20 Things That Could Change If Topless Equality Was Normalized.
Celebrating the first day of summer by releasing a special free version of an article that is currently behind Medium’s Partner Paywall.
This article is really just a fun — yet still important — thought experiment as to what a society would look like without the higher modesty expectations for women. Right down to the little details you may not even realize. The ideas are based on what is already reality in certain European cultures as well as the past changes to modesty standards throughout the world, including America.
Without further ado:
- Breasts would become less interesting, not completely desexualized but at least enough that they wouldn’t be as distracting as they are now. Sort of like what men’s chests have become nearly a century after they too needed covering. Or how women’s legs are no longer the rage they once were in the early 20th century, likely due to their previous liberation from the long dresses of the Victorian Era.
- Media censors would have an easier job. Naked & Afraid — also known as Blurred & Afraid — wouldn’t have to spend most of their valuable time blurring the women.
- Naked actressess in PG movies/TV wouldn’t have to be filmed shoulders-up, unlike their male counterparts, and the after-sex L bedsheets would no longer be a thing.
- Want to breastfeed your baby in public without complaints, stares, or an otherwise awkward feeling? Go ahead.
- Only have a pair of swim trunks? No problem, regardless of gender.
- Fewer tan lines.
- The days of ice cubes tormenting tanning ladies with untied tops would be over.
- Anyone could change their shirts, even bras, wherever men do.
- No longer would anyone complain or stare at anyone else not wearing a bra. Nor would anyone have to hear another complain about having to wear a bra ever again.
- Topless pictures would be less appealing to hackers and those looking to share nudes without consent, probably resulting in fewer of these crimes.
- Definitions of sexual assault could be more equitably applied, such as prohibiting unwanted sexualy-motivated touching of any body part, regardless of gender.
- The porn industry would have to get more creative, selling boobs would be a far greater challenge.
- Men would have more realistic expectations of breasts, rather than just what is seen in porn or on HBO.
- Women would have greater confidence in their bodies for the same reasons as above.
- Plastic surgery rates would probably fall as a result of this too.
- With less taboo of breasts they would probably be checked more often and result in earlier detection of cancer, possibly saving lives.
- Fewer women would die from failed CPR due to others being afraid of touching their chests. Emergency workers could focus more on saving lives rather than having to also be concerned about female modesty at greater length than that of males.
- Slut-shaming would be less prevalent.
- Since men would be less focused on women’s chests there would be more opportunity to focus on other things of greater importance, such as personality. There would probably be greater respect all around between the sexes as a result.
- Our current modesty and censorship standards will look just as silly to future generations as previous standards look to us now. They will wonder why anybody was ever afraid of breasts to begin with.
There you have it. Though none of these would happen overnight, nor are all 100% certain, perhaps even the possibility of any of them is worth it. For those with more interest, here are 15 ways to possibly do it (EDIT: updated for 2020).
For some more specific problems of Modesty Doctrine, as well as more evidence for these claims, click here.