breasts in public

What are breasts? Those strange things above the navel and below the shoulders. All mammals have them, and for a good reason. Breasts are used to feed infant mammal offspring with the milk that they produce. Although this is typically associated with women, it is interesting to note that men, too, can lactate. Lactation can be brought on by a number of methods, including prolonged stimulation, extreme diets, and introduced hormones. Even more, the structure of the male breast and the female breast are identical, and the remnants of mammary glands exist in the male breast. In fact, the only real difference between the breasts of a male and female is that a female on average has more fatty breast tissue than a male. There are well documented medical conditions in which a males breast can grow like a females. And, depending on the stature of the person, it can be very difficult to distinguish someone's sex based on the appearance of their breasts.

Despite all of this, our modern society has chosen to exaggerate the differences between women and men, and give men an advantage. It is socially acceptable for men to walk around without wearing a shirt, but it is socially unacceptable for a woman to do the same. Why is this? It certainly hasn't always been this way. Many "less civilized" people such as Native Americans and some Africans had no problem with women exposing their breasts. But in our modern American society it is simply Taboo.

So why do feminists fight for equal rights for men and women on seemingly every issue, but fail to raise a concern for this one? While it is true that most women probably wouldn't choose to expose their breasts in public (likely only because of the social taboo associated with it), there are undoubtedly women out there who feel oppressed on this issue and wish to have their breasts liberated. I believe it should be a woman's right to decide if she wants to expose her breasts in public, just as it is a man's right. A true feminist should stand for equality on every issue, whether or not it interests them personally.Many European nations have already realized this silly stigma and have topless beaches, but it shouldn't just be confined to this. Are men forced to only reveal their nipples whenever they can see the ocean? No. Women shouldn't be either. The Canadian province of Ontario has a law allowing women to walk around shirtless, as does New York City...but what about the rest of the country and world? Why should there be this oppression anywhere?