Friday, September 19, 2008

17 October 2007

Streets talk louder than politicians. Streets speak the truth, without make-up. Streets reflect what we are.

Women’s emancipation, free elections, sexual revolution, fatherless children, teenage parents, breast implants, fat feminism, large cleavage, exotic children adoption, universal vote, tattoos, piercings, same sex marriage, unisex toilets, social marijuana smoking, artificial insemination, multiculturalism and legalized swinging and the list could continue; these are only a few realities defining our proclaimed egalitarian society, where often individual rights on religious grounds weight more than secular established laws. This reality creates what we proudly call the best of all societies, the pearl of all democracies. We give definitions of freedoms and liberties within a blink of an eye and we proclaim them the sole measures of judgment for the whole world. When it comes to others, our criticism is fierce: we proclaim with arrogance that Afghani and Iranian women are not free because they wear a burka or a chador. Thus, we have invaded or intend to invade their countries to liberate them. But wearing the same traditional piece of clothing, by the same women immigrating to our world, is automatically considered “freedom” by our western broad-mind. If we allow these women to live with covered faces here, why do we make such a colossal freedom statement of this reality translated to their countries of origin? Why does it bother us there and doesn’t bother us here?
Streets tell us not only stories, but they also present us a quite accurate image of a society, mirroring its system of values, human interactions, grade of personal liberty and public freedom. When you see a teen age pregnant girl, smoking marijuana in a park, you have already received information about the society that girl lives in. When you see someone’s bra strap, underwear and buttock, well, that’s once more a very true mirror of our society and of our system of values.
Buttock cleavage is exposure of the buttocks and the cleft between them, often because of low-slung trousers. It is so frequent and popular that almost nobody notices it anymore. Nevertheless, nobody seems to be bothered. Still, when half of a buttock is exposed, it is hard to be ignored.

Ban them
I am not the only one or among the few ones to observe and criticize the liberty some women take (men also) in showing their lingerie, under the slogan “I am free to wear what I want”. I am not that sure. The underwear is indeed an important piece of clothing, dating back to the times of the loincloth, probably the first of what we call today lingerie. But do we have to make a visual statement of it?
In the 90s, hip hop world would popularize a style known as the Sag, which allowed blue jeans or shorts to droop low, exposing the stomach and the underwear, in a desperate ultimate sexual statement. At a closer look, bagging and sagging are another way to hide insecurity over their own bodies. Skinny legs are not a matter of pride for many young boys, so, these trousers are considered to project the image of muscular tough guys upon them. In reality, what they want to hide is only enhanced. Rebels? Tough guys? I am not quite sure, since they have to waddle like penguins so that they don’t fall off completely. When women wearing thong underwear expose themselves in this way, it is called a “whale tail”. The term was coined by Gavin Hamilton in 2003 when he launched a site using the description. If aesthetically this fashion is obscene and a visual catastrophe, it has also moral implications since flirting with indecent exposure is not exactly a probe of maturity and courage. Baggy pants that show boxer shorts or thongs are becoming a major concern throughout the United States. In many school districts across the United States, sagging is prohibited. Canada doesn’t subscribe to anything like this for now, since Canada is doing everything in her power to differentiate from the USA at the point of even accepting immigration rejects from our southern neighbor. In Atlanta public hearings are planned in order to take a decision that might be considered, how else than racial, since sagging originated from black youth. Many pitiful organizations defending our freedoms consider that such a law infringes upon these young people’s individual freedoms. Only that these organizations are not as vocal when it comes to defend our freedoms, of those who are not thrilled to see people using their underwear as a declaration of independency. If someone would like to parade Adam’s leaf and proclaim his freedom, well, what modern society would accept that?
What about nudity? If someone chooses to go to a concert, shopping or go to work nude what should our open-minded society do, so that individual freedom is not overlooked? What these organizations do not seem to realize is that freedom without rules and limits becomes chaos. Thus, the value of our freedoms is given by the universality of those who benefit from our rules and regulations. The Virginia General Assembly tried but failed to approve a law making the sagging style illegal in February 2005. In June 2007, the Town council of Delcambre, Louisiana passed an indecent exposure ordinance, prohibiting people wearing trousers which show their underwear. A fine of up to $500 or six months in jail for exposing underwear in public makes sure that the ordinance is enforced. Legislator Derrick Shepherd of the state of Louisiana in the USA made an attempt in 2004 to outlaw the fashion of low-rise jeans, particularly to bring a halt to the display of underwear under the pants, claiming it to be disrespectful and obscene. People spotted with their whale tail or boxers showing would be fined. The bill, HB 1703, was rejected by the Louisiana House. A similar bill was attempted in Hampton Roads, Virginia, USA, charging a fine for anyone deliberately showing their underwear. The bill was rejected in February 2005, in the name of human rights. School dress codes sometimes also banned pants of too low a rise, or visible underwear. Is it an infringement upon these pupils’ freedom? Yes, would bark some. If the cleft and the underwear are not enough to proclaim our freedoms, we have another one: the nauseating image of the muffin-top. The slang term depicts a person, usually female, whose flabby midsection spills over the waistline of his or her pants in a manner that resembles the top of a muffin spilling over its casing. Muffin-top originated as Australian slang in mid-2003, but has since become popular in other English-speaking countries. It may have been first popularized by the Australian television show Kath & Kim.
As about sitting down with legs spread wide, so that anyone can see their underwear, is quite symptomatic to many Asian women. Underwear exhibitionism found its way even to China, where the traditional mandarin gracefulness is way left behind in history. In west, women became brashly unrestrained, showing as much as possible. Mothers expose their buttocks, proud that their children can label them “cool” because they are sagging. Sagging parents? Hm, probably they are having sex in front of their own children.
In a society where everything must be sexy to have a value, exposing your body or your underclothing is consequently seen as normal. Some women are wondering what is wrong in showing a bra strap. Others simply do not understand why exposing your undergarments is considered indecent. TV shows are imposing the idea that looking like a mother is simply repulsive and a shame, suggesting all kind of revealing outfits, everything in the name of be /look sexy. Women in their late 50s-60s, desperately trying to conceal their age, humiliate themselves wearing girlish clothes. Where is the limit? Feminists have fought not to be considered toys and sex-machines; today, women are proud to show even what is less flattering, splashing a tattoo on an ankle or shoulder or piercing the last vestige of their virginity.

Ladies and gentlemen, must we demonstrate our freedoms with the cleft between our buttocks?

Posted by Madi Lussier at 1:01 PM  


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