Originally published through Hijacked
The female body isn’t that scary. It’s just a collection of skin, fat, and muscle, with a couple of nice pink baubles in the middle to complete the picture. No big deal… right?
Well according to social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram, it seems it is something to get more than a little bit worked up about. These platforms allow topless photos of men to be posted like there’s no tomorrow, but an identical photo of a woman will be removed, no questions asked.
This glaring double standard has riled up Internet activists in the past, with the ongoing #FreeTheNipple campaign attracting supporters such as Cara Delevingne and Miley Cyrus.
Now they’ve taken it one step further with the #malenipples campaigns, in which women edit topless photos of themselves to include benign male nipples covering their “offensive” ones.
The images aim to highlight the ridiculous differences in the way female and male bodies are viewed, both by social media moderators and by society as a whole.
Everyone’s favourite guard at Orange Is the New Black‘s Litchfield Prison, Matt McGorry, has gotten behind the campaign. He shared this glorious image with his own nipples replaced by those of Miley Cyrus and Chrissy Teigen, who each had their photos taken down by Instagram.
So why is the right to post topless selfies on the internet a feminist issue?
Banning the female body perpetuates the idea that it’s a source of shame. By telling girls they need to cover up, we’re inferring that their bodies are dangerous, and that they need to be policed by the wider world. It’s an issue that spans beyond the realms of Facebook and Instagram and contributes to a pervasive norm that is as toxic as it is untrue. It says that the way a woman chooses to present her body decides her worth. It says that female sexuality needs to be hidden and shamed, while male sexuality is NBD. It says that what a woman does with her body should be policed, while male bodies are left alone.
C’mon, guys. They’re just boobs.