Today, I would like to talk about nipples.
No, no, come back! Not another pregnancy-related post!
You know. Nipples, but on men.
I know that all men have them. And I in no way object to their actual existence. In fact, I am the first to admit that I am happy, nay, proud, to be a part-owner/operator of the pair that are attached to B. Although, thinking about it, 'operator' is probably an overstatement, because they are, after all, vestigial, aren't they?
And that is, in a round-about, unclear and rambling way, my point.
Why is a certain type of chap SO PROUD of his non-operational, vestigial-man-nipples that the minute there is any glimmer of sunshine, the t-shirt gets whipped off, the chest exposed and there they are, positively flaunted for all too see.
Or in my case, to try to avoid seeing.
I am not completely prejudiced. I just feel that there is an appropriate time and place for optimum exposure - on the beach is fine. In the privacy of ones back garden or the back garden of a friend is fine.
Sitting at the table next to me in the beer garden; or walking up the High Street is NOT FINE AT ALL. It makes me uncomfortable.
Because, actually, it's not about man-nipples at all, is it?
It's about masculinity. Testosterone. It's about 'see me, here I am with my Tarzan-Like Chest exposed to the world, proving what a perfect specimen of the human species I am by allowing all the females around to wonder at my physique, whilst my fellow males stare in bemused envy'. It doesn't seem to matter whether there actually IS a Tarzan-Like Chest to expose. Many exposed chests which I have had the misfortune to observe have been most UN-Tarzan-Like.
It's wrong. It's disconcerting. It's rude. All of these, because it makes other people feel uncomfortable.
And it's also a Very British Thing.
I don't remember being anywhere in Europe and seeing anyone other than British men semi-naked anywhere other than the beach.
Why? Why do British men feel that this is appropriate summer behaviour? Why do they feel that it is okay to subject the rest of us to their semi-naked dominance rituals? Answers in the comments. And sunglasses sent to the usual address - preferably some kind of design that immediately goes pitch-black when a man-nipple comes in to sight.
For today, that is all. I go to scrub my mind.