Gender Issues

This Bra Is A Symbol

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Memo to Japan, specifically Ravijour: THANKS FOR THE EXAMPLE.

So, last week, Mike Huckabee accidentally rekindled the War On Women when he suggested that suggesting that women use birth control means you think they can't "control their libidos". Which is all kinds of Puritanical fuckuppery, of course.

Coincidentally, that weekend, another story made it into my feed a bunch of times on account of it catching the eye of a few wire editors. A story that caught MY eye because it was a perfect counterpart to the Huckabee story.

Ravijour, a Japanese lingerie company, has developed the True Love Tester bra. The way it works is, a sensor in the bra detects an elevated heart rate, pretends that it's analyzing a bunch of other stuff, sends data to an app via Bluetooth, and if the app determines that you're in love, the bra unhooks, providing true love's great reward, access to nipples.

Now, obviously, this is a fucking gimmick. It's like Japan discovered Spencer's Gifts and decided to bring that spirit into the age of the app. But discount the fact that it's fucking Japan, globally renowned for its freaky attitudes towards doin' it. Discount the fact that it's a cheap shitty publicity gimmick.

Let's, instead, ask the question the True Love Tester bra actually implies. Why should a woman have to be in love to get her breasts fondled?

I mean, by all accounts and a reasonable amount of experience, a proper breast-fondling triggers nerves that fire off in the pleasure center of the brain. Or, in layman's terms, if you'll pardon the expression, feels good. Now, we all get to decide for ourselves which emotional contexts we like to have in place during physical pleasure, but there's no requirement. For any of us, not just men.

Nobody suggests, for example, that Anthony Weiner's text messaging app have a heart rate sensor check his emotional state before he sends a picture to someone. Nobody's ever built a pair of jeans with a Bluetooth zipper pull that doesn't free the one-eyed wonder worm for anything less than the man's soulmate.

It's 2013, and way too many of us think that the "right" thing for women to do is to deliberately forego enjoying themselves unless arbitrary Puritan preconditions are met. In the most extreme case, a state- and God-certified permanent bond is still considered a perfectly reasonable precondition for physical pleasure, but even a fuckwear company from the Land Of Tentacle Porn is telling us that an emotional bond is required for second goddamned base.

One of the reasons we can't gain any traction in the birth control and abortion debates is that yes, control over their own reproduction allows women to have completely recreational sex for purely physical pleasure with men they may like, but have no intention of ever seeing again, much less spending their life with. And that's a great thing. But we can't say it's a great thing, because we're still surrounded by latent misogyny, double standards, and post-sexual-revolution Moral Majority backlash. It's long past time we dumped our baggage.

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