Social Question

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Why do women who pass the pencil test bother wearing bras?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26829points) July 1st, 2010

If many women use the weight of their breast causing their back to hurt as a reason for wearing bras why don’t men with “moobs” have back pain and in need of a mra (man bra)? Are men’s backs stronger than women’s? Is a man’s physicality superior to women in that men don’t need support to hold up their mobs? And what of the women who are 36c or smaller who pass the pencil test, why are they wearing bras for? If they ain’t got no hang what do they need with that thang?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

41 Answers

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

My lady could easily pass the pencil test, but didn’t like to be flashing her high-beams in public. She only wore a bra if wearing a blouse of thin material.

tedibear's avatar

“If they ain’t got no hang what do they need with that thang?” And they are preventing that issue, up to a point, by wearing a bra.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Many reasons: to prevent chaffing, to be proper, to be modest, to leave some mystery, to not be flashing their nipples, because the bra is cute, because the top she’s wearing needs it (perhaps see-through or a weird cut), because it’s easier to wear them all the time, because then if she gets undressed in front of someone it’s not all over in 30 seconds….

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Sometimes I do,sometimes I don’t ;)
It depends on the outfit.

Jude's avatar

I always do (not when under the sheets, though). For me, it feels better, even though my girls aren’t large. I’m weird that way.

CMaz's avatar

Can we get reasons in number order?

1. Chafing
2. Headlight prevention
3. Just because

mrentropy's avatar

I don’t wear a bra, I just duct tape them up.

SuperMouse's avatar

The girls fit comfortably into a C cup with room to spare, but I still elect to wear bras most of the time. I agree with @stranger_in_a_strange_land about nipple erectness in public and agree with the points about modesty and comfort. Although they are actually rather pert (especially for a woman my age – a perk that comes with having small breasts), I feel like I look better when I am wearing a good bra, I am also more comfortable with at least some support.

CMaz's avatar

Would you ladies mind posting those braless beauties on your profile?

Sort of a fact finding mission. ;-)

wilma's avatar

I remember when I could pass the pencil test….
That was a while ago. I would sometimes go braless then, but usually only when wearing a halter top, or camisole top, or a mans A style undershirt (wifebeater) with biboveralls. (often my summer clothing choice)
I did not like the headlights showing, and even if you are smaller, there can be considerable jiggling. I also was trying to preserve the perky non-sagginess.
Now if I go braless for very long, it can get uncomfortable, (and bruise my chin if I run.)

downtide's avatar

What on earth is the pencil test?

aprilsimnel's avatar

@downtide, if a woman can put a pencil under her breasts without dropping it, then they need a bra.

downtide's avatar

@aprilsimnel aah thankyou. I suspected that might be it, but I wasn’t sure.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land @papayalily @SuperMouse @wilma With all the talking points; headlights (nipples) showing, comfort, modesty etc. looking at “bullets” maybe showing it is avoided because of personal discomfort or to spare the public discomfort? If one avoids it when the masses has not personally accosted then on it to me is to be shamed into it by indirect means. For centuries women had no bras to wear and in many nations around this green Earth of ours they still don’t guess they must be some immoral nasty women the hussies.

I guess women should get up from their rib eye and go to the ladies room to nurse a baby? If they don’t flop a cover over the little nipper’s head and the lip lock is broke more just “bullet” humps will get seen, maybe a “gasp” whole naked nipple.

@papayalily ” Many reasons: to prevent chaffing, to be proper, to be modest, to leave some mystery, to not be flashing their nipples, because the bra is cute, because the top she’s wearing needs it (perhaps see-through or a weird cut), because it’s easier to wear them all the time, because then if she gets undressed in front of someone it’s not all over in 30 seconds….” Sorry a few more things I would like to ask you to elucidate.

Chaffing: I guess many of the women I heard complaining about wearing a bra must have not known how to wear them. They seem to lament about the straps digging in their shoulder, the hot clammy feel in warm weather worse if it is also humid, bands, under wires, or some fastener pocking them, doesn’t seem all that comfortable to me.

To be proper: What is so proper about wearing a bra and what is so un-proper about wearing a bra? And who chooses the “proper” degree or action?
Leave some mystery: If she is your spouse or SO and you don’t know what her breast is like after 6 months together you are either cheating, Amish, or drunk to the point you can’t remember. Where is the mystery still?

Because the bra is cute: the only one seeing it is your spouse or SO and what would they care? If it is some booty call he won’t care either, he would as soon get you out of it in 30sec. flat than admire how cute it is. How cute it is has no value externally. Back in the day when I would chase a booty call I neve cared what he bra looked like and to this day can only remember one only because it made her look like some gold grandma type, took away from any sexy she had.

Changing in front of others: Unless your clothes were on fire or some other life saving action I would hope if you had to change in front of someone it would be other women, and they have what you have so it isn’t like their eyes will pop from their skull and drool running from the corners of their mouths because your twins were exposed for the time it took to change a shirt.

@Adirondackwannabe ”Men?” Nope, you are way out in the Adirondacks on that one (no pun intended), at least not with the majority of men I know and have spoken with. Bras are just one more thing to get out of the way or hide the goods nothing more.

ChazMaz The order as I seem to hear it is [1] headlight restriction; [2] bullet hump restriction; [3] thimble dimple prevention; take those three and regurgitate them 8 dozen more time then end up with prevent sagging and you have the order. :-)

@tedibear ” And they are preventing that issue, up to a point, by wearing a bra.” So the logic is to help the muscle and tendons do the job they were biologically geared to do for eons of time you have to prevent them it. I guess if I wanted to have a faster swimmer, sprinter, high jumper etc. I should keep them in a wheel chair or bed ridden so their muscle won’t be damaged by use. I would also logically have to say the men have a superior core than women because some of those men I see have chest many women pay big money for less the hair on the chest and around the nipples. If they can carry all that and not be droopy with back pains when they are old at least I have never heard any complain about it like women seem to men have to be better at it.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central My lady was a professional (psychologist) and felt the need to maintain a certain appearance in public. Her nipples were extremely sensitive and (delightfully) noticeable under thin clothing. In a casual setting, she didn’t mind showing.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Well, they did wear corsets long before the bra was invented, so support isn’t a new idea. However, having most fabrics be so thin and smooth that you can see the outline of her nipple is.

Bras can be uncomfortable, and it can be hell finding the right one. However, once you take that bra off, the pain will go away. But chaffing pain will stick around for a few days.

By “because it’s cute”, I didn’t mean for other people. I meant for the woman. I haven’t had an SO for quite some time now, and I still put on cute underwear because I enjoy the cuteness.

You can argue the flaws in it being considered proper, but that doesn’t mean the whole world will follow, and sometimes you just want to be hired instead of making a political statement.

Leaving some mystery: What about when a woman doesn’t have a spouse? Chances are she goes on a first date before the date sees her naked, can’t she want there to be mystery?

So it isn’t over in 30 seconds: Seduction is a marathon, not a sprint, and for men over 18, that’s a good thing.

Changing in front of others: Sometimes, I want to be able to put on a new shirt after I spilled sauce on the old one in front of someone without violating boundaries. Just because woman have the same stuff doesn’t mean its automatically ok, and I may want to change in front of a man – maybe even one I’m not sleepign with, so it’d be nice if I could keep it to what he’d see if I was wearing a bikini.

wilma's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central when you have breast fed a baby in public, (and yes, even while I was eating a ribeye) as many times as I have, I’ll think about trying to figure out just what it is that you are going on about.
When I wear a bra, it’s for many reasons just like the rest of the women who have politely answered your question.
I didn’t realize I would be criticized for it, or I wouldn’t have bothered.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@wilma My thoughts exactly, and I tip my hat to you, madam.

Jude's avatar

I’ve been drinking gin and tonics on the beach and I’m feeling no pain.

My girls are perky and do not hold no damn pencil.

wilma's avatar

@jjmah enjoy it while you are young honey!

Jude's avatar

@wilma I’m hanging out in Michigan along Lake Huron, enjoying a few adult beverages. Pretty country out here. =)

jazmina88's avatar

I hate bras…...but wish I was buzzed like jjmah

tedibear's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central – I assume you’ve seen pictures of women in cultures where the women don’t wear bras. Those women can end up with longish, flat breasts from not wearing bras. So, my thought stands (at least for me) that a less endowed woman is trying to not have her perky, upright breasts end up as floppy pancakes.

“some of those men I see have chest many women pay big money for” Do you mean that you know women who would like to have a muscular chest? I’m asking so that I know whether or not I read your statement correctly.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@papayalily ” Well, they did wear corsets long before the bra was invented, so support isn’t a new idea.” Yes the ideal of support is not a new one. And they did have corsets before bras, again correct. However, the reasons for the corset was far different than the bra. Not to mention the corset was really a product the mid 1500s and certainly not commonly used until the late 1700s to early 1800s. And it was not an off-the-rack item, they had to be custom fitted to the wearer so I doubt they were cheap or many parts of the world had skilled corsetiers. So for centuries women got along without corset –holy moly how did that happen?—. The reason for corsets was to slim the waist for the then and now, they did not wear corsets because they thought it had some mythical powers to stop their belly from sagging later.

” But chaffing pain will stick around for a few days.” Using the right moisturizer for the skin and the right material to wear usually solves that problem with most people.

” By “because it’s cute”, I didn’t mean for other people. I meant for the woman.” Any woman who would wear something in-comfortable and artificial simply because it looks cute and it could be skipped because no one else will see it………..well…….I will keep that comment to myself.

” You can argue the flaws in it being considered proper, but that doesn’t mean the whole world will follow,” That is what I say. Just because in America and other Western nations people blush and giggle like Jr. high students if “headlights” are seen many places around the world were they don’t have bra shops at the mall or even money to buy them they are find au natural, even some places that do have bra shops at the mall they don’t wear them just because it is “proper” in the West.

” What about when a woman doesn’t have a spouse? Chances are she goes on a first date before the date sees her naked, can’t she want there to be mystery?” If she meets a fella it is all mystery. It pretty much remains a mystery unless they go to a nudist camp or some beach wear she is in a Rio styled thing bikini. The bra adds no or very little mystery; not as many questions as to if she has it stuffed, is it a padded or water bra, is that cleavage really hers or created by the Lycra, if I do get that lucky are she going to have Chihuahuas or Basset hounds? Seeing a glimpse of what her natural breast might be is more of a mystery because you wonder if actually seeing will live up to the preview.

” Sometimes, I want to be able to put on a new shirt after I spilled sauce on the old one in front of someone without violating boundaries.” Even if you have the bra someone can be offended with you or anyone else whipping their top off and not going to an empty room or space to do it. To simple say everyone will be cool with a woman changing her top, spilled coffee or not, right there is OK because of a bra is like saying so long as you step 4 steps away and turn your head you can let out a nasty sneeze or cough and it would be OK, it wasn’t directed towards anyone so you don’t need to cover your mouth. I would not want to be changing down to my underwear in front of any woman I had no desire to take to bed unless it was a life threatening situation.

@wilma Not slamming you for breast feeding, that IS what they are for, and they are quite natural to women as their hands and feet. Breastfeeding—unless you want to hide Sparky under a blankie—has the potential of exposing more breast than a blouse with out a bra. Societies anxiety over a covered breast sans bra over a naked breast with a baby suckling is, to me, quite vapid.

@tedibear ” I assume you’ve seen pictures of women in cultures where the women don’t wear bras. Those women can end up with longish, flat breasts from not wearing bras.” I am not going to be a stat Nazi and tell you to state your source, I will say this though, maybe it was all the children they suckled and not so much the lack of bras; I know that might be a stretch. Most of the sites and articles I have read about the great American boob job many of the women wanted breast augmentation because CHILD REARING (no longer just a 3rd world thing) left their boobs deflated and elongated and this was of 2 maybe 3 kids at most; not 5 or more as is common in developing nations. Those women over there often have less access to birth control to stop unwanted births and certainly less access to abortion doctors to help them kill off the extra mouth to feed couple that with no big box dept. store peddling bras, I think we can blame it on the fact they like sex too and have little to stop the byproduct of it; kids.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Because it’s about what they feel is culturally appropriate attire for women…and about not much else, ever. Well, it can also be about wanting to be left the fuck alone. I wear bras because I would receive much more scrutiny, sexism and other unpleasantries my way if I didn’t and I don’t identify as a woman but others perceive me to be so that means it’s okay for them to make comments towards me…When at home, I never wear bras..I hate them.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Ok, so what I’m hearing is that there is no reason you will accept as a valid one for wearing a bra, and I shouldn’t have wasted my time answering you because you weren’t looking for an answer or discussion so much as a chance to conquer and win by converting people to your point of view. I’ll make sure to not answer your questions next time.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@papayalily ¬ ”Ok, so what I’m hearing is that there is no reason you will accept as a valid one for wearing a bra,…” Oh but you have, the only reason why a woman who would pass the pencil test would wear a bra is that she is shamed into it by parents, church, or society. I never said there was no reason for ANY woman to wear a bra, some who are like 58DDD would need something. ”I’ll make sure to not answer your questions next time.” Sorry you feel that way, you did illuminate the reason why women with no hang still wear bras. But I would say take a page out of @laureth, @stranger_in_a_strange_land and @Simone_De_Beauvoir they will debate the point on logic and would surely not take offense….well not for too long.

@Simone_De_Beauvoir ”I wear bras because I would receive much more scrutiny, sexism and other unpleasantries [sic] my way if I didn’t and I don’t identify as a woman but others perceive me to be…” 1st off I am shocked, not of YOU but of the fact I would have expected you to be the last person to capitulate to what society thinks you should be. The way you contested me on my questions or ideas you were as a pit bull or a badger ready to duel to the death. It was as if the contest did not get started until @Simone_De_Beauvoir. You are like the Vin Desil character in Fast and the Furious, when he showed up to the car race then it was time to race. Your take no prisoners attitude and the moxie to stand tough with it has made me a great fan of yours. If I were you I would not be boxed into a Lycra/Spandex contraption because of what others thought, heck they can do that just because of who you orientate yourself normally. What would you give them next? Society turned against women wearing men’s flannel shirts and you wanted to wear them you will let society scare you away from them? That is not the @Simone_De_Beauvoir I know from Fluther. And I am very jealous of you, you can Argentine tango and I can’t [Rattling a fist]

SuperMouse's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central OMG! I totally began this post by saying that no one ever shamed me into wearing a bra, but as I was typing, the reality of it hit me. I did not even own a bra until I was 18 years old. My dad and grandmother never said a word about my needing to have and wear one – ever. However, when I started dating the man who would become my first husband, his mother shamed me into buying my first bra. She harassed me until I agreed to visit JCPenney with her and buy some brassieres!

That was a long time ago, but I do still wear a bra, mostly by choice these days. It is like wearing socks with shoes, I am just more comfortable wearing a bra. I suppose when it comes down to it I feel self-conscious walking around without one – especially in front of family.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central There is a difference between conforming to society because you’re a coward and conforming for safety’s sake. As a trans activist, I am aware of violence I could be facing if I step outside the norm more than some would like and I will not put myself in danger because I have children to look after and a future to change. I educate and protest and sabotage the system much of the time but there are some times, like when I’m at work, that I have to present as a woman so that my gender identity and expression are not the focus and the lives of my cancer patients’ lives are. I put on a bra as a protective measure not as a conforming measure because I don’t think anyone deserves to sexualize me more than they already do.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir GA. The same rationale that Meghan used. Although her patients were almost always female, she didn’t want to disrupt the therapeutic environment.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Simone_De_Beauvoir ”There is a difference between conforming to society because you’re a coward and conforming for safety’s sake.” That is true, and I by no means believe you a coward. Capitulation or acquiescence doesn’t necessarily speak cowardice. As Sun Tzu say ”He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot, will be victorious”. Yes, some battles are not worth fighting or at least not at the time they present themselves.

”As a trans activist, I am aware of violence I could be facing if I step outside the norm more than some would like and I will not put myself in danger because I have children to look after and a future to change.” When you have little ones counting on you it puts the risk into perspective, however unless you play the role of the “prissy girly girl” there will always be a risk once anyone knows different. I have gone places where many others would not have gone because they believe trouble would be there just because of my nationality. I would always access the situation for the potential of danger but I will not let anyone keep me from going simply because I don’t fit the “mold” of the masses. And don’t you dare either.

”like when I’m at work, that I have to present as a woman so that my gender identity and expression are not the focus and the lives of my cancer patients’ lives are.” Alas freedom of speech and expression is just another hypocrisy levied on us by government el al. Though you care to be you, you can’t be you if being you don’t fit the masses and cause you being you to distract them. Where would it stop? If you had a tongue stud, a brow barbell, ear jewelry? Perhaps the wrong tattoo in the wrong place? Too bad you cannot be you and not distract. As women who want to go it au natural cannot do so because others are not comfortable with it as they would be a lip ring which certainly is not as natural as natural unshackled breast.

As far as stepping outside the norm, haven’t you already? When you posted a comment as a self-proclaimed “queer person” unless the queer was meant to be odd and not of gender you already step outside the “prissy girly girl” box they’d have you in. If someone reading your bio which if you present as a woman but gender wise identify as a man, but yet in an open marriage with JeanPaulSartre I guess it is too late in the day for me to syllogize that, so I revisit that late, should they have the chance to cross your path they have the ability to turn things ugly because you do not fit the “prissy girly girl” mode. I say this and I am sure you may not agree there so many things that can run one afoul with another simple “bullets’ indentations should be not be factored as to if they would like it or not.

Think, “Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?”
Sun Tzu

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central I don’t identify as a man or a woman

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Before I pop a vein in my brain how does that work? To me the only thing between man and woman is android, and I certainly could not lump you in that because you would bleed if injured, cry if your children were ill in peril of their lives, be happy at their accomplishments, etc. Human emotions and humans only come in 2 flavors…..please enlighten me on how that works for I am bedeviled at the moment. This is your moment to catechize. :-)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central I don’t need to catechize. My body falls into the female category but I don’t feel like a man or a woman. I identify as gendequeer or gender non-conforming.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central They might not need it but will wear it so as to avoid further sexualization of their bodies.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Why would they still wear a bra? Maybe they want nipple coverage. People notice nipples, and there are a few that judge someone because of it. They might also want to wear a bra the provides a bit of padding to add a more enhanced look. Surely, you are familiar with stories of young girls stuffing their bras with tissue or men putting a pair of socks in their pants.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^^ Maybe they want nipple coverage.
There are nipple shields or pasties; celebrities use them award night….so….

People notice nipples, and there are a few that judge someone because of it.
Many women have tattoos, and not the small insignificant ones. Some have tattoos that stretch from boob to boob, across the whole belly or shoulders, and even the ”tattoo sleeve”. They can’t hide them but they get them anyhow, even though people might judge them because of it.

They might also want to wear a bra the provides a bit of padding to add a more enhanced look.
Sadly a fact that lends credence to the notion larger breast makes a woman better. If women really were to live up to the talk they talk, they would rebuke that practice with is a tacit form of deception at its core anyhow.

Sunny2's avatar

I can use a little boost to a pretty small breast (or small pretty breast) but I love that when the temperature is really hot, I can wear a cotton shirt with 2 pockets and nothing underneath. . . . . . both modest and cool.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Sunny2 I can use a little boost to a pretty small breast (or small pretty breast) but I love that when the temperature is really hot, I can wear a cotton shirt with 2 pockets and nothing underneath. . . . . . both modest and cool.

When you say ”boost” are you meaning size increase, if that is what you mean, why? Isn’t NOW and others telling women to be happy with what they have? Modesty for whom, you or anyone who would happen to see you sans bra?

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther