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  • http://www.skepticink.com/incredulous Edward Clint

    This cartoon confuses me. Is it juxtaposing urban vs. rural (suggested by “city” and “countryside”) or western vs. small scale? In the latter, we should expect there to be different cultural standards (to say nothing of the differences in ecology, climate, and material goods). If it is the former comparison, then the use of a photo of a Himba woman is hardly appropriate.

    • http://sabiduriaheretica.blogspot.com Ylmer

      Good, Edward, good question. Thanks a lot.

      First, as David Osorio said in previous entries, these cartoons are translations of the original images, in Spanish. Due the fact I’m a beginner in translation, I can make some mistakes.

      Sure: the mistake is in terms of words. I wanted to show the comparison between urban (i.e., Kemper SG) and rural (i.e., the Himba woman). Mea culpa for being confused between the “city” and the “countryside”.

      Second, see the cartoon again. Nudity is more “acceptable” if it comes from “wild” places; in an urban context, nudity is just exhibitionism, a sexual-male-chauvinist imposition.

      Of course, the cartoon is focused on female nudity.

      • http://www.skepticink.com/incredulous Edward Clint

        Thank you for clarifying, Ylmer. The use of city/countryside is not correct here, though it’s an understandable error in translation for a non-primary English speaker.

        If I understand you right, you are critiquing the western attitude toward female nudity as it differs between its own citizens and people from geographically and culturally distant places such as Namibia (where the Himba live). Which is to say, the seeming self-contradiction of cultural relativism.

        • http://sabiduriaheretica.blogspot.com Ylmer

          “If I understand you right, you are critiquing the western attitude toward female nudity as it differs between its own citizens and people from geographically and culturally distant places such as Namibia (where the Himba live). Which is to say, the seeming self-contradiction of cultural relativism.”

          Right. You have understood well. That’s exactly what I criticize.

  • http://skepticink.com/backgroundprobability/ Damion Reinhardt

    Asimov once penned a brief dialogue between two key characters on the topic of bare skin and sexual taboos. It started out with a discussion of differences between cultures, but then moved on to the differences within a given culture in different social contexts.

    “But that’s what I mean by ‘natural.’ Anything you make forbidden gains sexual attractiveness. Would you be particularly interested in women’s breasts if you lived in a society in which they were displayed at all times?”

    You can read the rest at the link given above, if you are interested. The point of the anecdote, I think, is that we readily adapt to different socio-sexual mores even while moving around within our own culture. What passes as acceptable at the beach would not pass at the wedding chapel, generally speaking.

    Of course, there is more to this than cultural norms. When it comes to the right to bare breasts, I have to support the work of Moira Johnston and others of her ilk who at fighting for legal gender equality.

    • http://de-avanzada.blogspot.com/ Ðavid A. Osorio S

      I guess I have some reading to do (@YlmerAranda:disqus might want to read these as well). Thanks a lot :)

      Happy New Year!