Nudity Does Not Lead To Equality

Nudity Does Not Lead To Equality

We don't need to remove our clothes to obtain our rights.
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Women have been fighting for gender equality for hundreds of years. Every year, women are getting closer and closer to being treated equally to men. With that said, there is still gender discrimination everywhere, including in the workplace and social relationships. One of the first steps toward reaching equality was on Election Day in 1920 when women were given the right to vote. It took activists and reformers a hundred years to win that right. There are still many triumphs that women need to overcome. Recently, a new movement toward equality caught my eye: the Free the Nipple Campaign.

Free the Nipple is a campaign aiming for the rights for women to be topless in public. It was named after Lina Esco’s 2014 movie Free The Nipple. The campaign argues that it should be legal for women to be topless where men are allowed to be topless. When did nudity equal equality? Parading your nipples around for the world to see will not lead to gender equality, it will only lead to inequality.

Not all men objectify or sexualize women, but there are still many that do. For those that still are not treating women equal, walking around with your breasts out will only increase their interest in looking at a woman’s body. Women are fighting for being topless, as if men can just walk around with their body parts exposed to assert their power as their gender.

The Free The Nipple movement is supposed to show that just because women’s breasts are bigger than men’s doesn't mean that women’s have to be covered. When did posting a picture of your breasts with tape over the nipples become a step towards equality? Justice isn’t going around half-naked. There are hundreds of nude beaches around the world that welcome any gender to relax nude, but going around New York City without your shirt on would make anyone feel uncomfortable regardless of the gender.

Freeing the nipple will not lead to the equality goals that we should be reaching for. Being half naked in public will not lead to equality in the workforce, it will not lead to the first woman president or our ideas being considered as equal to men. There are still many steps that still need to be taken before women will be considered equal.

There is still pregnancy discrimination in the workforce. The Americans With Disabilities Act demands that employers accommodate with workers with medical complications, including those that resulted from complications from a pregnancy. That does not mean that if you get pregnant, an employer has to accommodate for you.

Being pregnant is not considered a disability, but employers still fire women not because they were pregnant, but because they were doing something from the result of their pregnancy. Some women don’t get hired simply because they could possibly get pregnant. Any employer would never directly admit this as being a part of their decisions, but in the back of their minds that is what is being taken into consideration.

Pay inequality is still an issue that the women’s rights movement is fighting for. A woman receives 79 cents for every dollar earned by a man. The gender wage gap is about 21% for virtually any occupation for where there are data earnings that can be tracked. Statistics say that if we keep at this same rate of change in salaries it will take over 44 years for women to be given the same pay as men. Parading around naked will not lead to the growth of this movement, but will only inhibit it from progressing any further.

Some women equality and empowerment by earning the right to show their breasts everywhere including Instagram and in public. The movement isn’t realistic. Nudism is about desexualizing the naked body so that men and women can be around each other without sexual arousal, but it is inevitable for heterosexual men and women to get aroused by the sight of each other naked. The focus of women’s equality is being shifted and the focus to be brought back to the original phenomenon of women being equal in the workplace as well as any other presence where men are considered superior to women.

This is not to say that I don't agree with the right for women to breastfeed in public. I strongly believe that women should have the right to feed their child without being told to stop. That is a completely different campaign. I would like to make it clear that my opinions of the Free The Nipple campaign are not the same views as I have on the nature of breastfeeding.

We are taking bigger strides each year and someday women will be treated as equals. We don’t need to remove our clothes to be able to accomplish this goal.

Cover Image Credit: Women's Equality Amendment and Judicial Scrutiny

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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The Paths We Take

I can control my destiny, but not my fate.
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Have you ever wondered if life would be different in more ways than one, considering the different choices we make? Personally, I’ve always wondered what my life would be like, whether it would still be in the best shape as it is currently. Throughout the majority of my life, I have always wondered, “why do these bad things happen?” I had never really believed in a higher power, so I never had anywhere to turn to for answers. There’s also the case that everything that happens, happens for a reason. To this day, I one hundred percent, believe that.

If I hadn’t gone through the most abusive relationship of my life, I wouldn’t be where I am today. For instance, would I really be living in my own home in Albany to this day, if I hadn’t met my ex? Those two don’t seem to correlate at all, right? The main reason I moved to Albany to begin with, was for my ex.

The original plan wasn’t to move out to Albany; it was never to find someone at college and “claim” to fall in love. My original plan was to stay at home, with my dad, in the small town of Norwich, NY, and become a cop. I knew I wanted to move on to bigger and better things, but there are still many people who say the same thing…

“I need to get out of this town.”

Ironically, they haven’t left, but I did…

The original plan wasn’t to take a semester off and work for the Albany Legislature, that was just a shot in the dark. I had received an email, about a potential internship. Thinking “what the hell” I applied. I applied just to say I did it, never did I imagine I would actually be accepted. Six months later, I’m sitting in the office of Assemblyman Joseph Giglio. Little did I know at the time, this was going to be the turning point of my life. It would define my career choices, and my life in many more ways than one.

In any case, it was the conscious decision that I needed to leave my hometown and branch out to somewhere new. Would I really have met my current boyfriend, if I never made the move to begin with? Even if he did live two hours away from me. These subtle choices make me beg the bigger question, could this be the inner workings of fate?

I catch myself continuously reflecting on where my life is, and how it felt as though I was on a roller-coaster that would twist and turn in directions that I would have never guessed. I was at my lowest point right before I met the most important person in my life-Josh. He lifted me up from the lowest point and continues to do the same to this day. I wonder how my life would be currently if I hadn’t met him, or if he wasn’t as supportive and loving as he is. Where would I be?

I’m not trying to say that I “wouldn’t be here,” but it’s inevitable to question how much in my life would be different if certain things had never happened. I’m forever grateful for the people in my life and the way that fate has taken me. For all the obstacles that I had to overcome, that eventually led me to the climb out of this metaphorical hole that I found myself in. To the people that have come and gone, teaching me valuable lessons to which I have become a bigger and better person. For those bridges that were eventually mended after a big and powerful wreckage. I believe there is a reason for me to be in this world, whether it’d be on the basis of fate or the choices I make for myself.

This gives me a reason to keep going, and keep pushing forward.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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