Monday, August 02, 2004

AA 1475, You are clear for landing...check that

Don't think we are a sexually repressed society? Check this out. A couple returning home from a Costa Rican vacation was ejected from an American Airlines flight because the man was wearing a T-shirt depicting a bare breast and refused to remove it.

Come on people. No one is going to "stumble" because some tourist has a shirt on with a bare breast. Why don't we kick young women off planes who hardly have any clothing on at all?

Reminds me of our Attorney General spending tax dollars to hide the exposed breast on the "Spirit of Justice" staute.

Is this the kind of repressed - i.e. dangerously on edge - society we want to live in?


At 11:42 AM, Blogger umm-no said...

Isn't the man's wearing a shirt with a bare breast on it -- especially when it offends others -- selfish? Don't such items exploit women? I would think you'd be outraged at the selfishness and exploitation rather than the decency of the authorities.

At 1:42 PM, Blogger Lost In NY said...

Who knows what went through the man's head: perhaps he thought he was standing up for everyone's First Amendment rights and that he was acting very SELFLESSLY be fighting for what he believed in, whether he missed a flight or not?

Or, you're right, if his intention was to offend people, that was a very SELFISH thing to do, and potentially very inconsiderate of others.

The point isn't to defend the man wearing the shirt (who might just be acting selfish), the point is to call into question just what kind of society we live in - are we to endorse cracking down on "offensive" t-shirts while teenage girls walk around half naked, making guys twice their age gawk?

At 2:07 PM, Blogger umm-no said...

Don't women have the right to express themselves too? If men can't control themselves isn't that there own problem?

Also, what if I agree that women shouldn't be allowed to dress so provacatively. How is that relevant to the question of whether the guy should be able to wear the shirt. In other words, why should two wrongs make a right?

At 2:36 PM, Blogger Lost In NY said...

I'm not saying women shouldn't be allowed to dress provacatively, and I'm not saying that this guy should be allowed to wear this shirt. I'm just using that as an example to point out just how sexually repressed we Americans are trained to be. And why does the Social Gospel care?

We care because we believe that sexual repression, like economic inequality, engenders dangerous human behavior and weakness. One example: the problems of molestation within the Catholic church. We believe this wouldn't be such a problem if Catholic priests were allowed to marry.

How does it connect to girls wearing minimal clothing? Because if it really was about indecency, wouldn't you hear a lot more outrage about what girls wear? It's a ton more common, and a ton more likely to cause harm. What makes us want to repress a bare breast while being okay with bare legs, stomach, etc??

Maybe the fashion industry?

At 8:56 PM, Blogger umm-no said...

I'm confused. If you don't think it is about indecency, then what is it about? We don't care about bare legs because showing legs simply isn't as indecent as showing breasts.

Your argument about "sexual repression" and dangerous behavior sounds like an argument for free love. If it isn't, then where is the stopping point? I'd suggest: some decency, which includes not bearing breasts.

At 7:49 AM, Blogger umm-no said...

You clearly advocate economic aesceticism on this site. Why is it that economic aesceticism is o.k. but sexual aesceticism is "dangerous?" If sin is selfishness, then how can self-denial ever be a bad thing?

At 10:00 AM, Blogger Lost In NY said...

I'm sure you'll agree that we human beings aren't perfect, and that we all are selfish beyond our control?

We can't stop being selfish. If we did, we would sacrifice every meal in front of us to someone else who needed it more - dying a martyr's death. Jesus was the embodiment of such sacrifice.

So, we here at the Social Gospel Today, recognizing our own human fallibility, desire to "play with the hand we are dealt," "to "dance with who brung ya," and make the world a better place within our human limitations. We are all selfish. But SELFLESSNESS IS NOT SELF-DENIAL. Helping others isn't self denial, in fact, we believe that it is in fact the ultimate in self-realization, the ultimate way to harness God's true spirit within us.

Teaching that sex is something to be cherished when with someone you love and are committed to and that the human body isn't some taboo but a beautiful display of God's creation that shouldn't be stigmatized doesn't necessarily have to involve self-denial or "free love."

At 10:05 AM, Blogger Lost In NY said...

A historical note. Our society draws a line saying that it is indecent to show a bare breast, but not every society has done this. When my grandmother was a kid, it was indecent to expose any of your leg. And I'm sure we have all seen the National Geographic pictures of half-naked women in native tribes, not thinking twice about the fact that they don't have much clothing on.

So what does the fact that indecency is culturally relative tell us?

At 1:59 PM, Blogger Lost In NY said...

My apologies for this discussion taking so many twists and turns and going in about 10 directions at once. This is what a lack of sleep will bring you. Stick with us though.


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