Watch out, women: apparently, there’s a new form of gender discrimination that’s stopping us from achieving our hopes and dreams. Feminists call it nipple censoring.
The dilemma lit the Internet Monday night when Sports Illustrated supermodel Chrissy Teigen posted a picture of herself topless, nipple included. Because of its guidelines, which are meant to “foster and protect” its community, Instagram nipped her picture in the bud.
With the exceptions of post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding, Instagram—like Facebook—bans users from posting pictures of female nipples.
After having her photo removed, Teigen tweeted:
the nipple has been temporarily silenced but she will be back, oh yes, she will be back
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) June 29, 2015
She followed up with an Instagram photo that almost made good on that promise. But do we want it back? A lot of people would answer yes. Teigen is a world-class supermodel, after all. But that is precisely the problem with this new-wave “women’s rights” movement so-called feminists have hailed, #freethenipple.
Yes, “Free the Nipple” is a real-life movement advocating for women’s ability to bare their nipples in public, all in the name of gender equality. Supporters say their goal is to take down the “archaic topless laws in America,” and they do so by planning publicity stunts like stripping on the streets of New York.
In addition to having its own hashtag and Wikipedia page, “Free the Nipple” has also scored its own feature-length film devoted to the “equality campaign.” “How far will you go?” writers of the movie, which received one out of five stars on Rotten Tomatoes, ask. “The issues we’re addressing are equal rights for men and women, a more balanced system of censorship, and legal rights for all women to breastfeed in public.”
Celebrities like Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, and Lena Dunham have got in on the fun, baring their bras (nudity warning) to make a pointed statement.
It must be nice, right? Having a career where showing your body parts can actually help you climb the career ladder? Careers like Teigen’s and Cyrus’ are built on sex appeal. (As is Dunham’s, but she takes a different approach.)Considering the amount of media attention they receive for showing their nipples, stars can actually make money by capitalizing on the #freethenipple movement.
Reality, for the rest of us women, is starkly different. Back on earth, nipples are an implicit sex symbol. Our bosses wouldn’t respect us more for going topless, even if we did have the “right.” Just like men have certain body parts that can’t be shown in public, so do women. It’s called decency. Not discrimination.
Society is nowhere near ready to distance nipples from sex. Instead of furthering gender equality, the movement is poised to do the exact opposite.
And here’s an interesting question on that front: women, do we really want our nipples to be in the same category as, say, our elbows, for example? Call me old-fashioned, but I still believe there’s something to be said for the parts of ourselves that we hide from the public but share with the person we love. For that reason, I’m in no rush to lose a body part to the Left.
In fact, I’ll fight against it. If women really care about gender equality, we should be encouraging each other to cover up. Why? Because when women wear clothes, men focus on our brains—not our boobs. Dressing conservatively, we might find, is more freeing than the ability to post pictures of our nipples in public.
Isn’t that the feminist position we should be fighting for?