Another reason Iceland is awesome


It’s full of fierce independent women. Adda Þóreyjardóttir Smáradóttir (also, full of great names) demonstrated for equality by posting a picture of herself bare-breasted on twitter — if men can do it, women ought to have that privilege, too — and as you might expect, immediately got a rash of misogynistic comments. So what did other Icelandic women do? They posted pictures of their breasts in solidarity.

You can find the story here and here, with photos that we shouldn’t be prudish about — they’re not lewd or prurient or posted with sexual intent, the usual complaint about such things — but I’ll warn you in case you’re at work that they do contain nudity.

I know there’ll be the usual stupid sexist comments about free boobies on display and equating this with porn, but this is something different: it’s women declaring ownership of their own bodies, and making it clear that the fact that breasts are not a billboard announcing that men have sexual ownership of those bodies. And if you can’t tell the difference, that’s your problem.


  1. davidnangle says

    It’s great to feel the world changing in the right direction. It’s sometimes easy to know it’s moving in the right direction by seeing who it pisses off.

  2. SC44 says

    Lacee Green talked about a similar site, with women’s vulvas. Again no sexual intent, but just to show women that the range of external variation is immense. With women getting completely unnecessary vulva clipping to match some dumb idea of what they “should” look like, this kind of thing is important.

  3. Okidemia says

    richardelguru #2

    Remember that, on average, men and women have pretty nearly exactly one breast each!

    Wisely enough, you wrote on average. While I have indeed a single breast, I also happen to demonstrate perfectly symmetrical nipple scars about 10 cms below the regular ones. They are also more sensitive then the epiderm around, so they are probably partially innerved. I wish they developped fully, unfortunately they did not.

  4. says

    I feel the same about seeing that breast pic as I would about seeing a woman breast feeding in public. Anything more than a passing glance at either makes me feel like I’m invading their privacy or space. Noticing someone is there is okay, staring isn’t.

  5. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    The workplace Internet Fuhrer has already categorized that second “here” link as Porn.

  6. Gregory Greenwood says

    There is definite truth to the notion that the patriarchy is only really concerned about women’s nudity when it is paired with women’s agency. Using the ‘porn’ label to silence women taking ownership of their own bodies is a case in point. The notion that the biology and physiology of women is so inherently dangerous that society will implode if it isn’t kept safely locked away is a standard feature of misogyny in many cultures, including cultures like that of the West that will happily sexualise women to do everything from titillating men to selling shampoo, just so long as the women being sexualised are not asserting their own agency in any notable way.

    Every effort is made to ignore the point that porn is not problematic because it shows the naked bodies of men and women, or because it shows those people engaging in sex acts (where those acts are unambiguously fully consensual and occuring between adults), but rather because so much of it is structured to minimise the agency and humanity of the people involved, rendering them into sex objects rather than human beings. The use of nudity in this case does the exact opposite of that, affirming the humanity and independence of the women in question. I don’t see how any thinking observer could miss that distinction, unless they have a vested interest in doing so.

  7. RobertL says

    I’m not sure that it’s safe for women to show their breasts in Iceland.

    Iceland is very geologically active, and we all know that breasts cause earthquakes.

  8. daemonios says

    I honestly cannot fathom the logic of typical heterosexual men’s brains. Listen to one and all he EVER wants is boobs and booty. Give him that and the woman is immediately a moral deviant. Cognitive dissonance much?

  9. Lofty says

    I honestly cannot fathom the logic of typical heterosexual men’s brains. Listen to one and all he EVER wants is boobs and booty. Give him that and the woman is immediately a moral deviant. Cognitive dissonance much?

    Demand that a woman show you her tits for your pleasure is to exercise power over her.

    Punish a woman who dares to show her tits to just anyone is to exercise power over her.

    Common theme here?

  10. Anri says

    They are not my bodies.
    They are not my breasts.
    Therefore, they are not really my business if they are bare or not.
    And if I stare at someone enough to make them uncomfortable, that’s my fault regardless of what they look like or what they are/aren’t wearing.

    I honestly don’t know why this is difficult for some people.

  11. Nick Gotts says

    I honestly cannot fathom the logic of typical heterosexual men’s brains. Listen to one and all he EVER wants is boobs and booty. Give him that and the woman is immediately a moral deviant. Cognitive dissonance much? – daemonios@14

    Maybe try not stereotyping heterosexual men? It just might help.

  12. says

    But, its such a convenient stereo type. I mean, its not like you can be a “real man” if you, say, look at their face first, or think having double Ds makes someone look like they are about to fall over, or that stiletto heels are stupid, or, zod forbid… that nudity wouldn’t be such a big deal, at all, outside of a clear sexual context, if not for an entire F-ing culture that, even among the best of people, flips out if you can see someone’s tan lines, or someone’s pants slip a bit, and they don’t look to have underwear on, or… a million other things, which should, if intentional, maybe produce a reaction, but if unintentional, shouldn’t be any different than throwing on a pair of shorts, to walk to the mail box, instead of dressing “presentable” for some idiots. Presentable, to women, in this case, meaning… what ever the frack doesn’t set off the idiots in the store, office, park, at the beach, etc., **NO MATTER WHAT** they are actually in fact wearing, or not wearing. Some idiot will harass them if they where dressed in a military field kit, never mind the opposite extreme of a minikini (which, probable “does” mean they intend to be showing off, since some versions of them… don’t include the usual bits that are supposed to actually ‘cover’ the parts they normally cover…) It just doesn’t matter, sadly. Some moron would whistle at, and try to grope the women pointing a bloody gun at their head, just as readily as the one dancing on a stage at spring break.

    The difference just doesn’t bloody compute with them. This doesn’t make them heterosexual (finding the person attractive may, but not being a total ass about it), but rather, makes them a complete flipping idiot. Sadly, it seems to be learned behavior, which makes it, theoretically, fixible… in sort of the same way that one can theorize that the Republican party might be “fixable”, if you just got rid of the Tea Party, neocons, racists, homophobes, gun nuts, err…. yeah… fixable like that… Because, like the damn Republicans, the culture of gender and sex in the US **literally** doesn’t comprehend that anything is even broken, never mind how to fix it, and it sure as heck isn’t, sadly, listening, often enough, or clearly enough, to the people that do see the problems, and have at least some reasonable ideas how to fix them.