Saturday, April 2, 2011


can such a thing as this, not be censored, and be suitable for all audiences?

can such a thing as this, not be censored?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Religious "undress" codes

The usual argument for dress codes in temples is that "immodest" clothing results distracts other visitors to the temple. This argument almost laughs at itself when you take into account the undress code for men in various temples in Kerala, for example. Many Hindu religious rites, especially in South India, come with this "shirtless" undress code. I have gotten turned on by shirtless male devotees on multiple occassions. While I haven't actually visited Kerala, photographs depicting religious gatherings there catch my attention for more reasons, perhaps, than were originally intended.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Two couples and their children

Two fathers and their son

Two mothers and their daughters

Friday, February 27, 2009

Immodesty among men, gender equality, and heteronormativity

One important reason why we tolerate immodesty among men is because traditionally their bodies are not held to be attractive. And women's bodies are traditionally held to be attractive. This right away strikes at gender inequality: when it comes to sex and reproduction: women can attract men by bodily beauty (sex objects, anyone?), but men need to attract by other means (rest of what constitutes human life: money, social status and such things need to be amassed).

Recently, bodily beauty of men has opened up in the media. This is all hushed up: if you want to read up something on how there's lot of skin shown in the media these days, it's mostly female skin these writings concern. Another thing you'll notice is that people who do talk about male skin-show on the media are almost exclusively women, where as both men and (though in much lesser numbers) women write about female exposure.

We must understand all this in the context of women being traditionally supposed to keep mum on their sexual thoughts. "What a babe!" is a lot more common than "What a dude!" But this should not be taken to mean that there's no "What a dude!" going on in people's minds: that there are women out there — writing, in spite of the restrictions society places on their sexual expression, about male skin show, goes to show that male skin show does have an effect. (Thanks to the feminist movement and women's empowerment, they can now open up a little.)
Female skin show is traditionally supposed to have an effect, so we have men as well as women writing about it: women considerably less often, thanks mainly to the restriction we're talking about.

But what keeps men from writing about male skin show? They are always allowed to talk about sex, right? Wrong. And that's the third subject in the title. Heteronormativity. Men aren't supposed to talk about male skin show, since the "normal" society recognises no bodily beauty in men: if you're a man affected by male skin show to the point of talking or writing about it, you're almost surely homosexual.

Heteronormativity is perhaps another thing that makes women not write about female skin show as much as men, but because female skin show is normally believed to have an effect they still do ... It's like this: because men have traditionally had more space to talk about sex, what majority of men (who also happen to be heterosexual) think has become the traditionally accepted view. And this, obviously, recognises women's bodily beauty a lot more than men's.