Guest Post: Post Hoc, Ergo Procter Hoc[1]: Post Dobbs Bralessness


You Do Hoodoo is honored to welcome Archibald Ascot Anderson, Professor of Social Sciences Emeritus of the University of Greenville, who has contributed the following WesTalk. The Editors of Hoodoo (i.e. I-and-I) do not necessarily agree with our guests’ suppositions, but we do take pride providing a wide range of provocative views on newsworthy topics.

So, with no further, ado. Dr. Anderson, you’re on.

[tepid studio applause]

Um, thank you.

I’ll start this sensitive subject with a confession: Even more than your typical heterosexual male, I –especially in my younger days – suffered an unhealthy obsession with female mamilla. I remember when I was five sitting on the sofa of our roach-infested two-bedroom rental on Laurel Street drawing pictures of mermaids and my mother informing me that once I started kindergarten, I couldn’t draw mermaids anymore, at least not at school. I don’t remember if I asked why or not, but I do remember feeling sort of weird, wondering why it was bad.

Of course, my mother is to blame for my early obsession because, as the story goes, she breastfed me until I was three or so and only began to wean me when I began sliding my hand under her blouse and unhooking her brassiere.[2] Not surprisingly, I associated breasts with comfort, love, food, and my buxom raven-haired bovine Mama. For me, a pacifier offered no succor comfort. I’d spit it out in disgust when they attempted artificially to soothe my anxiety.

Being born in 1950 would turn out to be propitious because in the late 60s during the full bloom of my adolescence, bralessness became a thing with young women sporting halter tops, tube tops, gauzy peasant blouses, etc. And still today, even in my testostretonic-challenged semi-dotage, I find the unfettered soft sway of braless bosoms aesthetically pleasing.[3]

What has prompted me to write about such a potentially touchy sensitive subject is that I’ve noticed a marked increase in bralessness on the barrier island where I live, admittedly a spot more inclined to hedonistic behavior given its sea, salt, sand, and all that jazz.[4] However, I hasten to add, this discarding of foundation undergarments is a recent change. I recall around the 4th of July a bartender friend remarking that if he were an investor, he wouldn’t be buying shares in the Bali or Maidenform corporations. He smiled, I smiled. We’d noticed. We dug.

Last week, a colleague texted from New Orleans and in a postscript added, “I’ve been here 8 hours and haven’t encountered one bra.

Based on these two examples, I think we can say confidently that bralessness is on the rise. But what are the factors that have contributed to this fashionable discarding?

I have a theory. Women shedding the undoubtedly uncomfortable harness is, whether conscious or unconscious, a reaction to the Dobbs-Sayonara-Reproductive Rights decision of 24 June 2022. Women have had it. They’re not going to take it anymore.

It’s possible, no probable, and with that, I bid thee a fond goodnight. I just can’t talk about it anymore.

[tepid studio applause]

Well, thank you, Dr. Anderson, for your fascinating theory. Of course, we welcome your feedback. Do you think overturning Dobbs has prompted an increase in bralessness? Let us know by flinging your two cents worth in the comments box.

And stay tuned for next week’s WesTalk when Congresswoman Nancy Mace will discuss what it’s like standing in line waiting a turn to be photographed with Donald Trump.


[1] “After this, therefore because of this” – an informal fallacy which argues A occurred, then B occurred, so A caused B. E.g., I didn’t wear my lucky Gamecock baseball cap; therefore, USC lost to Clemson 55-10.

[2] BTW, breastfeeding was the opposite of “all the rage” in the early 1950s with Ike and Mamie in the White House. At least in the small provincial Southern town (pardon the redundancy) where I was reared, breast-feeding was for poor people. (Also, c.f., Toni Morrison’s Son of Solomon.)

[3] In, of course, a wholesome, detached non-objectifying way. By the way, since my near fatal pickleball injury in 2018, I have been confined to a wheelchair.

[4] In fact, it ranks second to Nashville as the most popular bachelorette party destination on the East Coast.

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