Friday, October 23, 2009

The Politics of Bras

As someone growing up in the 60s and 70s I knew the bra had political messages. Women burned their bras literally and figuratively as a sign of their liberation. The bra has returned as a political , social, and religious issue. In Somalia women are being beaten in the streets for wearing bras. Reuters reports:

Residents said gunmen had been rounding up any woman seen with a firm bust and then had them publicly whipped by masked men. The women were then told to remove their bras and shake their breasts.

I immediately speculated on what type of man would do this in the name of religious and civil law. Men are also being whipped in the streets for shaving their beards, even if they are young men not yet able to grow a full beard.

Instead of bras discarded as a symbol of freedom their removal is now a sign of oppression.

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