As a woman, I can’t post pictures containing my nipples on Facebook. Facebook’s nudity policy considers male nipples acceptable to publish, but female nipples are considered against their nudity rules unless engaging in breast feeding, with direct mouth to nipple contact shown.

I can technically exist topless in the UK, but as a woman my nipples being visible is accepted only on the vague wording that I not display “intention to cause distress, alarm or outrage”, a distinction that doesn’t apply to men’s nipples.

I can’t post pictures containing my nipple to Pintrest or Instagram either, where as male users of those services can post topless pictures.

Today, I want to answer a simple question. As a trans woman, what day did my nipples begin to break rules, laws and community guidelines?

So, let’s start a ways back. This is a picture of me at age 16. At the time, I wasn’t out as transgender to myself, or to my family. Most people who saw this picture without the context of me later transitioning would agree that this picture doesn’t break facebook or instagram’s guidelines for nipple posting.

Still, when I eventually sort a gender recognition certificate, my birth certificate will be reissued to list my gender at birth as female. That would make the above nipples “female nipples”. Are those considered indecent exposure by virtue of a later altered piece of paperwork? Will the day I get my birth certificate altered be the day my nipples start to break rules? Did they always break the rules?

Let’s move forward a little to when I came out as trans in my late teens into early twenties. I was stuffing my bra with mastectomy breast forms at the time, but underneath all that I had nipples. I had not taken any form of homone replacement therapy at this time. Were my nipples breaking the rules as soon as I came out? Did they start breaking the rules when I first started living as Laura full time, but had not yet started hormones?

Was my first day of full time work as Laura the day my nipples became indecent?

Did my nipples become a problem when I started developing breast tissue in my mid twenties? If so, how much boob did it take before my nipple became an obscene nipple? Why is it that once I started growing breast tissue the breast tissue itself was fine to show, but the previously fine nipple became a problem?

My point here is that bans on the public exposure or online posting of female nipples make no real sense when examined in any kind of depth. There are so many different dividing lines one could draw regarding my nipples and their level of acceptability that the idea we need to censor female nipples is rather ridiculous.

Let’s get freedom for all kinds of nipples. Mine didn’t become obscene overnight, but the world at some point decided they were. That’s a problem.

Join the conversation! 11 Comments

  1. I decided my nipples were ‘special’ around 4 days after accepting that I was trans.
    I decided they were ‘awesome’ around 8 days after starting estrogen.

  2. “That’s a problem.”

    Maybe to your backwards prerogative. Sharing your nipples with the world isn’t important, neither is the right to on a few forms of social media.

    • Oh, fer gerd’s sake…they’re NIPPLES. Everybody knows what the fucking things look like, everybody (i’m assuming) has them, barring some interventionist surgery or accident. Who do we think we’re protecting with the wee black boxes? The children? Trust me I believe nipples are fully in their purview. If it isn’t important then there should be no problems with Laura’s nips being out to view on them thar innernets. We the both of us know there’s worse out there to see.

    • Thanks for weighing in. You really saved us from fighting a pointless battle against discrimination and idiotic double standards. What other dumb shit that only hurts society can we just ignore?

      • “Battle against discrimination.”

        Meanwhile elsewhere in the world, women are stoned to death for being raped. Naturally social media endeavours are the talking point of what’s wrong with the world and we should be fixing it as soon as possible.

    • Maybe to common sense it’s a problem.

      Posting your opinion isn’t important and neither is the right to on a few forms of social media, and yet you’re going to waste everyone’s time anyway, aren’t you?

      • You say opinion, as if my statement wasn’t objective. If you want to waste your own time getting triggered by objective truths, that’s your decision / awful emotional disposition.

    • First: The first time I felt my nipples were an ‘issue’ was when HRT started to get them puffy.

      Alright now… *setting down a soup box* Let me rant for a moment here. And read the whole bloody thing before you make an ass of yourself by accusing me of misunderstanding or misrepresenting you before you get to the bit where I address that very thing. If my dyslexic ass can take the time to write this, you have the time to read it.

      You understand that their is nothing “objectively wrong” about female nipples right? Their sensitive and can be used to arouse, but so can the mouth, the tongue, the back of the neck, feet, hands and basically any other part of the human body. So clearly their has to be some other reason why female nipples are more of an issue then male ones, besides, “Cus I said so, so its objective truth!”

      Lets use the most basic explanation… The penis, vagina and nipples can all show visible signs of arousal, thus making them sexual, thus making them a problem. I mean… Blushing is also a sign of arousal, should we all were face masks and think beards? I mean, it works for some people, but I feel like here in the west we are a bit more sexually liberated then that.

      But maybe its more directly, obviously sexual! I mean, you can blush over anything, but nipples only stiffen if aroused, right? No, even male nipples get a bit pointy when cold, as someone who has experienced both, theirs not much of a change their.

      Well… Maybe its because people see them as sexual to men and thus are indecent? No that cannot be it, because ripped dudes glistening in sun, tan skin lightly sprayed with salt water as they arise slowly from the… *cough* I mean, dudes bodies can be plenty sexy and their are lots of clothes that are considered sexy, but acceptable.

      Hmmmmmm… This is a tricky one… Oh I know! Because if their breasts are out it will drive men to- OH FUCK NO! NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE! Lets not go their because that is a fucking ocean of bullshit and terrible people! If that’s an argument someone would make, their to awful to be taken seriously.

      Okay well if all of that is not a problem then what could it be… Maybe its a long standing tradition carried down from more puritanical times where sexuality, especially women’s was repressed to the point of absurdity and we are only slowly getting to the point of realizing that their is nothing wrong with short shorts? That bikinis are not the heralds of the fall of western civilization? That maybe, JUST MAYBE we have all been way to god damn slow at ditching the outdated dogma which has had absurd levels influences over secular societies to the point that homosexuality, trans gender people and multiple other groups were ostracized and brutalized basically just because we inherited traditions from people who thought that they where doing gods work by burning ‘witches’?

      Naaaaaahhhh… It must be because of objective issues with women’s nipples just being to god damn sexy!

      Oh and to your comment about how, “Oh well their are still people in the world getting stoned for being raped, so this is not an issue worth getting worked up over.” That is such a fallacious argument! Saying that ‘someone has it worse, so we don’t need to worry about you’ is a cop out and you know it! If it wasn’t then the only things that would dictate all elections would be how much each candidate had done to help in humanitarian causes.

      When someone shot at me for being trans/Jewish, I did not think, “Well this sucks, but their are inner city kids who have to go thru similar things all the time, so I guess I should not worry about the Neo Nazi who wants to kill me.” No, because as much as I do empathize with the plight of people worse off then me, that does not mean that I don’t have legitimate problems to address! When I get dirty looks for going into the girls bathroom, I do not shrug and go to the men’s because, “I have to save my energy fighting for equal rights for women in the Mid East.” No, because while I care about what is happening their, in the here and now, their is a problem that needs addressing and I am in a position to do something about it.

      I see this argument all the time, “Oh progressives are arguing over X issue while their are REAL problems to deal with!” But you know what? Its not a zero sum game! You can work on the little, systemic issues plaguing your own life and home without taking away from others work on the larger issues. You can build a base of true equality in your own home nation to better use as a plat form to deal with the issues of others. Hell, in many ways its might be better to handle this shit first, because if we go off and say, “Okay just do what we are doing” without addressing our own BS first, we are spreading our issues, creating new systemic problems for them to tackle, though right after they put that all aside to help the next ‘more serious issue’ first, naturally.

      I mean for crying out loud, if half the people who mouthed off about how “minor” progressives issues are, practiced what they preached, would ANY of them have the time to bitch about how ‘dumb’ we are? Would even a fraction have the time to tweet about, “fake news”?

      No, because they, you, are more worried about telling other people off for being to progressive and tunnel visioned to do anything yourselves about the things you complain about us doing! Which basically means either A. Your doing less then us, since at least we are dealing with SOME issues or B. You think that fighting us IS an issue that needs to be dealt with and that we are, in some way, threatening society with our dangerously progressive attitudes?

      What, are we going to forcefully gay convert everyone if left unchecked? Have mandatory nudity added as law? OR WORST OF ALL, start *gasp* treating EVERYONE decently and as equals!?!

      Fucking hell, your right! We must be stopped before we pass laws no one is proposing or try to be nice to other people! The world is at stake!


      • “You understand that their is nothing “objectively wrong” about female nipples right?”

        Of course I understand that, and unfortunately this is as far as my investment into your post went.. I’m not backwards enough to argue something objective – that’s obviously not the case for others. All you’re doing is venting your frustrations because of a conflicting subjective agenda. The point stands, objectively this isn’t important. Arguing that with a subjective opinion just shows how ridiculous and emotionally unstable you are.

    • You say that you, “Understand” that their is nothing objectively wrong about this and that its a subjective argument. Then you say that its objectively true that your argument that its not important issue. You realize how foolish you sound, right? Like, your argument is, “Your confusing subjectivity and objectivity, where as I KNOW that my subject opinion is objective fact! And also your emotionally unstable and your face is dumb.”

      Like… Your contradicting yourself AND using personal attacks rather then trying to debate or even pick apart my arguments. Which just shows how untenable your position actually is.

      But just to be fair, because I am a fair lady, your not wrong about me being emotionally unstable. I have to take medication to deal with depression and insomnia and I have had a long standing battle with suicidal inclinations. I fully accept that I am not an objective or perfectly rational person. That does not, however, make my points any less valid or your points any more sound because my depression is not in anyway linked to my nipples, outside of the obvious dysphoria.

      I personally don’t really have a huge stake in this whole thing because even if this was not an issue, I am far to ashamed of my own body to ever go topless, but just because something has no benefit to me does not translate to it being worthless and not worth trying to fix! And no number of personal attacks is going to make me give up on trying to argue for and strive for a better and more accepting world for everyone. And neither is my ’emotional instability’ as you so tactfully brought up.

      I respect your position and think you should be able to express it, but don’t make an ass of yourself by punching down at people worse off then you.

  3. Reblogged this on Wild Pomegranates.

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