If you don’t live in the Washington, D.C./Baltimore area, you may have missed the Oh-So slanderous headlines from the past three weeks.
Emergency vote in Ocean City, Maryland: You can’t go topless here.
I get it. It’s absolutely terrible that a woman would have the audacity to expose her breasts in public like a man does. If God had wanted it that way, he wouldn’t have put fig leaves over Eve’s nipples. But the media sees it differently. It’s a great-selling headline for a story that somehow needs to be published over and over and over again. As the old newspaper adage goes, if it bleeds, it reads. Or in this case, if it has an areola, it sells. Somewhere this morning, there’s an Ocean City councilman watching the news and wondering “Geez, didn’t we vote on this already, like two-weeks-ago?”
You can’t help, as an American male, but feel a little bit perverted to even bring-up the subject of female human beings going topless in public. Our nation, as we now know it, was established for the most part by the Puritans for God’s sake. Sexuality was OK with the Puritans, so long as it was confined to the bedroom of a man and woman after holy matrimony. Anything more than that was suppressed. The Puritans on Wikipedia
Growing-up as an American boy, boobs were so restricted as a forbidden fruit that we obsessed over them simply because they were so unobtainable. When our classmates came of age as young women, we reacted the way any sexually repressed young man would behave. Snapping our young friend’s training bras and pulling at any exposed bra straps. Years ago, to help a young man better understand this growing phenomenon, there were magazines with pictures of fully developed breasts to be found in a father’s bedroom closet or in the old work shed at the top of the hill. Surfing today’s internet, you can’t help but accidentally see an exposed breast from time to time. But not at the beach while bathing.
During a Jamaican vacation, my wife-to-be, my repressed Puritan values, and myself visited a nude beach one day. It was my values’ idea. For research sake. There were several memorable lessons learned that day.
- Hollywood movie starlets didn’t frequent this beach.
- Naturism is apparently very popular in the retirement community demographic.
- The wife-to-be became totally nude disturbingly fast.
- But the biggest eye-opener of the day was the dozen or so European folks sitting just up the beach from us.
Amongst the group were both women and men, both young and old, speaking both English and French. They wore beachwear ranging from fully dressed, some topless, to several completely nude. They read that morning’s newspaper, made plans for dinner that night, and casually enjoyed everyday chit-chat. And the only person in the vicinity who found this scene memorably odd was me and my upbringing.
I had an earlier wife-to-be (sounds more cordial than my usual future-ex-wife-to-be description) who had been a foreign exchange student when she was sixteen-years-old. In Amsterdam of all places. At dinnertime, the host family would offer her beer or wine to drink with her meal. She could partake or not. It was no big deal. She didn’t have to ask an older sibling to buy her a bottle. She didn’t replace vodka stolen from the family’s stash with water so the adults wouldn’t notice. White wine is served with fish. A beer is refreshing on a hot summer afternoon. It was just a normal part of life.
The point of that non-boobed paragraph? If there were 40,000 topless Pamela Andersons lounging on the Ocean City beach, no one would care or even notice because everyone’s seen hers so many times before. If one topless photo of an ex-Disney actress is hacked from her cell phone, then every young male in America is doing a Google search for a peek at the forbidden.
I’ve seen my god-daughter’s Mother feeding her hungry child in the most possibly natural way. But not in a public place or else she would’ve been required to lawfully cover-up. On the other end of the spectrum, I could drive a shorter distance than the one to Ocean City, pay for the cover charge at a bar along with a $7 cocktail, and converse with a completely naked female stranger. Lustfully legal.
Thank goodness the newspapers and evening news broadcasts have finally put my mind at ease (it took three weeks) that Ocean City has come to its senses and banned grown women from sunning while topless near a beach. The world is a safer place.