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tigtog (aka Viv) is the founder of this blog. She lives in Sydney, Australia: husband, 2 kids, cat, house, garden, just enough wine-racks and (sigh) far too few bookshelves.

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6 responses to “BFTP: The myth of bra burning feminists”

  1. Sheila NomNomDePlume

    that was so interesting – my mother and her friends must have missed the memo that it never happened – they had a bra burning day in about 1970. In Western Australia, we were so avant-garde. My father turned up and apparently triggered the burning, they were all drunk (mother et al) and talking feminism. Was quite funny, nice suburbia, everyone laughing. ice clinking in glasses, and the bras flaring and melting. (I was only 9.) And then, everyone drove home!

  2. tigtog

    that was so interesting – my mother and her friends must have missed the memo that it never happened – they had a bra burning day in about 1970. In Western Australia, we were so avant-garde.

    I’m not at all surprised that they wouldn’t have known any different only two years later on the other side of the world – who could they have known who would actually have been at the original trashing? Their only source of information would have been the mainstream media of the time, who were heavily pushing the bra-burning story.

  3. Sheila NomNomDePlume

    is hard enough to find out truth with all the wonderful web at our fingertips :)

  4. Ellen Morris

    It’s also possible that the phrase “bra burners” stuck around for a reason that had more to do with market appeal than anything else. It’s a brief, alliterative phrase. “Bra burners” is short and to the point. “Padded bra burners” is not only longer, but makes the hearer question whether the bras or the burners were padded. I’m not joking here; from a marketing standpoint, the quick, catchy phrase is the one that sells best. And, coming from the New York Post, there’s no doubt that a short, provocative phrase was created to sell newspapers. The fact that the phrase caught on and hung on is a tribute to the appeal of the effective catch-all term. I don’t like it, but this makes sense to me.

  5. Aqua of the Questioners

    Unlike Sheila, I don’t know of anyone who did any bra-burning, but I never understood what was the big deal about it in the first place – why it is talked about as So! Shocking! that it needs debunking. As far as I can tell, most of the garments that women enthusiastically recommend as increasing their comfort or mobility wrt to their breasts aren’t bras, or at least not typical bras. (Disclaimer: my own breasts are small enough that I’m more an interested observer than personally involved.)

  6. Linda Radfem

    I agree, it’s the fact that it makes women look a bit silly that is the reason the myth stuck. It’s also ironic that while a burning that never happened endures in the public mind, the genocidal witch burnings which absolutely did happen over several centuries, seem to have all but disappeared from our collective memory. A truth has become a myth and a myth has become a truth.

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