Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Flashback: Women's group tries to ban hairy-chested men from pool
I don't know how this particular protest worked out, but I don't think it ever became a larger movement. Still I wonder, what was there about chest hair that offended these women? They didn't seem to have a problem with hairless chests -- you know, men who look like boys.
It reminded me of the story we reported last year when Britain's most popular theme park banned men from wearing the dreaded Speedos. Among the lessons to be gleaned from that little incident were the following: when women are told to cover up on airplanes (obviously because their attire will engender arousal among the male clientele), the feminists had a conniption, and the airline backed down, because the issue was framed in terms of discrimination against women. But when men are told to cover up, obviously because some women think the sight of male bulges are "gross" (not "arousing," mind you), everybody is just fine with it, no one dares scream "discrimination," and the arbiters of all things gender-related -- the cackling hens who write features articles for major dailies -- give it their blessing because they don't want to see men wear Speedos. Never mind that some men want to wear them (for reasons that are none of my business).
But let's flash back to the flashback for a moment: the women's movement to get men to cover up their chests obviously never took off. And this failure was rather strange because there were strong forces of morality at work to compel men and boys, hairy or not, to cover up. It might seem strange to us, but into the 1930s, it seems, many people considered it immoral for men and boys to walk around shirtless. In fact, some youths were arrested for baring their chests. This is an article from Pittsburgh in the mid-30s:
Posted by Archivist at Tuesday, May 04, 2010