The difference between men’s and women’s bodies is handled in different ways throughout the world. In some places, women walk around naked as well as men, with the sole intention behind their bodies being procreation.
In many European countries, bodies are considered sexual, and are used as such within advertisements and commercials. Seeing topless women and nearly naked men is a common thing to people internationally.
Here in the U.S., there is a very clear-cut image of what is appropriate and what is not when it comes to gender.
Women are expected to cover their breasts, and both sexes are expected to cover up genitalia, though men’s chests are commonly exposed.
We live in a day and age where the racy advertisements for us don’t go much farther than the Victoria Secret ad’s one may see.
This brings about the rising “body image movement” which promotes itself on the basis of “targeting real beauty from the inside out.”
But this was all taken a step further on Feb. 2, when a group of body freedom activists protested the year anniversary of the nudity ban in San Francisco.
A number of people were arrested in their attempt to desexualize the woman’s body and level the playing field.
Men covered their nipples while women exposed theirs; men covered their genitalia with socks while women uncovered theirs and disguised it with strap on dildo’s to promote a fair body image.
The thought of women attempting to desexualize their bodies to me is only doing one thing, and that is losing femininity that they may not be able to get back.
These women are bearing it all and want to be desexualized. I find this offensive not only to myself but to other women as well.
My mother faced breast cancer at the end of last year, upon receiving a double mastectomy. The only thing she attempted to do was hold onto her sexuality in a time when it was being taken from her.
“The most frightening thing about having breast cancer is losing my sexuality,” she said.
How does someone justify desexualizing the female body? Especially when more than 296,000 women are challenged with maintaining their sexuality and femininity every year as a result of breast cancer.
Perhaps the biggest way women feel desexualized is through mastectomies, where they are faced with the choice of either losing what marks them as women or suffering an ailment that cannot be countered without such measures.
I think a more appropriate way to ask these protestors if they truly want the female body to be desexualized would be to present them with the question of if they would be willing to have their breasts removed, like so many women have against their will.
I wish my mother luck as she goes into her second stage of reconstructive surgery, where she will once again attempt to cling to what makes her a woman and what is left of her femininity.
Reach the columnist at Lauren.Klenda@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @laurenklenda