topless women inside

In my local newspaper last week was a short story about a 12 year old boy not being allowed to buy The Sun (The Sun is a newspaper for people who can’t read, it sells because it has a picture of a topless woman on page 3) from a newsagent. The boy’s dad was quoted as saying something along the lines of “this is an outrage, 12 year olds know about breasts!”. In the letters section this week there are two letters regarding this article, both of which are outraged at the prospect of a 12 year old buying the sun and being exposed to a woman with no top on. The first is by a Muslim woman who seems to use the words immoral and indecent at every opportunity. She also mentioned that we needed to take a good hard look at our attitudes towards nudity if 12 year olds were aware of it, or something. She was quite seriously writing under the pretence that sexuality is something we as a society cooked up overnight to indoctrinate adolescents with, presumably for no better reason than to offend her. The second is a bit more concise but he also mentions morality.

Guys, shut the fuck up. I don’t know why they print these moronic letters. We are talking about a one-page photo of a woman with no top on. It’s not exactly scar-you-for-life material. I don’t think it’s the world’s best kept secret that nudity sometimes happens. You would have trouble hiding this fact from even the least inquisitive 12 year old. You might find it immoral and you might find it indecent, but that’s your own problem and not anyone else’s. If you find a topless woman to be so objectionable then it is you who has an unhealthy obsession with nudity and sexuality.

I hate it when people use the word ‘immoral’. It’s a word that can be used as a shortcut in an intelligent argument but it’s not a word that can be used as a substitute for an intelligent argument. The big problem we have here is that people are quick to start trying to affect the freedom of others based on what they perceive as absolute morality but is really just their own morality, which invariably has a religious basis. The first letter was almost certainly written with Muslim values in mind, and we all know their ridiculous feelings on females exposing body parts. In England we are very ‘tolerant’ of and ‘polite’ to people with religion, which is okay to some extent because you don’t want to get into thought-crime territory, but the elephant in the room is that any such belief is simply rubbish and doesn’t deserve any consideration whatsoever. There needs to be a line drawn between religious tolerance of someone simply having a belief and religious tolerance providing a shield to people trying to use their religious opinions to enforce change in others. And religious people need to understand the difference.

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