It was a fairly tame little strappy blue number, but it caused a big commotion.
A bra designed for eight-year-old girls hit the market last week and the
media went ballistic.
My initial reaction to this underdeveloped undergarment was “they’ve
got to be kidding”. Then something started niggling at me - isn’t
this current wave of concern about fashion’s effect on child welfare
all a little bit too little too late?
What is it about a bra, that screams “sexploitation” louder
than the skimpy bikinis and halter-tops that kids have been wearing since
the 70s? Where was the moral outrage then? Let’s face it, the corporate
monster hijacked everyone’s sense of decency long ago…society
has tolerated far worse assaults on the innocence of children. This bra
controversy struck me as more than a little ironic.
It’s incredible that I have to point this out, but a bra is, ostensibly,
an item of underwear. Unlike the Viking-inspired, Gautier
number once favoured by Madonna, the garment is clearly meant to be worn
underneath clothes – ergo hidden from view.
So…where’s the beef?
The case against the bra went thus: It’s padded, forcing children
to look older (and supposedly sexier) and the older-looking child would
then be more vulnerable to pedophiles.
Superficially, these arguments seem valid, but let me play devil’s
advocate. Spokespersons for the bra assured the media that it isn’t
padded, but merely lined with felt. Personally, I think it sounds practical.
Surely a pubescent primary school child clad in today’s teeny-tiny
midriff tops would present a more demure visage wearing an opaque bra,
than she would wearing no underwear at all. Personally, those ultra-low
slung hip huggers strike me as far more inappropriate for children - I’ve
seen ten year-olds baring more flesh than Cher at the Oscars. Where was
the outcry about that?
However, it was the pedophile angle – which turned my niggle into
full-blown anger. Somewhere within that argument, is the contention that
the twisted mind of a pedophile is something that could be aggravated
by the style of underwear worn by an unsuspecting child.
It stuck me (like a cricket bat up side of the head) that this conclusion
is exactly the same as saying that a woman who dresses provocatively,
is asking to be raped – a notion that takes pride of place in the
Politically Incorrect Hall of Fame.
News flash no. 2: Pedophilia was around even in the days of corsets and
pantaloons. By citing a greater pedophilia threat as a reason for children
not to wear bras – they’re saying people cannot be held responsible
for what their sexual urges “force” them to do. It’s
playing into their sick hands.
To make matters worse, it’s become increasingly hard to differentiate
pedophilia from society’s mainstream obsession with sex and youth.
After all, Anna Kournikova and Britney Spears both attained sex goddess
status while they were still minors and the emergence13 year old “supermodels”
red flagged the fact that the powers that be in the media and fashion
industries had lost all conscience. The corporate monster wins another
round. Sexploitation has become so much a way of life, teenage sex symbols
have become the norm. To paraphrase Derryn Hinch – who’s looking
after the children?
In the 60s, the sexual revolution was able to stage a coup over the moral
majority – so why can’t the same thing happen in reverse?
I’m not saying we should return to the sexual double-standards,
stereotypes and bigotry of the 50s, but it’s becoming obvious that
by achieving our so-called freedom we enslaved ourselves in a far more
sinister way. We weren’t nearly evolved enough to handle it. Humans
lack the necessary self-respect. Times changed once before, no reason
why they can’t change again. For starters, someone brave has to
slay that corporate monster.
Got a sling-shot?