The male nipple while not being surrounded by as much controversy as it’s female counterpart, has had its fair share of scuffles. Having been subjected to a whole insane amount of derision, the male nipple is not something you find yourself fantasising about. In fact, colloquially, it was compared to ‘tits on a bull’! This goes on to show just how significant the masculine part really went on to be. But what makes the nipple of men make headlines today, is the fact that they were not allowed to be exposed assets. Men were only legally allowed to showcase their nipples in public in 1936!
A brief about the male nipple
Before getting started on the specifics of the fact mentioned above, let’s build the mood. While popular culture has never glammed the male nipple, it is not entirely trivial. A few unknown facts about dude nips is the lactation phenomenon. Yes, you heard us right! While the male nipple is triggered only under stressful conditions to release milk, they certainly do. You’ll be further surprised to know that Chandler wasn’t the only guy to possess a third nipple. In fact 1 in every 100 men do have it too! While female nipples are censored and this has been a subject of massive conflict through the ages, there’s not much drama surrounding the male nipple. (now!) So then why was it a matter of concern earlier, we’ll tell you.
Why the male nipple was an issue
History tells us that 16th century reformers were the guys to blame. Known as the Puritans, they kept their bodies covered from head to toe and admonished any ideas or sexuality. Women in fact wore gowns with a hole in the right place for sex! Basically nudity was associated with obscenity. And taking this way of thinking forward, it was considered real indecent when men showed up with their nipples exposed. This then became a subject of controversy, as several cultures began modifying their beliefs and became quite receptive to the male nipple. Nordic saunas, nude beaches in Croatia, Olympic Games, were episodes where the male nipple was exposed and there wasn’t a hue and cry. But then there were other countries which considered this a huge deal and went to great lengths to stop this public display of nipples.
Male nipple legalized!
Fast forward to the 1930s when men began protesting on Coney Island, as they wanted to swim and bathe freely. This was because they were forced to wear nipple-stifling swimsuits. They put in great efforts for change and in fact even got arrested for the sake of their nipples. And finalement! In 1936, men legally gained rights to show their nipples in public. This then laid the foundation for New York to be cool with men and their nipples.
In an article by the Washington Post, this brawl by men to expose their nipples was highlighted. In the headline on June 16 1934, the Associated Press Story called this “Perennial Battle of Togs”. They also listed cities where men would be arrested on sight, if they were spotted shirtless! Thereby the summer of 1936 was known as the no-shirt movement, as guys rebelled. What changed New York’s mind? Well, the Mayor took a vacation in Florida, and was suddenly overcome by a change of heart. Following a court adjourning, male nipples were then legalized!
Free the nipple
Yes! The brand name of a famed campaign that has been in the running since 2012, Free The Nipple has now taken the world by storm. As to what triggered this, it was a film by the same name, which portrayed women trying to shed light on the subject. This campaign now aims to empower and spark a change in social issues. Celebrated on March 26, which is Free The Nipple day, celebrities have also been vocal to the extent of flashing their boobs to show support! The likes of Miley Cyrus, Simon Holtznagel, Kendall Jenner and more of these top-notch celebs have often taken to Instagram, the covers of magazines and talk shows to vocalize their views.
The male nipple did get its big break, and the conflict which continues to date, is to let its female counterpart get hers too.