In the Newds

Exotic dancers last week in Ohio staged a protest against New Beginnings Ministry by holding a topless rally outside the church’s doors. They held signs with slogans such as “Be curious, not judgmental.” This protest was in response to the church members picketing the Foxhole North, a strip club in nearby New Castle. Since there are no laws in Ohio prohibiting the exposure of bare breasts, the demonstration didn’t attract law enforcement but instead captured the attention of the media and a few curious onlookers. After church services, parishioners were shielded from the shock of topless women and ushered out the back door to the rear parking lot.

protest11

The protest did little to garner meaningful support for either side of the confrontation, yet somehow, at the height of the protest, both sides claimed to have won. The church’s pastor noted the fact that the strippers would resort to this behavior was evidence that the church’s efforts to harass the strip club were working.  The strippers probably noted the number of people who had come to stand with them as proof of their own success.

At first glance, it would seem the strippers may have misinterpreted the motives of their supporters who probably were more intent on stealing a look at naked breasts than showing actual support for the strip club’s cause.

The church, it would seem, clearly had the upper hand in the ongoing clash. Patrons of Foxhole North had been shamed home by the church’s picketers to the point where business must have suffered (otherwise there would have been no point for the topless counter protest).  Conversely, parishioners of the church could not be shamed by the topless protest. This is the beauty (and the scary thing) of organized religion. You always have the moral high ground no matter how distasteful your practices may seem to others. But isn’t there something supremely distasteful by blatantly infringing on a person’s religious views? The topless protest most likely only emboldened and strengthened the faith of the people inside.

How then is it possible for the Foxhole North to claim victory?

On second glance, the topless protesters may have a point. The goal of the protest was never to stop people from attending New Beginnings Ministry. The goal of the protest was to bring attention to the obvious. Breasts are fascinating.[1] Bare them in public and you instantly become newsworthy. In London, feminists protested the rigidity of sharia law by staging a nude rally, although it’s unclear if onlookers were able perceive anything beyond the nipple. A megaphone on a busy street corner is no match for the draw of a bare breast. Today, August 24, is Go Topless Day, where women are encouraged to strive for equality with men in the right to bare an unclothed chest. Woman all over the world are encouraged to go topless, and men parading with them have the opportunity to wear bikinis (and to get a front row view of bare breasts). Some of these rallies have had protesters holding signs with messages like, “You’re going to hell,” but did anyone really notice them? Maybe if they went topless…

In most of these rallies, it’s hard to get beyond the bare breasts to the real issue.[2] The Ohio protest was different. Now, on third glance, it would appear the protesters achieved exactly what they wanted. In their case, the breasts didn’t detract from a greater message of religious dogma or equal rights. The issue here was the breast. It didn’t matter if the crowd of media and curious citizens supported the Foxhole North or the church. What mattered is that there were a lot of curious people. What mattered is that they reminded us that given the chance, men will position themselves to gain a view of the blessed nipple. It’s human nature, which although at odds with our religious prohibitions, is biological reality. It reminded people that if they want a place to look at the bare breast without feeling guilty that they’re shamefully ignoring the substance beyond the breast, they have a home at Foxhole North.

Final Score[3]

Foxhole North                        2

New Beginnings Ministry        1

 

 

[1] For example, the design of the smooth, golden arches of McDonald’s was no accident, although the original artists would claim to reference the maternal, nurturing aspect of female breasts rather than their sexual allure as the underlying motive behind the design.

[2] Few probably know that Go Topless Day has its roots in the Raelien movement which believes that aliens came to our planet and designed human DNA and that Go Topless Day was intended to be an opportunity to celebrate the artistry of aliens rather than be ashamed of it. Now, the movement supposedly espouses equal rights.

[3] This isn’t a score of who ultimately is right or wrong, but rather, who had the upper hand in the protest.


 

The opinions expressed in this essay are solely those of DF Salvador and do not necessarily reflect the views of dfsalvador.com.

6 thoughts on “In the Newds

  1. “…men will position themselves to gain a view of the blessed nipple. It’s human nature, which although at odds with our religious prohibitions, is biological reality.”

    Supposedly not. It appears, from what I’ve read, it is cultural, not biological, reality, and that, in large sections of Africa, at least pre-Westernization, the breast (and nipple) was not sexualized to the same extent. A man would not consider, for example, placing his mouth to it, thinking this would make him unmanly–like an infant.

    Poking around, I was able to find one citation quickly, although I don’t know how reliable it is:
    “Breasts were not a sex symbol to them…” (“Exploring Black Sexuality”, p. 12, by Robert Staples–a book on sexual practices in pre-colonial Africa)

    • You’re right. I thought if I threw out a fancy word like “biological”, that it would make my argument more believable and help justify my final score.

      The idea of the breast being a sexual symbol does seem rather arbitrary. I’ve often wondered what it would be like if shortly after birth, we began covering up our pinky fingers. We’d have these cute little pinky caps that only come off behind closed doors with our most intimate lovers. Seeing and touching the pinky would be a cultural taboo that would tempt us and drive us crazy. We’d have these dainty handshakes where the pinky would flare out so that there wouldn’t be any incidental contact between those delicate little fingers, but of course we’d find these clever ways to make contact. We’d also have these perverted bars with these hand puppet shows, and at the climax of the performance the uncovered pinky would slip out of a secret hole, mesmerizing the ogling audience. The young men in the front row would be like, “Dude, I saw her pinky!” “No, man, I that’s way too big to be a pinky. That’s got to be her ring finger.” “No one can put their ring finger in that position. That was a pinky!” “Maybe. But it’s fake then. She must have had pinky implants.”

      And then some rogue, pop music icon would do a risqué, live show where she (or he) “accidentally” reveals the pinky to millions of live viewers, causing the censors to go crazy.

      So many possibilities.

      Thank you for your comment.

  2. DF, I really liked this post, except I’m not sure I understood how the final score was tallied. Thanks for the informative piece. And, I really liked the pictures.

    • Thank you for your comment. The final score was based on who won the most respect on each of the three glances. It was very scientific although my biological argument has been debunked. I’m glad you liked the picture and I’m sorry if the breasts were blotted out. If I would have shown bare breasts, surely this would have been the most popular and newsworthy post of the day, however, I was unable to find any pictures of bare breasts in this vast and tangled interweb. Perhaps some exist in some dark and secret corner of the web.

      • Are there any pinky bars in San Antonio? I personally have no interest, but I have a friend that is researching that kind of thing.

  3. What? No nested replies to replies?

    Had to return to say enjoyed your pinkie reply quite a bit, and also that it dovetailed nicely with a similar thought I had when a teen:

    “Why clap hands to applaud?” Seemed arbitrary. Why not, for example, rapidly open and close our mouths, clacking our teeth? (Like fast-motion “Ack! Ack!” Martians from “Mars Attacks”)

    That would leave our pinkie fingers free for other things.

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