Boobs are absurd, no-one knows quite why they exist. My favourite theory is the flat face theory by anthropologist Gillian Bentley. Breasts became necessary as our faces got flatter, in order to prevent suffocation as our flatter faces breastfed. Although I am also fond of Henri de Mondeville's thoughts on breast placement. The father of French surgery wrote to King Philippe le Bel of France in the 14th century: "The reasons why the breasts of women are on the chest, whereas other animals more often have them elsewhere, are of three kinds. First, the chest is a noble, notable and chaste place and thus they can be decently shown. Secondly, warmed by the heart, they return their warmth to it so that this organ strengthens itself. The third reason applies only to big breasts which, by covering the chest, warm, cover and strengthen the stomach". (Quick book recommendation if you want to take your knowledge of breasts to dinner party connoisseur level read Breasts: a Natural and Unnatural History by Florence Williams).
But boobs are more than just Page 3 fodder, or evolution's answer to non-suffocatey breastfeeding. We have been under-estimating the noble tit. They aren't simply a means of making the male members (snort) of BBC Radio 4 Today's presenting team a little awkward when discussing Girl Guides and boobies in a FAMILY NEWSPAPER. Did you know that boobs are excellent at political discourse and theology? Not just that, they can save women.
Breasts, or boobs or tits are the weapon of choice used by FEMEN. At first I thought FEMEN's use of nudity was up there with Slut Walk. Something to promote women's ownership of their bodies and rights and something I was not sure I wanted to be an active part in personally. It's too close in my mind to the early 00's idea of pole dancing and so on somehow being empowering. It's not nuanced enough for me.
Speaking on the Today programme yesterday the leader of FEMEN's German branch Alexandra Shevchenko told John Humphrys: âWe are protesting against patriarchy, and three of its manifestations - sexual exploitation, religion and dictatorship.â The trouble is these manifestations are not in themselves sweeping statements. Even to call them institutions is to miss the point.
If only we had known that at the mere jiggle of a boob entire regimes could crumble.
FEMEN freedom for women to not join or adhere to religions they disapprove of. Which is all of them. Hence their ability to think the topless jihad was a good idea.
Discussing Putin's reaction to the FEMEN protest "You can see the reaction of security and police. It's just a naked breast. It's just something you can see in advertisements, but it's really scared them." If only we had known that at the mere jiggle of a boob entire regimes could crumble.
The misfortune of FEMEN is that they have in fact fallen for the trick of patriarchy. Specifically white, middle class male patriarchy. That they can be saviours and they don't have answers but the answer. Whether or not we asked the question.