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Breast Binding

(88 Posts)
womanformallyknownaswoman Thu 24-May-18 05:13:26

I find the practice of breast binding so abhorrent.

Breast binding is the act of flattening breasts by the use of constrictive materials. The term also refers to the material used in this act. Common binding materials include cloth strips, elastic or non-elastic bandages, purpose-built undergarments (often using Spandex or other synthetic fibre) and shirts layered from tight to loose. The act of breast binding is common for trans men, but is also done by androgynous, genderqueer and gender fluid people, as well as crossdressers and performers.
Breast binding by use of cloth strip or tape may result in bodily damage such as permanent deformation of the breast.

I am repulsed that this is somehow being normalised. I read the extract below from the blog of the fantastic Renee G in NZ. How widespread is it in the UK and elsewhere, and at what age is it being put into practice? Is it in schools yet?

Lesbian women are already suffering from ideas gaining traction that gender non-conformity might make them male. I know several young women who struggle with the popular undermining of female only same-sex attraction in a new age of “male lesbians”. This is not hysteria, but one real and devastating consequence of attempts to radically redefine sex.

RainbowYouth has been distributing breast binders in schools, ostensibly for born “transmen” – but we know teenage girls suffer discomfort with their bodies in this climate of objectification we live in. Consider Northland teenager Zahra Cooper, a young lesbian who was put on a course of testosterone that permanently altered her body and voice before she recognised she is inalterably female.

Kyanite Thu 24-May-18 06:10:33

I find this is heartbreaking. It is in schools in the UK.

Only transwomen are allowed to be Lesbians.

Kyanite Thu 24-May-18 07:06:47

"A trick of language absolves us of any duty of care: placing all youngsters in the gender-neutral ‘trans’ category means that these girls are lost to any studies in the psychology of adolescent girls as well as denied the treatment and support which recognises their unique problems and needs. And it also means, of course, that we don’t have to look at the culture which produces so many adolescent girls who don’t want to become women in the first place, or make any effort to understand why."

womanformallyknownaswoman Thu 24-May-18 07:15:43

And it also means, of course, that we don’t have to look at the culture which produces so many adolescent girls who don’t want to become women in the first place, or make any effort to understand why.

Heartbreaking - the wilful blindness to distressed girls and women is something I find wholly unacceptable and immoral. And as many distressed young women presenting for transitioning have autism and /or been injured by male violence (there's a link between autism and family violence to my observations as well) then again it comes back to the men not treating women as the same species as them. Cannon fodder as it were. And then men say "oh I only care about women in my close circle" whilst wilfully ignoring the wholesale femicide taking place around the planet- they are disgusting "human beings" (sic) many of them

averylongtimeasspartacus Thu 24-May-18 07:20:57

In the Scouts too, here is their comment from their website:

StarsAndWater Thu 24-May-18 07:38:21

Girls who are struggling often self-harm. The difference is that, unlike eating disorders or cutting for example which are considered safeguarding issues for which girls need help and support, breast binding is being allowed in schools. They're even helping them do it.
I hated my breasts as a teen. I had big breasts very young (DD by 13) and got a lot of unwanted male attention which I hated and was far too young to know how to handle.
If breast binding had been an option then, I would have definitely done it and fought for my right to do it.
But it wasn't really my breasts that were the problem. It's a society that expects girls to accept being viewed as sex objects the moment they grow breasts.
I am horrified that it's being accepted in schools and so sorry for all those girls who are being failed by adults who should know better.

lightthedarkness Thu 24-May-18 07:51:29

We support children who self harm with anorexia or cutting themselves - we find them help and advice, offer caring support and divert them from the online 'pro ana' advocates. But girls who hate their bodies and breast bind? Off to the trans pressure groups for advice. No support from anyone else as questions, support, counselling have now been deemed 'transphobic'. It's completely fucked up.

ICJump Thu 24-May-18 07:53:22

How come teenaged can do Breast binding but aren’t allowed to get tattoos???

LangCleg Thu 24-May-18 08:10:22

There is an outfit in Manchester that sends out free binders to girls in packaging that their parents won't recognise. YouTube allows binder giveaway adverts at the end of youth trans videos without, I believe, any parental controls.

DisturblinglyOrangeScrambleEgg Thu 24-May-18 08:14:50

Bloody hell. I would have done this. I used to sleep in a certain way to try and squash my boobs down.

I mean, they're still an absolute pain, but better them getting in the way than broken ribs and difficulty breathing for fucks sake.

Why is it that everything that happens just makes the patriarchy even more glaringly obvious, whilst so many people stick their hands over their ears, close their eyes and refuse to see it.

boatyardblues Thu 24-May-18 08:54:24

I came across breast ironing a few years ago, where mothers in African and other communities apply heated rocks to their daughters’ developing breast tissue. This is done to delay the outward appearance of puberty to give their daughters more time to mature and delay marriage, men’s sexual interest and pregnancy. Whilst the practice is distressing and mutilating, you can understand their intent.

It feels all kinds of wrong that we have similar practices emerging here.

Terfulike Thu 24-May-18 09:10:44

No boat I can't understand their intent

Terfulike Thu 24-May-18 09:12:10

It's basically torturing and mutilating your daughter. Stop defending it boat.

Terfulike Thu 24-May-18 09:25:32

If you want to start a new thread about how we should support mothers who carry out breast ironing boat then do so. This thread is about breast binding, which is a particular form of self harm resulting from gender dysphoria. They are different.

Branleuse Thu 24-May-18 09:28:22

A good friend of mine used to do this when she was younger as she hated her female body. Thankfully it passed, as is so often the case, and she is now completely comfortable with her sex and a mother of 4

rosylea Thu 24-May-18 09:33:55

(there's a link between autism and family violence to my observations as well) Never heard of this before, do you have any further information on this, please?

rosylea Thu 24-May-18 09:36:11

Breast binding on young girls, unbelievable. And of course, the more that do it others will follow.

Branleuse Thu 24-May-18 09:39:33

it is probably relevent that my friend who did this to herself, has a strong family history of autism, even though she hasnt been diagnosed herself yet

FermatsTheorem Thu 24-May-18 09:50:01

Boat's not defending it, if I understand her correctly, she's explaining it. The two practices (breast binding in the west, breast ironing in Africa) comes from the same place - a hideously misogynistic society with endemic sexual violence directed at girls from the moment they show outward signs of puberty giving rise to practices which are utterly wrong and abhorrent and dysfunctional - but which are, nonetheless, comprehensible as a response to endemic, socially sanctioned sexual violence. In one case, the girl herself (who mistakenly thinks she's trans perhaps because she's gay in a homophobic society, and subject to continual sexual harrassment), in the other case the mothers (who don't want their daughters raped and forced into marriage at the age of 12 or 13) carry out a horrific, mutilating act out of fear and the need to navigate a hideously sexualised society.

InfiniteCurve Thu 24-May-18 09:53:21

Terfulike ??
It's a perfectly reasonable and relevant comment from Boat, and she wasn't defending breast ironing - she said she could understand why they did it.Can't you,really? If your choice is breast ironing or your still young child married and pregnant,which is best?
And in the context of posters commenting on why young women might be unhappy to be developing breasts, becoming an adult female = being more and more the object of male attention,it was interesting to hear that it's not just in Europe.

womanformallyknownaswoman Thu 24-May-18 11:42:32

there's a link between autism and family violence to my observations as well

It's my observations around mothers and children who have exited or are still in family and domestic violence. There's quite a high incidence of diagnoses of Aspergers (ASD) and/or ADHD in the children, especially boys. Also despite efforts, the diagnosing is not consistent so what one psychiatrist/ psychologist considers ASD another may consider AHDH. So I don't know whether the boys are copying violent behaviour from the father and/or expressing rage from the violence - but there's a lot of behavioural issues in them. The lone mums have a hell of a job with them.

Along with these general complaints of not feeling well, children who witness domestic violence may also appear nervous, as previously mentioned, and have short attention spans. These children display some of the same symptoms as children who have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Roughly two-thirds of kids with ADHD have at least one co-existing condition, and Autism Spectrum Disorders — ASD — are among the conditions that commonly occur with ADHD. Some studies suggest that up to half of kids with ASD also have ADHD

What’s the Difference Between ADHD and Autism?
ADHD is marked by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. “It is primarily a disorder of self-regulation and executive function – skills that act as the ‘brain manager’ in everyday life,” says Mark Bertin, M.D., a developmental behavioral pediatrician and the author of The Family ADHD Solution.
Autism Spectrum Disorders — a continuum of conditions that includes autism, Asperger’s syndrome (now outdated), and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) — are characterized by problems with social interactions, communication, and stereotyped (repetitive or ritualistic) behaviours.

I looked around for any research in adults and there's this The Link Between Autism and Violence Isn’t Autism where ASD can coexist with ADHD and Conduct Disorder in some, and it's the latter that leads to violence against others.

boatyardblues Thu 24-May-18 11:43:34

Thank you Fermats - you absolutely nailed where I was coming from. I think both practices are the outward manifestation or response to something really troubling in the underlying social norms or customs. I don’t support either practice.

Terfulike Thu 24-May-18 11:57:55

I'm not going to apologise, and stand by my comments.

First, an act of barbarism against a child is not okay because it was carried out by their mother.

Secondly, according to the comments anything could be condoned because it came from a feeling of love. Echoes of p...
I'm not saying it's the same thing, but, for a victim, it matters little what the perpetrator's motives were.

I ask you to be realistic: are you condoning and/or understanding the holding down of a young girl while a red hot metal spatula is pressed into her flesh, causing her fatty tissue to literally melt?

LangCleg Thu 24-May-18 12:05:38

I read Boat's remarks as a lesser of two evils thing. Better breast ironing than marriage at 12 and death in childbirth at 13.

Kyanite Thu 24-May-18 12:12:55

I am glad of one thing, that they're calling it binding...many of us are reminded of foot binding.

My daughter developed early and is large busted. It was hard for her to accept having periods and she hated developing breasts. She cried throughout her bra fittings...but then several years later, she was worrying that losing weight would mean going down a cup size!

I'm horrified that my daughter could have been influenced by trans ideology on social media but she has always been interested in boys. She did go through a phase of trying to find herself, not fitting in at school, stressed and depressed. Wearing girly clothes like the popular girls wasn't working for her but she found her self-expression through music...posters of The Wanted came down and up went Bring Me The Horizon and Slipknot. Next was the black hair, ear and lip piercings. Now she's left school, her hair colour changes often - blue really suits her and I find it funny that I see blue hair referenced to TRAs.

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