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How did breast become such a scary word for trans people?
37

JellySaurus · 06/08/2022 15:32

Breasts. All humans have them. There are essential similarities between all breasts, but they vary in shape, size and function. The biggest differences are caused by sex and puberty.

Hips. All humans have them. There are essential similarities between all pelvic girdles, but they vary in shape, size and function. The biggest differences are caused by sex and puberty.

Why is breasts a taboo word? Why isn't hips a taboo word?

Who decided that breast was a taboo word?

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midgetastic · 06/08/2022 15:41

I guess many female people really hate them

They are inconvenient at best - unless you are lucky and very small

And they attract an awful lot of unwanted attention /harressment

I can quite see how sone young girls in particular would like them to vanish and vanishing the word is part of that

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StillHappy · 06/08/2022 15:42

Maybe this is a language thing, but in terms of everyday usage, is it normal to describe a man’s chest as “breasts”?

I’ve not heard that, and thought it was only used to describe women’s chests, and the odd unfortunate male abuser of steroids.

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ScreechingEchoChamber · 06/08/2022 16:01

Perhaps the word 'breast' is too biological. If someone is purely focussed on breasts as an appendage for sexual gratification rather than the multi-purpose usage real breasts have, they seem to prefer slang terms than the standard 'breast'.

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Sunshineona · 06/08/2022 16:04

ScreechingEchoChamber · 06/08/2022 16:01

Perhaps the word 'breast' is too biological. If someone is purely focussed on breasts as an appendage for sexual gratification rather than the multi-purpose usage real breasts have, they seem to prefer slang terms than the standard 'breast'.

I think you’re exactly right.

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BlossomsOnATree · 06/08/2022 18:37

I don't know the answer, but I do find it excruciating when people discussing their transition (often TW or sometimes TM who have had them removed) talk about - god I can barely type it - "titties". Urgh it makes me squirm and cringe myself inside out. I don't really use "breasts" in everyday conversation either, more likely to say boobs or other slang - but the t word ew ew ew. It sounds so sexual and pornified and yet at the same time really childish. did I mention I HATE IT?!

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TheCountessofFitzdotterel · 06/08/2022 18:44

I find chestfeeding a very odd euphemism. It reminds me of prudish people who found the whole idea of breastfeeding embarrassing. Even if most of your breast tissue has been removed for cosmetic reasons it’s still structurally the breast that feeds the baby. And if we can have a female penis why is a male breast such a stretch? The logic doesn’t add up.

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ThinkingaboutLangClegosaurus · 06/08/2022 18:52

'Chestfeeding' is just bizarre the baby's not sucking some kind of fluid from your ribs or lungs. Breastfeeding is accurate. And men do have breasts some are unlucky enough to get cancer in them. Just not very noticeable.

I think the trans emphasis on breasts TWs getting implants or taking hormones to swell theirs up rather than, say, changing the shape of their hips is just because men in general are more fixated on breasts than hips.

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ThinkingaboutLangClegosaurus · 06/08/2022 18:53

ThinkingaboutLangClegosaurus · 06/08/2022 18:52

'Chestfeeding' is just bizarre the baby's not sucking some kind of fluid from your ribs or lungs. Breastfeeding is accurate. And men do have breasts some are unlucky enough to get cancer in them. Just not very noticeable.

I think the trans emphasis on breasts TWs getting implants or taking hormones to swell theirs up rather than, say, changing the shape of their hips is just because men in general are more fixated on breasts than hips.

I didn't mean to cross that section out. Silly new formatting -- i just meant to use dashes.

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ErrolTheDragon · 06/08/2022 19:05

I’ve not heard that, and thought it was only used to describe women’s chests, and the odd unfortunate male abuser of steroids.

And the even more unfortunate men who get breast cancer. Not chest cancer, that would be something distinctly different. Cancer of the breast tissue.

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WarriorN · 06/08/2022 19:58

A heated discussion with women who I thought would know better in an LLL fb group demonstrated that they believed that breast is a very gendered word and if you're NB or trans man it simple doesn't apply to you.

Which is anatomically incorrect.

I wanted to ask if a milk blep was therefore a gendered term, isn't also 'milk' gendered? and Fallopian tube.... But the moderator (actually GC? Wisely closed the discussion. The women arguing for NB rights were getting exceptionally angry.

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WarriorN · 06/08/2022 19:59

Sorry, both leaders/ moderators are GC. Sneaky ? Got in.

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StillHappy · 06/08/2022 20:03

ErrolTheDragon · 06/08/2022 19:05

I’ve not heard that, and thought it was only used to describe women’s chests, and the odd unfortunate male abuser of steroids.

And the even more unfortunate men who get breast cancer. Not chest cancer, that would be something distinctly different. Cancer of the breast tissue.

Is it used outside that context though? I don’t think I’ve heard a man’s chest called a breast.

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IStandWithMaya · 06/08/2022 20:15

Of course men have breasts. Biological men can get breast cancer, hence have breasts. 'Chest-feeding' is a ridiculous term and should be banned.

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JellySaurus · 06/08/2022 20:32

The use of breast for the front of a man's chest has decreased outside poetic language, but it is still used indirectly in terms such as single- and double-breasted jacket, breaststroke, breastbone and breastplate (armour). Can we include Robin Red-Breast in the list?

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ErrolTheDragon · 06/08/2022 22:02

JellySaurus · 06/08/2022 20:32

The use of breast for the front of a man's chest has decreased outside poetic language, but it is still used indirectly in terms such as single- and double-breasted jacket, breaststroke, breastbone and breastplate (armour). Can we include Robin Red-Breast in the list?

In hymns/gospel songs , Jesus and Abraham had bosoms.

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ErrolTheDragon · 06/08/2022 22:04

I don't know about Robin... birds really should have chests not breasts as they're not mammals.Grin

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JellySaurus · 06/08/2022 22:07

Chicken breast? Duck breast? 😄

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ScreechingEchoChamber · 06/08/2022 22:12

Breast stroke?

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TullyApplebottom · 06/08/2022 22:14

Because the word breast is sexualised by males, and these people think that women = things that are sexualised by males.
because they’re sexist idiots.

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theclangersarecoming · 06/08/2022 22:29

For teenage girls in particular, it makes more sense if you think of it as analogous to certain kinds of eating disorder - where the objective for many girls was partly to erase the bodily evidence of adult female, fertile sexuality — the breasts being both evidence of that and objects for the male gaze.

It’s the denial and minimising of female sexuality in particular, which gender identity issues in teenage girls seem to share with anorexia most specifically. This is also often something shared across issues arising from neurodivergence, trauma or abuse — a repression of female sexuality.

For TW, I agree that the ambivalence about breast is linked to the wish to divorce them from their practical purpose in breastfeeding, but highlight the breasts as sexual objects that are important in a fetishised idea of femininity, but as visual objects on display rather than sources of subjective pleasure, fulfilment or feeding a child. Their sexual use in this context is to look sexy, not to provide bodily pleasure as a biological woman’s breasts would do for her.

I also hate the word “titties” - so abjectly juvenile. (I can’t bear “boobs” either tbh - breasts are beautiful things and it’s a nice word. “Boobs” is a silly comedy word with a stupid sound.)

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5zeds · 06/08/2022 22:32

I’d think “chicken” if you said “breast”🤷🏻‍♀️

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DdraigGoch · 06/08/2022 22:59

StillHappy · 06/08/2022 20:03

Is it used outside that context though? I don’t think I’ve heard a man’s chest called a breast.

How about "breastplate" in reference to armour?

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ErrolTheDragon · 06/08/2022 23:31

5zeds · 06/08/2022 22:32

I’d think “chicken” if you said “breast”🤷🏻‍♀️

So breastfeeding is dinner at Nando's?Grin

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Pallisers · 07/08/2022 00:04

Because the word breast is sexualised by males, and these people think that women = things that are sexualised by males.

yes this. Sadly this.

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MangyInseam · 07/08/2022 00:23

I think it's probably because breasts are about the biggest symbol or sign of female sexuality in our culture.

Which is not totally awful, it's probably inevitable that human beings will notice each other sexually and different cultures will emphasize different symbols of that. But we exaggerate it a lot more than is probably healthy.

As a result whatever people are having some kind of issue with themselves as sexually differentiated humans, that's one of the things they end up focusing on, either as a source of trouble or as something required to embody womanhood.

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