The Misogyny Files – #1 The Breast & Body Image Conundrum

What’s worse than a male’s chauvinistic attitude toward women?

It is when another woman displays her chauvinistic attitude toward women.

Samantha Brett, of the Sydney Morning Herald doesn’t have any issue in using her blogging platform for the paper to share her far-reaching opinions and thoughts that teeters on the edge of encouraging women to put on a breast show in order to get further, professionally.

Brett shares with us, almost as an absolute truth, that it is far better and more effective to put your breasts on display in the workplace than it is to hold a phD.

“And when it comes to the workplace, despite the fight for equal pay and equal rights, some women (many women) know that a good push-up bra is a better investment than any PhD. Besides, it sure as hell is something no man can ever attempt to compete with, no matter how many golf games or strip-club outings they organise for prospective clients. Women simply whip on a low-cut dress, some spindly stilettos and, voila! They’re ahead of the game by a long shot.”

Seriously? I sincerely hope that this entire paragraph is a joke, for oh, so, many reasons.

Moreover, I would feel concern over such a workplace of which a man would treat prospective clients to a strip club outing in order to win their business.

Further on, Samantha Brett perpetuates a stereotypical (and fictional) attitude that smaller breasts are seen as less desirable. She informs us that she has polled a trove of women who have led her to the resolve that, in more articulate (barely) terms, going to the beach and having small boobs, like, totally sucks, ‘cos all the hot guys look at the chicks with the big boobs!!!

I don’t know about others, but when I go to the beach, usually it is to swim, to have a picnic with my girlfriends or to just enjoy the atmosphere – regardless of my bra-size, I keep myself covered up, because as Ms. Brett accurately pointed out, we are the “sun-drenched” country.

The blogger then cites a self-conscious friend as a source for evidence to confirm her silly stereotype and incredibly accurate poll (yeah, right). You need big breasts to be sexy, you need men to compliment you on them in order to feel self-confident. Okay. Right.

 Perhaps, better spent would have been some time helping this friend build some esteem before letting her go for a boob job in order to please other people.

“It’s the absolute worst being flat,” a friend said to me before she decided to opt for breast augmentation surgery. “You feel as though everyone is staring at your chest for all the wrong reasons. No men call you sexy, and you definitely don’t get any wolf whistles. It brings down your entire self-esteem.”

Among ridiculous chauvinistic comments (from her previous blogs, I assume) that she has cited in order to get her point across, I came across a gem of a man that likened breasts to jewelery.

Honestly, I was under the impression breasts had something to do with nursing…

I think, given that Samantha Brett has a public following, it would serve her interests to write more responsible articles that don’t perpetuate body image issues or encourage women to subscribe to opinions or sentiments that make them second-guess intelligence in place of looks and image.

Not only that, but raising these non-issues (or conundrums, as she likes to call them) and paying attention to the chauvinists (both men and women) who like to believe that it is their right to stare unwittingly at a woman’s chest irrespective of her size, is just encouraging and giving a voice to misogyny at its best.

But then again, what do I know? Maybe I should just get my sweater puppies out and be done with it!

You can read the entire article here – The Great Cleavage Conundrum: should men look if it’s on display? 

Leave a comment


  1. Louise

     /  February 21, 2012

    “It’s the absolute worst being flat,” a friend said to me before she decided to opt for breast augmentation surgery. “You feel as though everyone is staring at your chest for all the wrong reasons. No men call you sexy, and you definitely don’t get any wolf whistles. It brings down your entire self-esteem.”

    I don’t know any woman that feels comfortable about some guy wolf whistling or calling out to her when she’s minding her own business.

    Reading through her article, Samantha Brett, quite simply, is a tool.

    • Yeah really. I suppose that’s why I feel like this article is far-reaching. I’m only human and haven’t always had the self-esteem that I have now and I know that in the past when I’ve been wolf-whistled at and been told to “show us yer knockers!” as I have been innocently walking to a bus stop that I’ve felt slightly threatened and if not, then rightfully frustrated or irritated.

      I am sure some women do enjoy it, but I’m sure those women are far and few between.

  2. Scott

     /  February 22, 2012

    Ms Brett creates content aimed at riling the audience. I imagine she is under instruction to do so by her employer. I respect that she may be a journalist and quite possibly a pleasant individual. Unfortunately, her job is counter-productive to a society looking to move forward.

    • Hi Scott, thanks for your input. I tend to agree somewhat especially with your last sentence, however I don’t know that she is under any instruction really to write such drivel; however, she does certainly fill a niche for a Carrie Bradshaw, Sex & The City Wannabe. She really is in no position to be speaking for women.

      • Scott

         /  February 22, 2012

        I stopped reading her stuff years ago after what appeared to be a ‘it’s no big deal’ comment about porn. No credibility.

        • I must admit, I don’t follow her column. I just clicked on it by accident when I was reading the paper the other day and got reading — from what I can gather, it’s just fodder for the fleeting reader, encourages girls like herself that empowerment is all about looks and living up to what they truly believe men expect/want from them. Sad reflection of society, tbh.

          • She’s difficult to avoid if you visit the smh website. It’s great that you make the effort to offer another opinion; and brave too. I have a 13yo daughter who is fairly sensible but is obviously vulnerable to the machine that produces the junk like Ms Brett delivers. It’s good to know that someone is putting forth a dissenting opinion for all of the vulnerable girls (and boys) out there. Keep up the good work.

            • Thanks for all of your input Scott, I think all women – young and old are susceptible to this type of senseless body-shaming. Even free-thinking, confident young women want something other than what they have to some degree which is probably part of human nature — but I suppose being able to distinguish insecurities apart from what is an absolute necessity.

              Is it necessary for me to have bigger breasts? No. Do I need to prove my worth to someone by wearing less clothing or provoking male attention through attitude, looks and more? no.

              That type of thing.

              • The media like to keep us insecure. What has worked on women (insecurity peddling) for so many years has also been deployed onto men recently. I see so many guys at the gym who look misshapen from muscling up. They do not look like they have muscled up from working hard at their job, it is purely buff for buff’s sake. Not that guys have it worse than girls, it’s just something I have noticed. One of the biggest problems we face is that guys do not know how to handle the anxiety of being around women very well. The media feed on this state of flux. The opportunity for psychological and moral progress has been missed recently, as the media and entertainment industries keep us believing that beauty is merely skin deep. When deep connections occur between a man and a woman (like my wife and I, 19 years together), we become lousy consumers. We enjoy each other’s company, we rely on each other, we help each other, we share resources and we trust each other. We do not need to spend money on being peacocks 24/7. Like the Talking Heads’ song, “They’re living on nuts and berries, they’re setting a bad example.”..


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