“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Men and the Female Breast

The non-lactating variety. Ogle worthy Natalie Portman.

Popping in for a jug or two

Sunday May 11, 2008
By Nicola Shepheard New Zealand Herald

It is, perhaps literally, a no-brainer. Most men like looking at naked breasts. Many women wonder why. Those in the business of making money out of mammaries are happy to exploit the mystery.

Take Jo Hanna, the 50-something female manager of a South Auckland bar which ignited a brouhaha by introducing topless waitresses on Thursday nights.

Waitresses at Jo's Place, in a suburban shopping centre, have taken off their tops since March.

Councillors have denounced the stunt as "tacky and demeaning", and inappropriate for a shopping centre.

"Excuse me," says an unrepentant Hanna, "but we are now getting naked newsreaders. What about all the pole-dancing bars in the USA? It's everywhere.

"We're not breaking the law. These girls aren't getting mauled or pawed. Okay, they're getting ogled, but nothing untoward goes on. It's just a gimmick to get patrons to come in."

And it's working: turnover has trebled.

Over at Alt TV, station managers are planning to welcome thousands of new viewers when their Naked News show starts this month.

Why, if half the population has them, are naked breasts still such a sought-after commercial commodity?

"It's primitive, instinctual, we're never going to change it," says Hanna, who adds her waitresses come in all shapes and sizes and are welcomed equally by her male clients.

"Men just appreciate being able to freely ogle the girls."

She's right, says Canterbury University social psychologist Garth Fletcher. The sex appeal of breasts has an innate, biological basis.

Fashionably full boobs can point to underlying health, and therefore fertility, in the same way a large peacock tail - while cumbersome and a target for predators (as any big-breasted woman can attest) - indicates good health.

But as your average man will tell you, a woman's well-being is not what he's thinking of when he ogles her cleavage. And anthropologists say it's the concealment that fuels the titillation - not the fact that breasts are there.

Social anthropologist Graeme Macrae from Massey University says societies where breasts are exposed in daily life do not share the Western fascination with boobs.

He says both men and women in Balinese society in the early 20th century went topless - and the erotic zone was the sarong-covered upper thigh.

"No one made a big fuss about breasts," he says. "But if you're looking for just one man's anthropological viewpoint, I think the interest comes from that line between what's being exposed and what's being concealed ... plunging necklines and cleavage are much more interesting than someone completely topless."

Macrae is not alone when he says the male fixation on boobs is "very peculiar". New Zealand's only 'braologist" - Bendon bra expert Carol Rashleigh - sees dozens of pair of breasts each week and says she has "no idea" why exposing them is still worth a lot of money.

"I can tell you we've debated that point so many times and I just don't have an answer," she says.

"Even when you tell people you work for Bendon, they're like 'ooooo' ... I've seen more boobs than you've had hot dinners and I might get a bit blase about it, but no one else seems to."

Back at Jo's Place, the punters were packed in on Thursday night. While Jo Hanna is musing about men's mother syndrome, the Venus de Milo and Edwardian pornography, the blokes are playing pool and ordering their beers from the girl with no top on.

"They're just letting their hair down with their buddies and freely ogling the girls," says Hanna.

"I just think it's such a relief for them to be able to look at a woman's breasts and not have to pretend they're not."

How it all starts. Forgive us, we are only men.
Happy Mother's Day.  


  1. And anthropologists say it's the concealment that fuels the titillation - not the fact that breasts are there.

    That's true, but moderation in all things I always say. Stay in the center lane. It is much more provocative when they are concealed in a way, yet not concealed.

  2. Most excellent breast.

    "The next constellation of imprints to be noted is that associated with the bliss of the child at the mother's breast; and here again we have a context of enduring force. The relationship of suckling to mother is one of symbiosis: though two, they constitute a unit. In fact, as far as the infant is concerned--who is still far from having conceived even the first notion of a dissociation between subject and object, inside and outside--the affective aspect of its own experience and those external stimuli to which its feelings, needs, and satisfactions correspond are exactly one. Its world, as Jean Piaget has clearly shown in his study of The Child's Conception of the World, is a 'continuum of consciousness', at once physical and psychic. Whatever impinges upon its unpracticed senses is uncritically identified with the attendant tonalities of its own interior, so that between the external and internal poles of its world there is no distinction. And this undefined, undefining experience of continuity is only emphasized by the readiness of the mother to respond to, or even to anticipate, it requirements. The whole tiny universe of this self-contained mite is 'a network of purposive movements, more or less mutually dependent', and all tending toward the good of--itself.

    But the mother cannot anticipate everything. There are moments consequently, when the universe does not correspond exactly to experienced need. Whereupon the imprints of that first terrifying shock of separation, the birth trauma, which afflicted the whole organism in its initial experience of the assault of life, are more or less forcefully reactivated. The mother is absent; the universe, absent; the bliss of the blessed infant imbibing forever the ambrosia of the madonna's body is gone forever. Melanie Kline, who has devoted particular attention to this very early chapter of our universal biography, has suggested that at such moments an impulse to tear "good body content" from the mother is immediately and simultaneiously identified by the child with the danger of its own bodily destruction. Hence, when the mother image begins to assume definition in the gradual dawn of the infantile consciousness, it is already associated not only with a sense of beatitude, but also with fantasies of danger, separation and terrible destruction.

    We all know the fairy tale of the witch who lives in a candy house that would be nice to eat....."

    from J. Campbell
    'The Imprints of Experience'
    "Primitive Mythology"

  3. But even better--

    "The state of the child in the womb is one of bliss, actionless bliss, and this state may be compared to the beatitude visualized for paradise. In the womb, the child is unaware of the alternation of night and day, or of any of the images of temporality. It should not be surprising, therefore, if the metaphors used to represent eternity suggest, to those trained in the symbolism of the infantile unconscious, retreat to the womb."

    and so, continuing...--

    "So we see three--at least three--distinct periods of growth and susceptibility to imprint as inevitable in a human biography: (1)childhood and youth, with its uncouth charms (2)maturity, with its competence and authority; and (3) wise old age, nursing its own death and gazing back, either with love or rancor, at a fading world.

    It has been the chief function of much of the mythological lore and ritual practice of our species to carry the mind, feelings, and powers of action of the individual across the critical thresholds from the two decades of infancy and youth to adulthood, and from old age to death; to supply the sign stimnuli adequate to release the life energies of the one who is no longer what he was for his new task, the new phase, in a manner appropriate to the well-being of the group. And so we find, on the one hand, as a constant factor in these 'rites of passage', the inevitable, and therefore universal requirements of the human individual at the particular junctures, and on the other hand, as a cultural variable, the historically conditioned requirements and beliefs of the local group. This gives that interesting quality of seeming to be ever the same, though ever changing, to the kaleidoscope of world mythology, which may charm our poets and artists but is a nightmare for the mind that seeks to classify. And yet, with a steady eye, even the phantasmagoria of a nightmare can be catalogued--to a degree."

    from the same chapter

    As a marketing gimmick a well revealedwellconcealed breast is a winner.

  4. Bobal, was that article published in Big 'Uns magazine?

  5. Barkeep, set me up with a nice firm double shot!
    Checked another store here on the beach for the "flower of the cane" with no luck. I guess I could call the distributor in Cali and find out who his customers are on the east coast.
    Yes, all those poor souls that were fed formula from a bottle are most likely at this time loathing their existence and preparing to vote for a Marxist.

  6. Red diaper doper baby bottle babies, all of 'em. Probably microwaved warm, too. No real bonding, lack of confidence. Looking for a substitute mommy. Pathetic.

  7. No real mythological imprint to carry 'em through, no bliss 'o the breast, no suckling symbiosis, out of tune with the attendent tonalities of their own interiors, the universe itself tending toward the good of--all the others, the enitre world a candy house guarded by a republican witch.

    Abandoned, lost, pathetic.

  8. I recently saw a YouTube video of a woman in England who still nurses her daughters aged (about) 10 or 11 and 8.

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