Learning your As, Bs and Cs
Feminists trashed bras to protest against beauty pageants. They saw brassieres as symbols of oppression. These 'instruments of torture' were interpreted as symbols of enforced femininity. This is irrational because the modern brassiere was invented, developed and patented by a woman. Mary Phelps Jacob, the mother of the melons, registered a patent for the first open back brassiere in 1910.
The first brassiere as we know it. You did this to yourselves, ladies!
Ida Rosenthal (with the reluctant help of her husband – yeah right, about as reluctant as Hugh Heffner to find a new Playmate) noticed that not all lumps of love where equal. Funny that no man is an island yet each person is as deep as the ocean and just as unequal. Ida devised a way for this instrument of torture to hug and cuddle each breast with the endearment it deserved by inventing a standard for different cup sizes.
Before Ida, men and women had a largely androgynous look. Strange how androgyny always comes about when we are about to embark on one of Toffler's ages. Ida is responsible for turning women from Boyishform Flappers into Maidenhood stunners who caused as many cases of blindness by poking as they did horse cart accidents.
Even the name bra was coined by women, for women. Mary registered the name, although the word brassiere is a French word which refers to military armour designed to protect the arms. I can fathom how a set of double Ds can protect your arms in combat – not just a fancy double barrel slingshot. I can also understand how waging a full scale carpet bombing invasion could be equated with the brave deed of motherhood. I wonder if you would then be permitted to call a French soldier without a bra unarmed? No wonder they couldn't take Russia.
Burning bras to rebel against enforced femininity is as rational as burning stav churches to protest against enforced Christianity. Besides, what would a male who had been circumcised right after birth burn or trash to protest against enforced masculinity? I have news for you, bra burning tomboys: you can trash a brassiere but foreskin does NOT grow back and no amount of calamari rings is going to replace that skullcap.
But I digress, as I often do when I start thinking about voluptuous breasts. This post is actually serious. I have no problem with admitting that I am a male chauvinist pig, but I also happen to have a streak of justice in me, so I had to get this off my chest.
Getting abreast of the topic
In a recent thoughtleader entry, Charlene Smith did a post entitled I've had it with men in this country. My reaction was: "Oh, here we go. Another day, another bra burnt". After reading the article – coupled with some forum discussions on the Zapiro cartoon and how serious portrayals of rape are – I was shocked.
The way I was raised implied that a real man was a tough guy who could battle the crocodiles on the muddy banks of the Limpopo river in order to procure leather for home made undies. Sure, this is a very traditional view of masculinity, but it is not only conquering. It is also very nurturing, because bravery and valour imply honour.
An honourable Rambo or Chuck Norris would never in his life even think about forcing a women into the position of Lady Justice as depicted in the recent Zapiro cartoon. Even if she does have a mullet. This is precisely why I was shocked to learn about the dishonourable attitudes and actions of the majority of South African men.
You should read Charlene's post for her take on things, but I did some research and found some more shocking statistics on the People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA) site:
- Every 26 seconds, a woman is raped in South Africa. Guys who treat women like masturbation aids should be kicked in the nuts, by guys bigger and tougher than them.
- 85% of South African rapes are gang rapes. Dude, not even animals do that. This is beyond bloody disgusting. That is someone's mother, someone's daughter, someone's sister! It could be YOURS!
- For every 4 women, 1 is in an abusive relationship. We're not talking emotional abuse here, we're talking wearing shades and telling your friends you fell over the dog kind of abuse. That's a quarter of our ladies. This has to stop.
- Less than 2% of reported rapes are false alarms, yet out of the reported 400 rapes in 2007, only 17 (?!?!?!?!?!?!) even made it to court. Of that 17, only 1 perpetrator was convicted.
That means, of the 400 reported rapes, if 98% were legitimate, 1 out of 392 perpetrators was convicted. That's only 0,25%. And we wonder why most rapes don't get reported! Percentage wise, girls get more calories in rice cakes than the proportion of rape perpetrators getting convicted.
- In 1998, only 7% of the reported rapists were prosecuted. This, coupled with the recent rape case in which Jacob Zuma was acquitted, has seriously damaged the faith our ladies have in the system.
Not having faith in the system is alarming enough when you consider that the government is systematically disarming our citizenry and that political big shots are conveniently unlikely to get a fair trial. It is a much more grave scenario when women are left without the ability to defend themselves and the system which is in place in lieu of weapons is also inadequate.
Most rapes occur thanks to the aid of a knife. Now, to use a rock, paper, scissors analogy, knives are like paper and guns are like scissors. Knives are like rocks and guns are like paper. You could take out an 8 armed rock, paper, scissors champion and rapist with a gun.
While I know some girls who could drink me under the table and who could knock out Mike Tyson (I'd actually like to introduce Mike to them), let's face it: as far as averages go, women are the weaker sex. It is our responsibility as knuckle-dragging, beer guzzling, farting, sniffing, rugby watching Neanderthals to take care of women.
Chivalry does not get old. Don't let it die.