Women – Raise Awareness Not Your Shirt

double standard I rolled my eyes this morning as I saw one of the women I follow on Twitter (@pauloflaherty)  had changed their avatar to a picture of their boobs.

This apparent decision to proudly display her cleavage was prompted by a blog called “Boobie Wednesday” to raise awareness about breast cancer amongst women.

Now, don’t get me here. I’m not prudish. I love boobs as much as the next man. I also think that anything which raises awareness of breast cancer, or any kind of cancer, is a good thing and I applaud her effort to raise awareness of something which can be devastating to women.

Yet, for the following reasons, I do find myself rolling my eyes when I see women take actions like this:

1: Talk to my eyes not to my tits.

I’m sick and tired of reading about and listening to how women are objectified in the workplace and on the internet.

Yet here women are proudly displaying their cleavage instead of their face and are probably left wondering as to why they suddenly have a whole bunch of teen guys and creepy geeks following them, direct messaging them and looking for pictures.

Of course, the first guy that comments about how one of these womens boobs look, will likely be branded a pervert and blocked, shunned  or reported.

Not to mention all the women who walked past their husbands computer and just started a fight with him for following what now looks like a bunch of spam porn accounts (not to mention people blocking you because they now think you are one of those accounts).

2. Porn and the enterprising pervert.

You can be sure that if I can think of it in order to write this paragraph, then somebody somewhere is looking at campaigns like this in order to make money from the one handed web surfing brigade.

There are legions of people out there who want to look at boobs and will get a kick from the idea that women don’t know these pictures of their boobs are being looked at.

Well, by updating your avatar, you’ve likely just provided some enterprising teen then means to start a site with pictures of your face and your tits as gleaned from Twitter.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that the little avatar can’t show much either. All you have to do is click onto someone’s profile and 95% of the time you’ll find a much larger image. Enough for the budding porn merchant to work with anyway.

3: Testicle Tuesday and Prostate Friday.

What if this were men? What if blokes wanted to flash a testicle to raise awareness of testicular cancer? Or how about bending over and showing our butt holes to raise awareness of prostate cancer?

Do you think we’d be allowed? Do you think we’d be allowed even to show our naked asses without going as far as the butt hole?

I doubt it. Mommy bloggers and activists everywhere would be up in arms!  – “What about the children you filthy perverted men. How dare you show off your ass in a place where kids might look?” Not that it’s all right to wave your cleavage around in much the same area.

Hey, we were all born naked, right?

4. Respect.

As I said, as a bloke, I like boobs, but who ever said that I wanted to see yours?

Who said that my fiancé wanted to see your boobs, or even that your female friends wanted to see them. If you’re on my stream the chances are I know you. Chances are that I’ve met you, talked to you and respect you.

I don’t need or want your tits shoved in my face. It lowers you in my eyes. It reinforces the attitude of looking at women as just sex objects.

If I’m following you online, it’s because you bring something to the conversation. It’s because you stand out for your mind, your attitude, your thoughts. It’s the same if I’m friends with you in real life. I’m not friends with you because of your cleavage or because you flaunt it in your avatar.

I liked and respected you when your tits stayed under your shirt. I appreciate your support of things like breast cancer awareness, but there are ways to do it without putting your knockers in my face.

I don’t see why people, especially women, need to show off their body parts in order to raise awareness of something like breast cancer. Men don’t do it for testicular cancer (maybe we should) and it certainly wouldn’t be accepted.

Lets keep the tits and ass where it belongs. In the bedroom, at the beach, in porn (if that’s your thing) and in the instructional videos for showing you how to do examinations of yourself. We don’t need it on Twitter.

Raise awareness, not your shirt – Use a #hashtag and DM your friends.

Comments

  1. says

    I feel the same way, but on top of that, I feel like “raising awareness,” at least for breast cancer, has been beat to death, and to be honest (with the exception (to some extent) of the annual Boobiethon, which raises actual cash), it seems kind of more like an attention grabbing move on the woman’s part instead of an altruistic “awareness raising” gesture.

  2. morningwoody.wordpress says

    You know what Paul…this post really isn’t about how you don’t appriciate your follower changing her avatar (how dare she). After all, it’s a picture of her shirt…wait…its her shirt, not her boobs. Correct me if I’m wrong sir but I am positive boobs are that color. Women wear more revealing things to church for Gods sake. This post is also not about respect or modesty or your personal values, you did say you’re a bloke who likes boobs, yes?.
    It’s not even about who is making money in all of this or how #boobiewednesday may or may not help fight breast cancer. So let me tell you what it is about.
    This post clearly shows that your girlfriend (sorry, I know she makes you call her your fiancé…and that drives you nuts doesn’t it) invades your personal space, stalks your Twitter feed, and ultimately runs your life for you. She saw this attractive womans chest and flipped, and your spineless ass caved to her jealous wrath. In fact, since your girlfriend is likely the one reading this to you, why do either if you give a shit what someone chooses to do on Twitter??Twitter is ENTERTAINMENT. This is not your kids teacher. You are not forced to follow her. You have a choice, to unfollow, or to make an ass of yourself. And obviously your girlfriend wanted you to make an ass out of yourself. Do you walk out of a movie with Salma Hayek because she showed a little chest in a movie that doesn’t call for such sexuality? Do you tell your co-workers that you don’t come to work to see low cut shirts? No, you don’t, because your girlfriend can’t control those things. But she sure has a nice grip on your social life (which is clearly over btw, she owns you and you know it).
    You are a spineless wuss and owe YOUR follower and the several hundred with current breast cancer who support this group, an appology. And I would advise moving the wedding date out unless you want to be ruled by your new masters thumb for life. I hope both you and your girl (that one drives her nuts. I know she has a name, but I don’t care what it is) have the courage to keep this comment up. And please come visit my website, you two will love it!!

    • says

      First off, you do not know me, or my fiance. So back off.

      Also, I’m seriously amazed that you can have the balls to make a comment like this while remaining anonymous. Takes a lot of conviction to anonymously complain and insult other people. Lot of courage there dude, seriously. Try putting your real name on it and see where you stand.

      And, after visiting your blog, which I had to go to your twitter stream to find because you obviously failed to put that in properly on your comment, I can only surmise that the only reason you want women to show their boobs on #boobiewednesday is because you want to jack off to them.

      After all, why else would you have a no-name, anonymous blog where you post mostly pictures of naked women.

      Your interest in #boobiewednesday is quite clear and you posting here does more to justify some of the points in my post than I could ever have articulated.

      Thank you.

    • says

      *Yawn*

      When you quit over-compensating for your tiny penis with stupid shock tactics to try to pull attention to your own site, I’ll be more than happy to debate this with you.

  3. morningwoody.wordpress says

    And what do you know about the women who you were bashing here Paul? Do you know their intent? Do you know and speak to the hundreds of women who appriciate the support that boobieweb gives them?
    All you really have to do is ensure to me that you do walk out of movies there gratuitous clevage is shown when it doesn’t need to be. Do that, admit you are not a hypocrit and I will both appologize and back off.
    As for me and my site, I couldn’t give two shits what you think of me. Do I objectify women? yep. Do I lust them? Yep. Do I masurbate to them…omg!…can i say it?!… yep. But I have fun and they have fun. So what do you care??? It sort of sounds like you didnt like my assumptions of you and your girlfriend. In case you couldnt see it, I simply judged you as you did those women. An eye for an eye slave boy. Better learn to take what you dish out.

    • says

      You know nothing about me. You obviously haven’t read the post or you wouldn’t be asking those questions.

      And as for walking out of a cinema – No I do not, because I go in their expecting it. When I go to the beach I expect it etc..

      As I said in the post. A time and a place for everything, and peoples tits randomly appearing in my twitter stream in neither the time or the place.

      And one more thing… I didn’t make assumptions about the women. I simply spoke from my personal experience.

      People who may or may not get offended choose to do so based on their own proclivities, insecurities, feelings and what they choose to read in to what I have said.

      So, quit trolling mate. It died when you claimed that the women you masturbate to and don’t know that you’re doing it, have fun.

  4. morningwoody.wordpress says

    I’ll stop bothering you, no prob. But your blog is public and I voiced my opinion. One problem though…where are the tits you are talking about??? I only see a shirt. It certainly sounds like you are judging and picking on this group and their efforts. If that was not your intent, I would encourage you to appologize.
    And be honest…didn’t it burn you when Sara chimed in there?? This was just me and you having a convo…and there she was, looking right over your shoulder. Called it! ;-)
    I’m out brotha, good luck with Sara.

    • says

      Yes my blog is public, which is why your comments were allowed up.

      And with regards to it being public, you made your comment about Sara, so she had every right to reply. So you called and proved nothing.

      And I will not apologize to anyone, for saying that there are better ways to raise awareness of things than showing off your body.

      What are they going to do when nobody cares about tits and ass anymore. The more you show it the less shocking it becomes and the less awareness it raises…

      I also think that anything which raises awareness of breast cancer, or any kind of cancer, is a good thing and I applaud her effort to raise awareness of something which can be devastating to women.

      Yet, for the following reasons, I do find myself rolling my eyes when I see women take actions like this:

    • says

      For the record, HE told ME about your comment. Hard to ‘stand over ones shoulder’ from 4,000 miles away.

      Every comment you make shows how little you know, except for maybe about jerking off. Clearly you are an expert.

  5. A Person With Boobies says

    Might as well add my two cents. I have had mixed feelings in the past regarding the show-your-boobs-to-raise-awareness tactic this group and others have taken. On the one hand, women really should not *have* to flash their breasts in order to raise awareness about a very serious health threat. The fact that women are dying from this disease every day should be reason enough.

    On the other hand, I do wonder why a woman posting a picture of her (covered) breasts on Twitter might “lower” her in your eyes. You say you value these women as whole people. I question if that is true, given that one picture of a body part has the power to change your opinion of these women. That seems rather unfair, given that humans are multi-dimensional and cannot ever be summed up by one action. Or are women either just whores or Madonnas to you, and nothing in-between? You realize that that narrow view of women is demeaning in itself, right? Might be worth checking your underlying assumptions about the fairer sex. As a side note: I wouldn’t judge you or think less of you if you decided to post a picture of your balls or your butthole to raise awareness, or even just for the heck of it. I tend to think of men as more than just body parts, but that’s just me.

    But back to the main point of your post. I find it disingenious of you to state that you are fine with people doing whatever it takes to raise awareness, then slamming them for doing whatever it takes. You can’t have it both ways. Your argument that accidentally seeing a picture of someone’s breasts *on the Internet* was out of context/jarring, is also a bit hard to believe. I am a heterosexual female, and I expect to see boobs online everywhere, even when I am not actively looking for them. C’mon…you are an adult man, and you know what the Internet is and is not, Twitter included.

    It’s not like these women are flashing their breasts at your kids in the grocery store. But wait, that happens on the magazine rack in the grocery store, doesn’t it? Those slutty models, with their cleavage on display for all to see! We should prevent the display of those magazines, maybe, so as not to accidentally offend anyone. Or perhaps we should just ask women to cover up completely….I think a guy accidentally got a peek down my shirt the other day when I was leaning over to pick something up. I am sure he wasn’t expecting that view of my breasts…we weren’t at the beach, after all….maybe he was upset by it? I’d better wear a turtleneck at all times from now on. Or a burka. Yes, that’s a great idea – that way women like me won’t have to deal with the decision-making process re: when and where and how to show parts of our own bodies.

    Thanks be to god that we have men like you in the world to keep us crazy women in line. Sorry, all of that was a bit too Angry Feminist of me wasn’t it? Now quit writing sexist posts like this an donate some money to breast cancer research.

    • says

      Or are women either just whores or Madonnas to you, and nothing in-between?

      I never said or implied that. I just said that I didn’t want to see her tits. I liked her before I knew what her tits looked like and I don’t need to see them or want to see them.

      As intelligent people, I would think they could find a way to promote their cause rather than randomly flashing parts of their anatomy. Let’s see.. say maybe DM all their followers and asking them to donate. Start an email campaign. Do a fun run etc… Why go straight for the titillation (pun intended) to raise awareness…

      The magazine rack is not a valid point because when I am in the store it does not have my concentrated attention. And, as a part of life, I expect those things to be there. When I open my twitter stream I don NOT expect to see boobs in my stream. Usually that means spam or porn, and I certainly don’t want to be looking at the boobs of people I know.

      If I want that, I’ll have them over for a party and ask them to lift their shirt. Thanks.

      And please stop your bullshit of “maybe I should wear a burka” … There is a time and a place for everything, and I have nothing against boobs.

      But my post serves to explicitly show the problems that are and can be associated with using the body as a promotion tool just for the sake of it.

      And I’m sure the sentiments of one previous commenter show, to some degree, the extent to which that can be taken.

      Twitter is a place for conversation. Use it to converse. Want to flash your tits, go where everybody else does it, myspace, 4chan etc…

      And no, I did not write a sexist post, because if you had followed today’s events or did any kind of research you’d know that I’ve previously posted about male nudity on twitter too when I wrote about Rob Corddry’s avatar.

      And finally, no, one incident like this does not demean people in my eyes. Continued incidents is another story. If it did, I would not still be following and would not have written this post.

      Sit back, chill out and reread my post dispassionately. It’s not sexism, it’s about intelligence, it’s about opinion, it’s about equal rites and not leaving yourself open to abuse.

      You may have a right to show your tits, but I also have the rite not to have them thrust in my face consciously in a place where I go for conversation.

      I’m sorry, but just because it’s the internet does not mean that others are not entitled to their opinion and that etiquette doesn’t exist.

      If I want porn, or tits, or low brow humor, I’ll visit 4chan thanks… I don’t expect to find it amongst the intelligent people I follow and respect on twitter.

  6. Suzanne says

    Nice words. I know I am having trouble resisting the urge to post pics of my boobs on Twitter. Part of me wants those sexy comments as ego boosters. But I know that is empty and not what the real me wants. Those “compliments” are like cotton candy- pretty, fluffy,& sweet but with no real nutritional value. I want to be above that. Plus putting my face up is an exercise for me in self confidence. I want to be friends with people that can look “into” that pic & see something that piques their interest.
    On the other hand, pics of boobs do get people’s attention so they are more likely to look and then find the message for cancer awareness (if that’s what they’re for). I think your idea of pics of testicles & assholes will definitely get attention. Not the most attractive pics, but then neither is cancer.

    • says

      I changed my avatar to that of my ass today for a few hours to prove the point. People did not like it (and I have been told I’ve got a nice ass).

      People did not like my ass just randomly appearing in their stream. Guess they are just as entitled to their opinion ;)

  7. honey_is_evil says

    I fully respect your opinion as I would expect you to do mine, but my question is this – You say we’re creating a double standard by displaying our cleavage and then getting mad for having it noticed. Can show me an example of this? Not an everyday sort of example, but one directly relating to #boobiewed?
    I would also suggest you check out this post -http://boobiewednesday.blogspot.com/2010/01/little-clarification.html
    because I don’t think you’ve been fully informed.
    Finally, here’s a point I have to make. Would have noticed #boobiewed if you had not first noticed cleavage? I think the majority of people would answer no.

    • says

      Actually, and honestly no. I didn’t notice #boobiewed at all. It was just the tits and they didn’t really bring anything to #boobiewed or even make me ask what #boobiewed was.

      It was only my curiosity as a blogger that led to that discovery.

      To be honest, a lot more success would have been had with a personal DM, a few public messages sent throughout the day to ensure she hit everyone on her stream, or.. even more to the point.. take Saturday off, do a fun run. Get your twitter peeps to donate… You’ll raise a hell of a lot more awareness and actual cash than you will by getting your tits, or blokes, testicles out.

      Want to know my opinion on raising awareness and online activism? Probably not, but it’s more than fitting in this case.

  8. says

    I saw the #boobiewed posts and immediately asked what is with the boobs in my TL. I was informed that it was #boobiewed and looked up the info. I have very recently had someone I considered to be my second mom, and who called me her daughter and told people my son was her grandson, pass away from Breast Cancer this past summer. It was a horrible, heart wrenching thing to watch as her ENTIRE body shut down from this cancer. With that said. I do not think that raising awareness is something that is just done to raise money for the cause. It is done to INFORM people abot the cancer. Since it is Breast Cancer we are talking about why would showing some breast not be the perfect IN YOUR FACE way to raise some awareness. This is a cancer than can make a women not only lose her breasts but her LIFE. And it is very rarely something that women hear about till they are 35+ years old. When it has been found that the sooner they find it and treat it the better than chance of survival is. I am proud to display my cleaveage on #boobiewed and I have never heard one remark that I didn’t like. And what I expected to hear I haven’t. The most was nice rack. But expected it and worse. But I’m willing to hear them if I can make one person aware of Breast Cancer. Which by the way I have been able to do each week that I have done this. And honestly if you can’t over look someone showin their chest for a cause then you should grow up, barring that just UNFOLLOW them. No one is making for follow them.

    • says

      As my #Boobiewed sisters have already commented, Its abaout awareness and education. Before we started this Most men had no clue even THEY could get breast cancer and to do a self breast exam monthly. Did you know it? Did your Fiancee know you could find a lump tomorrow and have to try to survive Breast cancer as a man? Well we do and Educating the masses is what Boobie Wednesday is about. You see posters of little girls holding babies to educate about safe sex and protection. You see photos of dead animals for PETA. Why not tasteful pictures of mens and womens breast for breast cancer education? Educate yourself before you come off your soap box.
      Veronica, Boobie Wednesday Co-founder.

  9. says

    @ Veronica, Boobie Wednesday Co-founder.

    I will assume that your comment was to me even though you left it as a reply to someone else.

    Lets lets get started shall we:

    Why not tasteful pictures of mens and womens breast for breast cancer education?

    Why not pictures of mens testicles for testicular cancer? Or pictures of mens butt holes for prostate cancer? Yeah you know why, and I don’t even need to address it here because if you’d actually read my post and the comment thread you’d know where I stand on that and wouldn’t even have bothered to ask.

    Or do I need to change my twitter avatar to my ass again, in order to prove my point, AGAIN, about how unwanted such things are when they appear uninvited in other peoples , stream, as I did when all this went down the first time?

    Educate yourself before you come off your soap box.

    Seriously, fuck you! How wonderful it must be to be so arrogant to be able to divine what it is I am, or am not aware of, educated about, or have encountered in my life or my friends and families lives.

    That particular level of arrogance is bordering on challenging my ego and that’s an amazing feat in it’s own right.

    Why don’t you get off of your fucking soap box and use your brain rather than your tits to create attention and awareness.

    Try thinking out of the box for a change instead of trying to be like every other run of the mill, inspiration less, advertising campaign.

    Sex may “sell”, but very rarely does it sell as an awareness raiser. It raises other things, like teenage boys heart rates, but not awareness, because that my dear Veronica, has been done to death.

    If you want to continue using to tits to raise awareness, more power too you, just don’t go complaining the next time some bloke is staring at them and not listening to a word you are saying… After all you wanted him to look…

    • says

      Gemini Ace, seriously, grow up! I will not be talked down to by people who are obviously unable to think outside of the box and feel the need to be condescending.

      If the comment author had spent any actual time reading my post instead of just spouting off, they may have engaged in an intelligent conversation, but like you, they chose instead to repeat what has already been said and answered.

      Much like an idiot child, the response to all this is “because we can” with little or no effort to explain why they don’t actually try something original. That reflects poorly. Either they are too lazy to be original or are incapable of it.

    • says

      Wow, I think that was really uncalled for.

      I count Veronica as a friend of mine on Twitter, she has done nothing but good for the cause of breast cancer awareness and really didn’t deserve that kind of response. Whatever, it’s your blog.

      I see a couple of what I perceive to be errors in your logic.

      First of all, Breasts ≠ Genitals. Men and women both have breasts. Men participate in #boobiewed with an av switch as well. You ask “What if it were men?” It is men too, breast cancer isn’t a “women’s” disease, it is a human disease. We don’t see #testicletuesday for the same reason we don’t see #vaginalfriday. There are limits, I just don’t believe that breasts (men’s or women’s) should be it.

      Anyone who feels that strongly about not “objectifying” women probably aren’t putting up cleavage shots for #boobiewed in the first place. From what I’ve seen, Veronica and the other women I see participating in it take any random compliments in stride. Yes there are those that would be rather piggish about it, but does that require the rest of us to have to configure everything to account for the lowest common denominator? Because some losers may abuse what’s there, should we deny it for everybody? How is that good?

      Finally, you throw out the pornographer scare. Please. There is enough hard-core nudity/sex in a freakin’ google image search to keep any easily-overstimulated pervert happy for all their days. I hardly doubt anyone is going to get their rocks off over a cropped image of a pair of clothed breasts.

      Now yes, I will agree that sometimes it may not be “appropriate.” (despite what I think about how silly it is.) Some women have gone as far as to use pictures of their fully exposed breasts and yeah, that could get me into trouble. Am I going to tell them they can’t do that? That would be rather (1) hypocritical of me (as my #BW av is me shirtless) and (2) pointless, as everyone is free to do what they want. I have 2 choices, I can either unfollow them or filter them out of my stream.

      I don’t have a problem with that.

    • says

      @ MadMan459 Finally a structured and intelligent comment on this thread today. Thanks :)

      Is “fuck you” so offensive, so shocking that it can’t be used. Your friend was being beyond condescending in her commentary. She preached rather than talked.

      People who read this blog don’t come here to be treated with kids gloves. I call things how I see it and if the occasional f-bomb is too much to handle then folks might want to pay attention to the blogs they are commenting on. It says very clearly in the tag-line of this blog “Brain to Mouth Filter Removed Since 1978″. In other words I don’t sugar coat what I say.

      Your friend made assumptions and statements which displayed exactly what kind of a “fuck you” she was giving me at the end of her post. I’m not afraid to say it and tell you why.

      This entire thread has gotten lost and taken over by #boobiewed and talk of cancer, when that was never the focus of my post. In reality, #boobiewed is just one example of more lame ass online activism by people who are either unwilling or too lazy to participate in real activism.

      Seriously, how much money does #boobiewed raise? When was the last time it’s participants went out on the streets and raised actual cash, that could be used in actual cancer research or to fund the treatment of people who cannot avail of proper treatment.

      No, the quick, easy, and frankly lazy route is to rely on titillation to attempt to bring attention to a cause, any cause, and frankly as the past few years have passed it’s been amazing how many causes have somehow or another required women to show off their tits.

      When the boobquake campaign started it got perhaps, hundreds of thousands of women and men following it but achieved nothing. It certainly said nothing about the women it was supposed to be supporting except that they were willing to get their tits out at the drop of a hat.

      Oddly enough their was another campaign, BrainQuake, that started in response to the same outcry -

      Celebrating the creativity, the genius and the accomplishments of women everywhere!

      Sadly that only generated 525 FB fans to date.

      What does that tell me? That women think their tits are more important than their brains? Or that they were unable to get behind a campaign that might require actual thought?

      Tits are wonderful things, but they are not the answer to everything. My ass is not the answer to everything.

      Using your brains however, thinking outside the box – That SOLVES problems!

  10. says

    First thing, if you don’t like it, that’s what the unfollow option is for.

    Second, sex is used to sell everything. Why not use it to bring attention to a good cause. I applaud the women that do this because they’ve found a way to have a voice on Twitter. Sure, you may think it’s exploitative, but that’s your opinion. If you don’t like it, see the first statement I made.

    Comparing cleavage to an ass or testicle shot is not the same thing, just so you know. Bad argument on your part. And, the women that bitch about you looking at her tits and not her face are not the women that take part in boobiewed. Simple as that.

    • says

      Seriously did you read the post, or the comments thread, or did you just come here to ask the exact same questions that have been asked and answered many times?

      You have a brain, use it. I have answered and addressed all of your points above.

    • says

      I have read what I need to read. You’ve stated your opinion. I see no reason why you continue to argue your points. They’re flimsy at best.

      Do yourself a favor and unfollow the “offending” ladies. Then you can live your life tit free. I’m sure that will make the women of the world happy as well.

    • says

      I have read what I need to read.

      Thanks for pointing out what I suspected based on your previous comment. Must be great to be able to know what my opinion is without reading all of it.

      Do yourself a favor and instead of coming here making poor attempts at insults, engage your brain. Do a little research. Read a book. Get outside, get some exercise, experience other cultures, live a little. Think!

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