The Gender Logs

Can the nipple be freed?


Sara McRoberts, Reporter

Our generation has been considered the most accepting and open-minded generation there has ever been. Gay marriage has been legalized, we have seen a black man be elected president and pot has been legalized in some states.

But here we are with the same old problem: Gender inequality, wage gaps, harassment and that terrifying word “nipple” echo throughout our society as if we haven’t made any strides at all.

Women breast feeding in public still get gawked at and told to feed their child in the bathroom, braless women get accused of “asking for” harassment and assault and women are paid less than men.

According to an article on, in 2015, the U.S. women’s soccer team accumulated $20 million more than the male soccer team, but the men were paid almost four times as much.

In the past few years, women’s rights have been at the forefront of topics in regards to fairness and equality. Is it acceptable for a woman to go braless in public? Is it sociably alright for a woman to foot the bill instead of the man? What about rape and women “asking for it?”

A topic came up recently: Is going sans bra at the work place inappropriate? There are pros and cons for this question in regards to both men AND women. Is it distracting to see Ted from HR rocking a severe case of rock hard nipples all day? Is it unacceptable to see Susan from the management team not wearing a bra with her blouse?

In my humble opinion, what someone decides to do with (or to not do with) their own body is their own choice. Society has turned nipples into a dirty word, something to be ashamed of and to be lusted after. But here’s the thing; nipples are made for one purpose and one purpose only and that is the nourishment of our children.

Nipples are a natural part of our bodies, for men AND women. We were born with them, they serve a purpose, and they were never meant to be sexualized. As a society, we have turned a natural part of the human body into a sexualized object to be hidden and covered up unless in the sanctity of the bedroom.

Just like women are expected to keep their lust under control when seeing a very attractive man running around without a shirt on, men should be expected to do the same when seeing a woman without a bra. Although she may be very attractive and her nipples may be slightly visible under her shirt, she deserves the same amount of respect as a man running shirtless would receive.

A female should not fear danger, assault or harassment because of her own personal choice of clothing. Bras can be uncomfortable, hot and ill-fitting. If a woman chooses not to wear such a constricting garment, she should be able to do so.

This choice does not involve getting cat-called, harassed or insulted. Nobody “asks for it,” nobody deserves to be afraid for their personal safety for wearing what they feel most comfortable in.

These words of mine are food for your thoughts, and next month, we’ll dive even deeper into the gender logs.

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