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Summary of Baring it all: Is It about Pride or Degrading

The article, Baring it all: Is It about Pride or Degrading by Baltimore Sun, talks about how women go around pulling off their tops in front of crowds. Some are doing it in a celebratory mood after winning in sports, while others for drawing attention from the men during infields who demand to see them topless as they spray beer on them raising them shoulder high. The article asks the question whether going topless in front of large crowds is degrading, or something to be proud of. The article sites several remarks from various people, who are specialists in varied fields such as women studies, sociologists, women movement and sexual behaviors.

When interviewed, Jamie Morris says she does it for publicity, citing that it is stupid and fun, but it is what men want. Drew Barrymore has done it too, in a late night TV show in front of the camera, while Brandi Chastain, the famous soccer player, raised attention by removing her top, revealing her bra after winning the world in front of the spectator-filled stadium. The women’s rugby team of Ohio State University has done the same by posing for a photo topless in front of the Lincoln Memorial chanting that it is ‘girl power’. Many people are responding in mixed reactions, with some calling it, “brazen, drunken act of women’s liberation. Others claim it is pure degradation,” (Baltimore Sun, 2000).

Sex and gender specialists are having a different view concerning these women, with Judy Beris saying that these women are relapsing back when women were considered sexual objects by doing this. She further says that this is a way of defining women from a perspective of men. Rita Simon, another specialists specializing in women movement said that women feel powerful and free being able to pick up their skirts and blouses. Peter Fagan, on the other hand, says that freedom and power for women comes from within, and not through responding to demands of other people such as these women are doing, saying it is what men want.

On the other hand, some mental health specialists are thinking it is a moral holiday, with Richard Brown saying that it is just a celebration of being a youth, as well as a deviant behavior permitted in festivities. Fred Berlin adds that women are in a position to draw exaggerated attention without being offensive. They think that this is just another of the deviant behaviors without much repercussions except annoyance to the people around who may not be interested, “Private booths,” (Baltimore Sun, 2000).

In most festivals, men are clad in t-shirts with all kinds of signs and demanding women to show off their breasts while they spray them with beer when they are lifted up for all to see. Even weather is not stopping them form showing off their breasts. One of the women, who is black, says she is doing it for racial equality, citing that white women are doing all over, while her boyfriend says he is happy with her. Morris, the teenage girl says that she would not mind telling her parents about it considering everybody already knows, and that they are going to be proud of her. The women are saying it is for their self-esteem and vanity to show off their breasts. They say that it is giving them self-confidence, since the men shout at them, making them feel wanted, making them sure of themselves, which is what they want most.

Work cited

Baltimore Sun. Baring It All: Is It about Pride or Degradation? Baltimore Sun. 30 may, 2000. Print.

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