Sunday, June 14, 2015 by Skyler Stanford
Free the what? Yes, the Free the Nipple campaign is a 20th century so-called feminist movement that supports women’s right to show their breasts in public and is against censorship that prohibits the posting of topless selfies on social media. 100 Saratoga students were surveyed on questions concerning this campaign, and while there was support for the cause, it was widely agreed that the ‘Free the Nipple’ campaign was not the most important topic on hand.
80% of students said that they would support the campaign (88% of all of the females, 72% of all of the males). “Everyone’s seen boobs,” says Lindsey McGinnis, class of 2017, who was one of the females that was for the campaign.
Many arguments for the campaign from girls were like this one: it simply wouldn’t be that big of a deal in the sense that it wouldn’t impact their lives personally because they wouldn’t be the ones walking around naked. Many of the females interviewed simply felt like women and people in general should be allowed to do and wear what they want. However, when it came down to the rationale of the campaign 53% of both male and female students agreed that the Free the Nipple campaign isn’t a worthwhile feminist cause, meaning that this campaign and its goals would not bring women more respect and equality.
Campaigns like this one blur the true meaning of feminism. True feminists understand that women are already sexualized every day, made into object and trophies. Someone who really wants equal rights for women would be against this campaign because they themselves know that a woman walking around without a top on will not be respected. The Free the Nipple campaign has it all wrong. They seem to misunderstand that women who walk around topless can and will be discriminated against. What they really should be advocating for is social change, or an end to slut shaming that claims women who choose to wear short skirts or crop tops should be thought of as whores or asking for attention. Instead they dwell in ignorance.
This campaign itself claims to be preaching body positivity and equality, as it is socially acceptable for men to walk around topless and not women. A man’s chest and a woman’s chest are not the same. A women’s breasts are essentially the mammary glands which are the glands that produce milk that is made to provide a child with the fundamental nutrients for growth in the first years of life. Therefore the breasts are reproductive/sexual organs and as a society we have all agreed that sexual organs should be kept covered.
The last question on the survey was multiple choice. It asked what topic deserves more attention, the options were: equal wages/workplace stigma, body positivity, domestic violence, sex trafficking, and rape culture. 52% of males and 48% of females said that domestic violence deserved more attention while 54% of females and 18% of males said that rape culture deserved more attention. “Topics like those are pushed aside; unfortunately it’s happening right now and it’s never brought to people’s attention,” says Julia Orr class of 2017.
These topics might have stood out because the introduction of clubs within Saratoga High School that are against relationship violence such as the SAVY Club (Students against Domestic Violence among youth) and also news about domestic violence on larger platforms such as the NFL. Danny Bonsangue class of 2017 says that “Sex trafficking and rape happens but domestic violence happens more often and we can do more to prevent domestic violence from happening…”
Domestic violence and rape are more logical to tackle as opposed to the international industry of sex trafficking. Those topics are ‘closer to home’ per se, where we can do things in the community to bring awareness and prevention.
What it really comes down to is one’s point of view and beliefs on whether he or she can support a cause like this one. Talking about gender equality and serious social problems allow for more conversations on feminism and other major social problems. It is important to discuss these in order for people to share ideas and thoughts on how they can be brought to more people’s attention and eventually stopped. Whether one is for or against the ‘Free the Nipple’ campaign most will agree that there are many other gender related problems that need to be further examined.