Man Boobs

[davidhasselhoff.jpg]  title=It’s hard to argue with this guy’s logic. Then again, St. Anselm’s ontological argument for the existence of God sounds good at first, too. That is, until you really pick it apart. So I leave it to my compitent readers. What’s wrong with this argument?

“I usually don’t send out pure opinion pieces, but let it be said: There is not one person anywhere who can give you a good reason why it’s OK to show a man’s chest on TV, but not a woman’s chest. You can ask over 100 people why — trust me, I have — and not get a real answer. It’s just a silly superstition that some people came up with, a bunch of others went along with it, and now we’re stuck with it. Have you ever heard a real reason?”


“This is different from other issues, like abortion, affirmative action, or the death penalty — I have opinions on all of those, and probably so do you, but there are two sides to each issue, and I can at least see where the other side is coming from. But I’ve never heard the other side of the boob issue.”

“A good sign of a widespread belief that has no supporting logic is that if you ask people why they believe it, they always pass the buck on to someone else. ‘Our society has decided…’ ‘The community feels that…’ ‘Judges have ruled that…’ — except with that last one, if you listen to what judges say, they pass the buck too, saying ‘According to contemporary community standards…’ What’s missing is someone standing up and saying ‘I, yes *ME* *PERSONALLY*, I believe that seeing a mammary gland is harmful, and here’s why.’

“To people who say that inciting any male lust is bad, I tell them I grew up in Denmark (although I’m American) and there you could see bare breasts in public advertisements, on the covers of supermarket tabloids, and on the beach, and nobody cared. And, the sex crime rate is much lower there. It’s not obvious that nudity even incites much ‘lust’ once you’re used to it anyway — men live in nudist colonies surrounded by naked women and don’t get turned on. (It’s the visitors who are easy to spot, because they aren’t used to it and it makes them stick out, so to speak.)”

Read the rest here and let me know what you think.

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About Funky Dung

Who is Funky Dung? 29-year-old grad student in Intelligent Systems (A.I.) at the University of Pittsburgh. I consider myself to be politically moderate and independent and somewhere between a traditional and neo-traditional Catholic. I was raised Lutheran, spent a number of years as an agnostic, and joined the Catholic Church at the 2000 Easter Vigil. Why Funky Dung? I haven't been asked this question nearly as many times as you or I might expect. Funky Dung is a reference to an obscure Pink Floyd song. On the album Atom Heart Mother, there is a track called Atom Heart Mother Suite. It's broken up into movements, like a symphony, and one of the movements is called Funky Dung. I picked that nickname a long time ago (while I was still in high school I think), shortly after getting an internet connection for the first time. To me it means "cool/neat/groovy/spiffy stuff/crap/shiznit", as in "That's some cool stuff, dude!" Whence Ales Rarus? I used to enjoy making people guess what this means, but I've decided to relent and make it known to all. Ales Rarus is a Latin play on words. "Avis rarus" means "a rare bird" and carries similar meaning to "an odd fellow". "Ales" is another Latin word for bird that carries connotations of omens, signs of the times, and/or augery. If you want to get technical, both "avis" and "ales" are feminine (requiring "rara", but they can be made masculine in poetry (which tends to breaks lots of rules). I decided I'd rather have a masculine name in Latin. ;) Yeah, I'm a nerd. So what? :-P Wherefore blog? It is my intention to "teach in order to lead others to faith" by being always "on the lookout for occasions of announcing Christ by word, either to unbelievers . . . or to the faithful" through the "use of the communications media". I also act knowing that I "have the right and even at times a duty to manifest to the sacred pastors [my] opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church, and [I] have a right to make [my] opinion known to the other Christian faithful, with due regard to the integrity of faith and morals and reverence toward [my and their] pastors, and with consideration for the common good and the dignity of persons." (adapted from CCC 904-907) Statement of Faith I have been baptized and confirmed in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I, therefore, renounce Satan; I renounce all his works; I renounce all his allurements. I hold and profess all that is contained in the Apostles' Creed, the Niceno- Constantinopolitan Creed, and the Athanasian Creed. Having been buried with Christ unto death and raised up with him unto a new life, I promise to live no longer for myself or for that world which is the enemy of God but for him who died for me and rose again, serving God, my heavenly Father, faithfully and unto death in the holy Catholic Church. I am obedient to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. That is, I promote and defend authentic Catholic Teaching and Faith in union with Christ and His Church and in union with the Holy Father, the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of St. Peter. Thanks be unto Thee, O my God, for all Thy infinite goodness, and, especially, for the love Thou hast shown unto me at my Confirmation. I Give Thee thanks that Thou didst then send down Thy Holy Spirit unto my soul with all His gifts and graces. May He take full possession of me for ever. May His divine unction cause my face to shine. May His heavenly wisdom reign in my heart. May His understanding enlighten my darkness. May His counsel guide me. May His knowledge instruct me. May His piety make me fervent. May His divine fear keep me from all evil. Drive from my soul, O Lord, all that may defile it. Give me grace to be Thy faithful soldier, that having fought the good fight of faith, I may be brought to the crown of everlasting life, through the merits of Thy dearly beloved Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen. Behind the Curtain: an Interview With Funky Dung (Thursday, March 03, 2005) I try to avoid most memes that make their way 'round the blogosphere (We really do need a better name, don't we?), but some are worth participating in. Take for instance the "interview game" that's the talk o' the 'sphere. I think it's a great way to get to know the people in neighborhood. Who are the people in your neighborhood? In your neighborhod? In your neigh-bor-hoo-ood...*smack* Sorry, Sesame Street flashback. Anyhow, I saw Jeff "Curt Jester" Miller's answers and figured since he's a regular reader of mine he'd be a good interviewer. Without further ado, here are my answers to his questions. 1. Being that your pseudonym Funky Dung was chosen from a Pink Floyd track on Atom Heart Mother, what is you favorite Pink Floyd song and why? Wow. That's a tuffy. It's hard to pick out a single favorite. Pink Floyd isn't really a band known for singles. They mostly did album rock and my appreciation of them is mostly of a gestalt nature. If I had to pick one, though, it'd be "Comfortably Numb". I get chills up my spine every time I hear it and if it's been long enough since the last time, I get midty-eyed. I really don't know why. That's a rather unsatisfying answer for an interview, so here are the lyrics to a Rush song. It's not their best piece of music, but the lyrics describe me pretty well.

New World Man He's a rebel and a runner He's a signal turning green He's a restless young romantic Wants to run the big machine He's got a problem with his poisons But you know he'll find a cure He's cleaning up his systems To keep his nature pure Learning to match the beat of the old world man Learning to catch the heat of the third world man He's got to make his own mistakes And learn to mend the mess he makes He's old enough to know what's right But young enough not to choose it He's noble enough to win the world But weak enough to lose it --- He's a new world man... He's a radio receiver Tuned to factories and farms He's a writer and arranger And a young boy bearing arms He's got a problem with his power With weapons on patrol He's got to walk a fine line And keep his self-control Trying to save the day for the old world man Trying to pave the way for the third world man He's not concerned with yesterday He knows constant change is here today He's noble enough to know what's right But weak enough not to choose it He's wise enough to win the world But fool enough to lose it --- He's a new world man...
2. What do you consider your most important turning point from agnosticism to the Catholic Church. At some point in '99, I started attending RCIA at the Pittsburgh Oratory. I mostly went to ask a lot of obnoxious Protestant questions. Or at least that's what I told myself. I think deep down I wanted desperately to have faith again. At that point I think I'd decided that if any variety of Christianity had the Truth, the Catholic Church did. Protestantism's wholesale rejection of 1500 years of tradition didn't sit well with me, even as a former Lutheran. During class one week, Sister Bernadette Young (who runs the program) passed out thin booklet called "Handbook for Today's Catholic". One paragraph in that book spoke to me and I nearly cried as I read it.
"A person who is seeking deeper insight into reality may sometimes have doubts, even about God himself. Such doubts do not necessarily indicate lack of faith. They may be just the opposite - a sign of growing faith. Faith is alive and dynamic. It seeks, through grace, to penetrate into the very mystery of God. If a particular doctrine of faith no longer 'makes sense' to a person, the person should go right on seeking. To know what a doctrine says is one thing. To gain insight into its meaning through the gift of understanding is something else. When in doubt, 'Seek and you will find.' The person who seeks y reading, discussing, thinking, or praying eventually sees the light. The person who talks to God even when God is 'not there' is alive with faith."
At the end of class I told Sr. Bernadette that I wanted to enter the Church at the next Easter vigil. 3. If you were a tree what kind of, oh sorry about that .. what is the PODest thing you have ever done? I set up WikiIndex, a clearinghouse for reviews of theological books, good, bad, and ugly. It has a long way to go, but it'll be cool when it's finished. :) 4. What is your favorite quote from Venerable John Henry Newman? "Ten thousand difficulties do not make one doubt." 5. If you could ban one hymn from existence, what would it be? That's a tough one. As a member of the Society for a Moratorium on the Music of Marty Haugen and David Haas, there are obviously a lot of songs that grate on my nerves. If I had to pick one, though, I'd probably pick "Sing of the Lord's Goodness" by Ernie Sands.

14 thoughts on “Man Boobs

  1. Rob


    If we show women’s breasts on TV, they will get boring. Men’s chests are a lot more boring now, because they can be seen on TV.

    Then, what will happen is no one will care about breasts any more. Women will start using them to feed babies, a terrible prospect, especially if you make artificial baby formula. Plastic surgeons will go unemployed as no one wants breast implants any more.

    It might well destroy our economy, which is focused on breasts.

  2. Amy

    “A contemplation of the female body can yield rich insights into the mission of women. The first thing that comes to mind is that in her body the intimate organs are not visible. They are all “hidden” within her. In this, she differs clearly from her male counterpart. This fact is rich in symbolism: What is hidden usually refers to something mysterious, something that should be protected from indiscreet looks. The very structure of her body symbolizes a garden that should be carefully guarded, for the keys of this garden belong to God.” Alice Von Hildebrand “The Privilege of Being a Woman”

  3. Tom Smith

    I tend to agree that the standard which applies to women on TV has no reason to be different from the standard which applies to men.

    It’s also interesting to note that the standards for advertising decency seem to be changing in the U.S. quite a bit lately — there used to be a billboard along Bigelow Boulevard advertising the gym X Shadyside which featured serious sideboob (including the nipple). I don’t know if the billboard is still up.

    I know it’s not really relevant, but my impression of St. Anselm’s ontological argument has always been the other way around: at first it sounds crappy, but then you really struggle to discover exactly what problem the argument has. Supposedly, Bertrand Russell initially dismissed the argument, then, after considering it, was forced to admit that it worked.

  4. Mark La Roi



    Men and women are equal, but different. Modesty is on the endangered species list and needs to be encouraged to breed. Why? Among other things, appropriate modesty is a key to respect. When men are around a woman who is known to be very “relaxed” in the style conversation she’ll tolerate (or encourage) they tend to forget that a woman should be shown the respect of not hearing about sex lives, body parts and bathroom humor, simply because she is a woman.

    “This is how a man treats a woman” is a phrase we don’t hear often enough these days in reference to honor and caring, but it still holds true. If we have a woman’s naked breasts on display all over the place, we’re going to lose some degree of modesty and respect for the human body, and yet another level of intimacy will be gone.

    God actually spilled blood to give man and woman coverings, so it must be an important thing.

    Respect, honor and modesty. All are better than sexualizing a society.

  5. Tom Smith

    “When men are around a woman who is known to be very ‘relaxed’ in the style conversation she’ll tolerate (or encourage) they tend to forget that a woman should be shown the respect of not hearing about sex lives, body parts and bathroom humor, simply because she is a woman.”

    I don’t disagree. But why is this the case? It seems that you’re giving the same answer to the boob question that the initial article criticizes — the “well, that’s just how it is” answer.

  6. Mark La Roi

    At the risk of sounding snarky, which I’m not trying to be, that IS how it is so I’m not sure what further answer is needed, unless I’m not answering the proper question. Why is this the way it is? It’s the way humans are geared psychologically and genetically. There are exceptions, but they are just that: exceptions.

    We (humans) like water running downhill, tend to take the easiest way out of any given situation. While that isn’t always a bad thing, it does cause harm in many situations, and interpersonal relations is one of those areas.

    We’d rather avoid topics than vigorously debate them, (“I don’t talk about politics or religion”) we say “to each his own” rather than recognize that there is right and wrong and if we don’t (carefully and when the opportunity presents itself) share what is right then we’ve actually done just another wrong, and it’s more “fun and easy” to make sex jokes with a woman to see how far we can go rather than to hold the high ground in our conversation for the glory of God instead of our own pleasure.

    I think the summation of the issue is “let’s stop trying”. The push is to give in to human nature, but human nature will lead us down the wrong path every time if we let it. Jealousy, envy, lust, pride, greed and so on, have to be controlled or else they will happily take over, and who can glorify God with those behaviors at the wheel?

    Even if one is not Christian, laws based on God’s ways still prove to be effective at keeping order in a society down to a level that often goes completely unrecognized.

    Imagine if nobody had sex until they were married, and they stayed married because their families had taught them how to be well married. That would impact society in such a way as it would not be recognizable compared to what the world has today. There’s be no porn industry, lawyers who specialize in divorce, domestic violence would be at an extremely low rate, economies would be far more stable, drug use would be way down, bankruptcies would be way down… there are lots more effects that would be in existence, all by following God’s principles.

  7. Funky Dung

    To borrow a line from my buddy Peter (aka Theomorph), you folks have missed the point and spectacularly so. Instead of defending the hiding of women’s breasts and not telling dirty jokes to women, look at matters from the other end, as the author intended, and wonder, “Why are men’s breasts OK to bare (but not women’s)? Why is it OK for men to tell dirty jokes to each other (but not women)?”, etc.

  8. advogado de diabo

    The best idea I can come up with is that womens breasts are sexual organs, men’s are not.

    Womens breasts are sexual in that they are much more sensitive than other parts of the body, they are erotic to men, and they have a reproductive role.

    If other men are aroused by seeing your womans breasts it stands to reason you want them covered up.

    To be honest, I don’t know if I really believe this argument myself. Some cultures cover the entire woman from head to toe. We draw the line at nipples, and I can’t fully explain why. I also find it strange that clevage is acceptable in many situations, which is something most men do not have, but nipples which men do have is the part that must remain covered.

  9. Mark La Roi

    “To borrow a line from my buddy Peter (aka Theomorph), you folks have missed the point and spectacularly so. Instead of defending the hiding of women’s breasts and not telling dirty jokes to women, look at matters from the other end, as the author intended, and wonder, “Why are men’s breasts OK to bare (but not women’s)? Why is it OK for men to tell dirty jokes to each other (but not women)?”, etc.”

    ~I haven’t talked about it because Amy already answered that. Certain parts of the woman’s body remain covered because they are intimate organs. Why not a man’s chest? A woman’s breasts are intimate for her child, and for her lover. Woman’s breasts are clearly given a special designation in Song of Solomon. While some women (and increasingly more as women become more aggresively sexual) are excited by the sight of male flesh, the male chest is not an organ of special designation.

    The…male sex organ (keepin’ it above board here ’cause I never know whose reading) is given special attention in scripture. It is the point of covenential identification in the Old Testament, and while the Roman men in the baths walked around happily naked, some Jewish men had surgeries to appear as if uncircumcised so that they could freely join in the baths and do business as the Romans did.

    That’s why men don’t go around with their pants off, but can go shirtless, and why women should wear top and bottom. In fact, both sexes should consider the feelings and possible weaknesses of the other sex, and consider just how much they will expose and where.

    As far as dirty jokes go, we all know it’s inappropriate for Christian men OR women to tell or even laugh along with, dirty jokes. As far as unsaved men and women, we can only share what is best.

  10. Karla

    I, me personally, think that women should cover their breasts, because the dulling effect is precisely what I want to avoid. I want my breasts to be exciting and saved only for one man to see. I want my breasts to be exciting for him. I don’t want him to think of sex and the female body as no big deal.

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  12. edey


    while avh (and i for that matter) would agree that women’s breasts should be covered, that quotation refers to her reproductive system. unlike the male reproductive organ, which is external, the woman’s organs are internal.


    ““When men are around a woman who is known to be very ‘relaxed’ in the style conversation she’ll tolerate (or encourage) they tend to forget that a woman should be shown the respect of not hearing about sex lives, body parts and bathroom humor, simply because she is a woman.”

    i agree, but as one of those women who is relaxed, i think both people have a part to play. yes, no matter how relaxed i am, i still deserve the respect of not hearing about those topics. however, i could (and i try to) make it easier for guys by not being so relaxed. same thing goes the other direction. there are some things guys don’t want to hear about and women should treat a man as a man even if he doesn’t facilitate the process, but it helps if he does. a woman is still a woman no matter how she dresses and acts and deserves the respect as such. same goes for a man.

  13. Rob

    Women’s breasts are not sexual organs. They are not involved in reproduction directly. They are secondary sexual characteristics, and as such, both men and women’s breasts are secondary sexual organs.

    Biologically, it’s absurd to say that men’s breasts aren’t sexual organs but women’s are. If anything, because they are smaller, the male breast tends to have more nerves per square mm. With proper stimulation, a male breast can begin lactating. It’s not easy, but it’s still capable of performing the same function as a female’s.

    At the Mother’s Day Walk and Run, you’ll see a number of people walking for male breast cancer patients. Unfortunately, due to society’s idiocy, most of the men are dead. The cancer’s not caught as early in men and so treatment begins too late.

    Culturally, breasts aren’t considered sexual in many cultures. You people are all arguing from culture and claiming it’s some sort of moral imperative. To the Yanomami, female breasts are simply ways to feed infants. They aren’t covered in public. People don’t stare at them. They’re just milk glands. Big whoop.

    Having been to Germany, where female breasts are occasionally seen on TV and in magazines, and St. Maarten, where toplessness is common and there are even nude beaches, all the people can pick out the Americans.

    We’re the ones that stare. We’re the ones with the unhealthy obsession with breasts.

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