Many feminist writers have interpreted the bra as an example of how women’s clothing has shaped and even deformed women’s bodies to historically aesthetic ideals, or shaped them to conform to male expectations of what is desirable. Germaine Greer, for example, has often depicted bras as symbols of oppression, and it was views like these, considered radical by some, which perhaps gave rise to the urban legend of bra-burning ceremonies.
Laura: “Mom, I don’t like it when people say that something is ‘man-made.’”
Laura: “What if something was made by a woman?”
Mom: “What if?”
Laura: “It’s exactly why I think we should be saying ‘human-made’ not ‘man-made.’”
Mom: “That’s a good point.”
And while I was getting a sore arm from patting myself on the back for raising a brilliant, feminist child, she continued . . .
Laura: “Like bras. Men don’t make those, so they shouldn’t have labels that say ‘man-made.’ Bras should have labels that say ‘woman-made’ or ‘human-made.’”
I just didn’t have the heart to tell her that although her logic was sound, sweet, and perhaps even brilliant, the fact is that all bras are not created by women, and not all women wear bras. I’ll explain all of that tomorrow. Maybe.