Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Tale of Two Tit Exposures: Janet Jackson, President Obama, the FCC, and Gender

Five years ago much of the nation erupted into an extreme panic after viewing a portion of Janet Jackson's right breast; her nipple was concealed. This was a classic moment of "Americans are from Mars. . .Darren is from Venus." I simply could not understand the (fake) outrage -- especially with so many partially and fully uncovered nipples brazenly presenting themselves daily on television and in the print media. The anti-nipple protests were also louder than criticism of the still ongoing and still unnecessary war in Iraq.

Gender and Toplessness
Many feminists have explored the gender dimensions of toplessness, and American nipple-hysteria has presented many occasions for engaging in critical analysis of this issue. Breastfeeding is probably the most intriguing example of nipple hysteria. Women who publicly feed their kids the "natural way" have caused moral outrage across the country. Based on some of the reactions, I fear that many people who apparently could not resist watching public breastfeeding before complaining about it will undoubtedly become blind or even serial killers. We should definitely stop this breastfeeding menace before it gets out of control!

The FCC's recent decision to re-investigate Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction -- after a string of court losses -- leads me to ask the following question: How can the FCC honestly go after CBS and Jackson again when President Obama's nipples have provided the stimulus for millions of magazine sales? A gendered approach to the issue clearly exists. Women's nipples are indecent unless they are in porn videos or feeding babies in a remote location unknown to other Americans. By contrast, men's nipples are not smutty. In fact, they are presidential. Why?

PS: Of course, Obama is not the only male to go topless without offending the nation, but I think it is interesting that the FCC is investigating female nipples while the executive head of all federal agencies (including the FCC) has gone topless in the media without incident.


Anonymous said...

By contrast, men's nipples are not smutty. In fact, they are presidential. Why?

LOL! Because they are not sexualized by men, Darren. But of course you know it. :)

Women's sexuality, in its various expressions, even those very remotely associated with sex, has to be controlled and monitored by men even in this "enlightened" society. Thus all this hoopla about an uncovered tit. Ridiculous, IMO -- and not much different from an outrage erupting over an exposed ankle in some Arab societies.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Well, um, not by some men. :)

Brilliant analysis. But, as someone once told me after I wrote my first law review article: "Sorry you had to write that." Will the madness ever end....

Jonny Vincent said...

The shameless duplicity of women must be called out and struck down when it's as brazen as this example from Elizabeth. Men do not sexualise women's mammary glands any more than Puritan men turned women's ankles and wrists into a fetish.

Whether it's their entire body from head to toe, their breasts, midriffs or toddler children, to manufacture artificial demand for what has no value, women conceal to create the illusion of worth.

Women are not remotely confused by the need to conceal non-existent value to create the Demand for what they what to Supply. When Janet Jackson revealed her partially concealed right breast, the screams of "indecency" did not come from men.

The perfidy of women's objectification of biology cannot be allowed to continue to destroy children.

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