A Facebook/Breastfeeding Controversy Followup
Last week, I was watching a program on The History Channel titled History of Sex. Just before and after each commercial break, they would have a little quote. I immediately hit pause at one of them as I just had to write this down:
Victorians used the term “limbs” as a euphemism for legs, which were thought to be so sexually exciting to a man, even a glimpse of a table leg could incite him to sexual frenzy. Table skirts were invented to prevent any unnatural unions between men and furniture.
I immediately thought of something I had written in my The Facebook/Breastfeeding Controversy: A Dad’s Perspective post:
Society seems to dictate that the breast should be hidden away (even in instances of breastfeeding) because it is a sexual object. This is a self-fulfilling statement, however. It is mainly a sexual object *BECAUSE* it is hidden away. Go back a century or two to when women wouldn’t be seen outside showing any ankle and ask people of that time why they thought a bared female ankle shouldn’t be seen. I guarantee that the response would have been that the female ankle is sexually alluring and thus should be hidden away. When ankles became common to see, legs became the alluring object. When legs revealed themselves, the belly gained prominence. As each body part showed up more and more in public life, it lost being seen solely as a sexual lure. If women were to commonly walk around topless, the breast would lose much (if not all) of it’s role as a sexual lure. Yes, there would be an increase in teenaged boys drooling on street corners in the short term, but after awhile, society would move on.
Here was some historical proof of my theory. Back during the Victorian era, people thought that men couldn’t handle the mere sight of a female leg. In fact, female legs were thought to be such a strong sexual turn-on that a table’s leg would place a man into a state of “sexual frenzy” merely due to the passing resemblance they have to a female’s leg. Today, however, you can see women’s legs everywhere from business offices to the beach. From malls to markets. These women aren’t leaving a trail of frenzied men in their wake. Society has moved on.
Yes, the female leg is still seen by men today as a sexual attractant, but it is no longer “forbidden fruit.” You don’t see men’s magazines named “Thigh” showing bare legs. Men simply do not go into an uncontrollable frenzy on the mere sight of a bare leg. If women walked around commonly without any tops on, the female breast would become another “woman’s leg.” It would lose its “forbidden fruit” aspect. While it would remain a sexual attractant to some degree, it wouldn’t be the sort of thing that makes men drool like idiots.