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Abreast of controversy

By Raymond Zhou | China Daily | Updated: 2015-12-07 07:31

Double standard

While I was in Berkeley, California, a male student suddenly decided to go to classes in his birthday suit. He said there was no campus rule prohibiting it.

He was expelled, which made local headlines.

Supporters came out in the nude to protest. The city council passed an ordinance outlawing public nudity but spelled out exceptions: One is breast-feeding, and the other is artistic performance.

It's my conjecture that those who found subway breast-feeding offensive could have subconsciously equated it with peeing in public.

Both involve the exposure of private parts, and both would be done away from prying eyes even when conducted in public spaces. (Of course, most would do it in private if they had a choice.)

But there is a key difference: A baby cannot regulate his or her food time, but a healthy adult (or kid) should be able to hold their urine until the right facility is found.

For those unable to do so, such as babies, diapers are the alternative.

Beyond the association with sex, there's the tradition that heavily pregnant women or new mothers stay indoors.

It's not privacy per se but something in our culture that's deemed "unclean" and should preferably be kept out of public sight.

It took a nude photo of Demi Moore holding her protruding belly to change public attitudes and let people know that expectant or new mothers project images of not only beauty but beatification.

The iconic photo has been imitated across the world.

At the risk of generalization, I want to express an observation about some of today's youth.

They seem to harbor a double standard when it comes to issues such as nudity.

They'd protest against the slightest perceived offense by others one minute and seek out online pornography the next without any embarrassment about their underlying hypocrisy.

When they see a breast-feeding woman, their minds instantly jump to the realm of a sex act.

Had they been in a less or more developed era, they'd probably not think this way.

But they seem caught in the shifting sands.

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