stay.

In the end, it is all leading back to issues of "property" going back many years. And because of that, those issues lead back to the original issue, the sexualization of the breast. And it is all related to the feminist agenda.

3 comments:

  1. I do enjoy reading your posts, I just would like to comment briefly.

    If a woman were to leave an abusive husband, and they had children together, courts would usually either declare sole custody to the mother or have supervised access. This is especially if the cases of abuse have been well documented with the police.

    I do agree that marriage used to be "property exchange" but the fact that that would be ingrained still, in today's time, seems off. Also, marriage in a religious sense was mostly misinterpreted. The Bible states that a wife must submit to her husband and a husband also to his wife. Just so you know, the God did believe in equal treatment;)

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  2. While that is a lovely thought, about the abusive husband, it just does not happen this way. In my counseling program, I have contacts within the battered women's shelters in our area. The problem comes in several areas. Many episodes of abuse go unreported out of fear, so there is no foundation for the court to not grant custody privlidges to the father. Putting an abusive spouse behind bars also sounds good, however many women do not press charges for one reason: when they get out in 5 years, they come and kill them. This threat alone is enough to mean women do not report it. Women who kill their abusers also get stiffer jailtime sentences than batterers that kill their wives. In speaking with the shelter owners, there have been several times when they have agreed that the best thing for a woman to do was return to her batterer because it was the safest choice.

    As far as religion, the Bible and the views of God are one thing, unfortunately how they have been historically practiced in the societies that have been culturally patriarchal is another thing. I have no problem with religion, just a lot of times the way it gets practiced is not the way it was originally intended in the holy books.

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  3. How did I miss this post??? Um... I must have been living under a rock for the past 6 months. Actually, the truth is, I rarely check my Blog Dashboard. I decided to check Attached to My Boys blog postings and I seen this title and thought it would be a great read only to realize that you even linked my post! =D Anyway, I have got to check my dashboard more often!!!

    Great post by the way!!!

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