story of bras
and how they feel about bras.....By Akiko Tanaka
All means of standardized measure place me squarely in the above-average-intelligence zone. However, a casual observer of my actual behavior may not agree. This morning happens to be a case in point. Early last week I was notified that an important meeting was scheduled to take place. My attendance at the meeting was characterized as being very important. I arrived at my destination today in order to attend, exactly five minutes before nine, fully prepared with
notes in my briefcase, only to find that the meeting had been cancelled prior to the weekend. The receptionist I spoke with was only too happy to point out that according to her notes:
"Ms. Akiko Tanaka has been notified of the change in
schedule." I did not care to make a point of the fact that indeed I had not been notified, as experience has shown it is terribly useless to defy notes in the possession of receptionists.
So this morning I find myself being
"all dressed up and having nowhere to go." This shouldn't be happening. I feel a bit embarrassed by the fact that I haven't a contingency plan. Of course there are many things that need my attention, but I have not planned in advance to deal with any of them on short notice. Driving home, I briefly consider stopping to shop at a few stores that I enjoy browsing. Too bad I already own enough things to make additional shopping absolutely ludicrous. There has to be something better. Returning home I prepare a proper breakfast and share it with Archangel, my cat, who expected to sleep all day. But an offer of Canadian bacon and sharp cheddar cheese omelet doesn't offend him. (Nothing so far prepared in my kitchen has ever offended Archangel.)
I was at first going to put down the story of a dream I had last night. It had nothing whatsoever to do with the meeting I was supposed to attend. It was one of those rare, extremely vivid-type dreams. I can recall it with amazing detail. I dreamt I was a man, in Switzerland no less, and was given an opportunity to experience maleness firsthand. But to relate this dream in all its splendid detail would require the use of finely tuned graphic imagery.
And so, after much ado, I shall tell a story instead about an ancient civilization, one known mostly by the work of archaeologists. Archaeology isn't the best of sciences. The archaeologists themselves, by their own admission, destroy the bulk of the quantifiable evidence as they pursue it. And most often it is the case that previous plunderers have preceded them, usually having little regard for what they may find except cash value. Already treading on some thin ice, archaeologists then proceed to attempt to interpret what they find in a way that may be understood, by us, perhaps thousands of years after little remains of the culture in question, except what has been haphazardly preserved by time. Let us now take an extremely brief peek at the civilization of Minoan Crete, specifically the remains of
Knossos, and a type of garment supposed to have been worn by women living there some 4,000 years ago. While no actual remains of the garment, presumably a textile, have been found, its existence can be inferred by images of women wearing it. The images portray what for lack of a better term may be called a
brassiere (or a bra). This Minoan brassiere had little to do with brassiere, as we know them today. (In this case the use of the term "brassiere" may in fact be misleading, but we shall never know what term the Minoan people used.) The garment was worn to lift a woman's bare
bust out of her clothes. It is not known if this was everyday attire.
We can see at this point that the Minoans were in fact way ahead of Howard Hughes, and his famed actress/associate Jane Russell
(The Outlaw), if not temporally, but nonetheless in terms of exhibitionism. But we must remember that this kind of judgment is based upon notions held by our culture, which in all likelihood have nothing to do with Minoan culture. How women have chosen to display
their bodies has run the gamut of full exposure to virtual denial, if one considers the full range of human history and experience. Were the women of Knossos simply taking advantage of a favorable climate and permissible standards of behavior? (I've enjoyed this myself a number of times on certain
vacation spots in the Caribbean.) Or was this something altogether different? What was the purpose of wearing a "brassiere"
(or "bra") designed to fully expose one's
As Americans we find ourselves now as a culture still being born. We are proceeding at a tremendous velocity, compared to ancient civilizations, due mostly to the technology we possess. This velocity may, in the end, prove too much for humans to bear for a long period of time. We know we are
subjecting our one-and-only planet/home to tremendous stress. In an objective sense we have many things we ought to be considering with regard to our survival as a species. We ought to have some contingency plans, maybe? I didn't have one this morning, when I found my meeting cancelled. And look at where I've found myself. I am at the conclusion of an article about
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