Woman protests Instagram's policy on nipples by going topless


#1

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#2

From the link:

In the 1930s, men’s nipples were just as provocative, shameful, and taboo as women’s are now, and men were protesting in much the same way. In 1930, four men went topless to Coney Island and were arrested. In 1935, a flash mob of topless men descended upon Atlantic City, 42 of whom were arrested. Men fought and they were heard, changing not only laws but social consciousness. And by 1936, men’s bare chests were accepted as the norm.

It is pretty bizarre how the exact same external anatomical structures, nipples an aureolas are treated differently depending on whether you are a man or a woman. That they were once both considered taboo is an interesting point showing how stagnated we are in our laws only updating to make it legal for men to be topless (in most communities) as opposed to people being allowed to be topless.


#3

What you talking 'bout, Willis?
(I'm sorry, lame, but somebody was going to say it. Might as well be me.)
smile


#4

I'm curious as to what prompted Instagram's takedown, simply because it seems like these things only happen if someone complains. For instance a friend of mine with breast cancer posted topless pre-operation photos of herself on Facebook. As far as I know no one complained, and she's still happily plugging away at her account. If someone did complain she could be shut down.

I realize Instagram, Facebook, and other web sites can take down anything at the boss's discretion, but situations like this really speak to a need for users to have the right to challenge the accusation, if not the accuser.


#5

Yet there are still areas in the country where you can't show men's nipples. Amazingly, one of these areas is near Virginia Beach, where an Anime con had to insist that the male cosplayers put black tape over their nipples to avoid violating the towns anti-obscenity ordinance.

Some of this may have been the convention organizers cherry picking old laws based on their own personal hangups though. They also had a policy of no hugging in public, because it was "prostitution".


#6

In practice, American law is weird because people tend to favor selective prosecution. In a way, this creates an unspoken "zoning" code. Things that are theoretically illegal anywhere only get you in trouble in certain areas. For example, you're technically a vagrant in Texas if you aren't carrying $10 cash, and my now Wife's college house in Massachusetts was technically a brothel since she lived with 8 other unmarried women. These laws are still on the books, mostly unused, until some prosecutor decided he really wants to stick it to someone. Because they're rarely used, they are not often challenged.

At the same time, pretty much anything you do wrong these days falls afoul of at least five different laws or ordinances, which lets prosecutors usually have chance at nailing you for something, but also lets them pile on penalties. Together, these two effects mean that most people never have trouble with the law... but those that do get the proverbial book thrown at them.

Where the convention is concerned, it could just be that selective prosecution makes it really, really hard to decide what the "real" laws are.


#7

Maybe they were just offended by how amazingly bad that jacket is? smiling_imp


#8

"You can never have too many nipples! Ask any cat!"

Gene, "Bob's Burgers".


#9

The "x number of women cohabitating constitutes a brothel" thing is actually a long standing urban legend.

http://www.snopes.com/college/halls/brothel.asp

I've long suspected the less than $x dollars on hand makes you a vagrant, or the varient that more than $x dollars in your pockets protects you from loitering charges, is also a myth. It doesn't seem to be on snopes, but I've heard so many variants about so many different states, cities, counties etc. in multiple countries that I'm reasonably sure it's got to be a myth. In my NY town growing up it was $11.50 or $7.50 depending on who you asked. And arguments over whether it was vagrancy or loitering you'd be protected from were common where ever 13-16 year old boys gathered in numbers to waste time. Never heard it from any actual police offers, and the few I've asked laughed it off as unlikely.

That's often the case with these "old laws" supposedly still on the books. They typically never exited in the first place. If they ever did really exist, they were superseded by newer laws without being specifically repealed, or are otherwise unenforceable for one reason or other.

Selective application of the law does happen, and old laws are occasionally dragged up to provide a convenient means of going after a particular group. But these are not particularly good examples. And outside of certain specific topics it isn't particularly hard to know what the "real" practical standing law is.


#10

Selective prosecution is a real, bad, issue -- especially if you're a minority or there is some other reason the cops "just don't like you."

I imagine that the whole "you commit 10 felonies a day" may be urban legend, but I think it's true in spirit. Unless you're living an utterly boring and cosseted life, chances are you've left enough rope laying around for someone to hang you, should they feel the need.


#11

Yeah, it's more that there are laws that are so ambiguous that you can easily commit a felony without realizing it.


#12

Exact same? Are you insane?


#13

Exactly.

It's bad enough that we have secret laws and secret courts, but we also have secret interpretations of laws. I bet Kafka couldn’t have come up with that, even in his most dystopian moods.

Honestly, it doesn't matter to me much when some private organization (like Instagram) has ambiguous TOSs so much as when a governmental body does....but with the increasing levels of "public private partnerships," perhaps it should....


#14

I once saw a TV show where they did m2f gender reassignment surgery with before and after pictures.

Only, the after pictures of the breast implant surgery was blurred out even though it was physically the same nipples


#15

Hell, they did that to the guy who got C-cup implants on a bet. They blurred his shapely man boobs out on TV even though he was not trangender. Still a dude. Just a dude with C-cups. The US is so schizophrenic when it comes to boobs.


#16

A lot of those “crazy law” stories are told in a slanted way that makes them seem crazier than they are: Did you know that in Coral Springs FL, it’s illegal to tie an alligator to a fire hydrant? It’s true!*

Well, yeah, but the law doesn’t mention alligators, it’s illegal to tie anything to a fire hydrant.


*May not actually be true.


#17

How to know if you are living in a country who has based its laws on iron age superstition.

Mass killing of people in a war seen as patriotic? Check
People without clothing viewed as obscene? Check


#18

Thank the FCC for that and their dogged insistence that they not clearly define what is obscene[1], but hand down absolutely massive fines if you are found in violation of their obscenity rules.

[1] The reasoning is supposedly that if they had clear rules, people would find loopholes and then our children would be corrupted forever by something and the FCC would have no power to stop it. Little Timmy might see some sideboob and the country would turn into Sodom and Gomorrah. And worse, the FCC would be barraged by angry letters from groups with names like "Concerned Parents of America" and "The American Citizens Council" about how they're utterly failing in their job as the moral police of a devoutly christian nation.


#19

On a related note, I liked the bit in "This Film is Not Yet Rated" where the MPAA said it couldn't tell independent filmmakers what parts the ratings board objected to (leaving the filmmakers flailing to appease them) because that would be censorship.


#20

On the delightfully trashy FX show Nip/Tuck a male character in prison is forced by his cell mate (yeah I know, how?) to get breast implants and they showed him with his new breasts. Full frontal, no blurring. They never showed women's breasts despite the rampant sex on the show. Oh, wait...they did show a woman's breasts once but only after she had her nipples surgically removed (in order to more resemble a Barbie doll). Crazy show, crazier censors.