In Charlottesville, Boobies Gain (Limited) Acceptance

All kinds of chitter-chatter has been erupting in Charlottesville in reaction to the Hook publishing an article* on successful UVa alumni that posed for Playboy while in college. The article itself is not the issue, but some object the tiny but fully nude photos that accompany it (so that should tell you, but I’ll say it anyway, pictures may be NSFW).  First brought to my attention via cvillenews (who actually measured that the boobs are no bigger than 1cm, really, who does that?!), CBS-19 reported on some prudish reactions.  “It’s just horrendous for me to see it.” says one female UVa student.  A glance at the comment thread on any of those sites puts more prudishness on display:

I will now call “The Hook”…. “The Hooker”. You should be ashamed of your irresponsible act and I will guarantee you have lost many readers including myself over your stupidity. Those who say they enjoy this obviously don’t have responsibilities to children.

(Eh, there seem to be many more attracted than repelled.)

And there will be people that find this appauling and have a huge issue with you printing something that children can pick up in a grocery store.

(Always with the children! Do they not know what nudity is?)

SHAME ON YOU! I should have a choice whether or not I want to see such a display!

(Uh, don’t read it, duh.)

This display of women does nothing but objectify them and does nothing to show the true beauty of womankind.

(So sexuality can’t be beautiful?)

Plus how can I keep my son from seeing this on-line. Keep him away from the computer forever? Thanks for making my job as a parent harder!

(I feel really bad for your son. He’s not seeing boobies til he’s 30! Or he probably has already…)

To be fair, most of the comments are reasonable, humorous, or unoffended but suspicious that this is just a ploy to get readers.  So kudos to Charlottesville readers for being open-minded!  Of course, an “angry, vocal minority”, as pointed out by another commenter, can spoil the situation for everyone, as some stores have pulled the Hook from their newsstands this week in protest.  What a shame for the majority of their customers!

I think it is great to see that the editors of the Hook think that a little boobage is no big deal. As I commented on their page, wouldn’t it be nice if children weren’t taught that nudity and sexuality were harmful and shameful?  Could it help boost self-esteem?  Would it help stem the tide of STIs and unplanned pregnancies?  Can’t we act like rational, responsible adults when it comes to sexuality?

The comment that really made me stop in my tracks was on the cvillenews.com site:

Well this doesn’t surprise me. UVA went to hell in a handbasket years ago. Oh, where is Jerry Falwell when you need him???

Sadly, this does not seem to be a Poe. I could go into the many reasons why this is an unreasonable statement. I could simply ask this fellow to clarify what he means by “hell in a handbasket” or what Falwell would be able to contribute to this case?  But all I can think is

Sometimes, I just can’t be nice.

*Whoops! Link fixed.

12 comments for “In Charlottesville, Boobies Gain (Limited) Acceptance

  1. Rich Mulvey
    September 18, 2009 at 13:24

    I can just picture it: A bunch of people hunched over, magnifying glasses in hand, muttering imprecations to themselves about the downfall of society as we know it.

  2. September 18, 2009 at 15:12

    Perhaps it’s just a desire to have Falwell’s help in removing UVa from the handbasket, thus leaving more room in the handbasket for copies of Playboy?

  3. September 18, 2009 at 23:26

    who actually measured that the boobs are no bigger than 1cm, really, who does that?!

    I had the radical idea of moving the ruler 24″ across my desk to juxtapose it with The Hook, also on my desk.

    Call me crazy. :)

    • September 21, 2009 at 12:31

      No way, keep it all in metric! :-)

  4. September 19, 2009 at 02:15

    OMG THOSE ARE BEWBS!

    Nicole, how dare you. I could have a CHILD who might read your BLOG and click a LINK and scroll to the BOTTOM.

    I don’t, of course, but my dog was so offended that he fell asleep.

  5. September 19, 2009 at 02:55

    Okay, please, please, please forgive my arrogance. I have to speak like one of those self-righteous Canadians for a second. I hate those people, and so do you….but something needs to be said….

    I’ll never cease to be utterly amazed at the American aversion to boobies. In 1993 (I think…memory is a bit shoddy), the Government of Ontario effectively made boobies de-criminalized, and a woman can no longer get charged for indecent exposure if she goes topless in public. Very few women actually do remove their tops, but still…..boobies are legal in Ontario! W00t! Free at last, Free at last!

    Then I see how how much crap American women have to deal with when it comes to breasts. Are 33% of Americans suffering from a breast-phobia? Or are they just clinically douche-tarded??? American Women can be asked to leave a plane, lose their job, or even GO TO FUCKING JAIL for not having breasts covered!

    “Excuse me, Ma’am? Yeah, your breasts are showing.”

    “Oh, that’s so interesting because your Puritan roots are showing….asshole!”

    I’ll think about this, and countless other similar articles the next time I hear some armchair pseudo-intellectual prattle-on about how feminism is dead, and why the hell won’t feminists just shut the hell up?

    Again…..sorry for being ‘that’ kind of Canadian. I don’t like talking like that, but this is one issue that I can safely say that we have a modicum of cultural superiority.

    Ewww…

    Did I just say that?

    Fuck it. I’m not deleting it.

    American Men and Women: Stop acting like a bare nipple is an “exposure”

    I’ll stop now.

    • September 21, 2009 at 12:34

      “Oh, that’s so interesting because your Puritan roots are showing….asshole!”

      I’m so using that.

      And I agree with you, and I’m not Canadian, so don’t worry!

    • September 25, 2009 at 19:27

      I’ll provide the necessary French Canadian perspective on this: Boobs have been legal in Quebec since the end of the Duplessis era, and were made compulsory after the October Crisis.

      But I like that it was Bob Rae who decriminalized boobies. OF COURSE it was Bob Rae.

  6. September 19, 2009 at 08:57

    Some Canadian Skeptic: Hush. Show us your boobs.

    • September 21, 2009 at 12:34

      But think of the puppies!

  7. Jesse
    September 23, 2009 at 03:29

    What do you say about this? Really, I have no idea what to say.

    Someone recently said “You don’t deal with it. Does a village situate itself to work with the village idiot? No, you go around them”. That’s a paraphrase, but you get the drift.

  8. November 1, 2009 at 12:50

    I do believe boobs have been legal in NY for quite awhile now, and according to this site also in Maine, coastal CA, HI, OH, and TX, and a number of individual cities, including Washington DC. All in all, I’d estimate about 1/3 of the female US population is currently technically free to go topless in their hometown.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *