East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

My nipples are different

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For the first time in my online life, I had a post blocked by Facebook, together with a prim and rather icy pop-up that informed me the post violated the Community Standards for nudity and sexual activities.
Of course I laughed out loud about the sole idea of that circus that is Facebook having standards of any kind, community or otherwise, but then I had to accept the fact that, yes, I had just broken the Facebook laws of decency.
And on the eve of Halloween, of all times…

What happened is – to make a long story short – I was discussing the late, lamented Burt Reynolds, while chatting with some friends, and I posted the classic Playgirl photograph from the ’70s. This photograph…

And the Facebook Vice Squad nailed me.
I violated the Community Standards, you see…
Which is weird, because I checked, and the Facebook Community Standards about nudity and sexual activity (as provided by the platform itself) are as follows:

Now, the photo is not showing Burt Reynolds’ genitals as far as I can see, and he’s certainly not engaging in sexual activity with the bear skin.
There’s no explicit language that I can see (a friend of mine said that Burt’s pecs talk dirty to her, but she’s a fan).
As for nipples… he’s Burt fracking Reynolds, so those are not “female nipples”.

And also, why are my nipples (or Burt’s) any different, Community Standards-wise, than a woman’s?
I mean, they are just that, right? Nipples.
Everybody’s got two – witches are said to have three.
And I could not expose mine for the purpose of breastfeeding, or as an act of protest. Indeed, baring my breast as an act of protest would be perceived as ridiculous.
Is it for this reason that I can actually post my nipples, while any one of my friends of the female persuasion can’t?
Of course, I could also expose them in a moment of after-birth celebration… whose birth? Anyone’s, I guess, the Standards do not specify…

“Oh, what a nice baby! Here, let me bare my breast!”

And yes, for health reasons too. So, are my nipples different?
Facebook seems to think so for… reasons.
My curiosity is piqued.

And of course I would like to write a story about all of this, something called Burt Reynolds in the Valley of the Nipple-less Women… but I’m not so keen on bizarro fiction.
As an alternative, I could simply post a bare-chested photo of Putin – I’m sure Facebook would react by sending along an Amazon gift card and a heart-shaped box of chocolates.

And I thought it would be a quiet Halloween’s eve…

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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