American women have no nipples (before 10 p.m.)

American women have no nipples (before 10 p.m.)

: Pamela Anderson, appearing on Howard Stern this morning to plug her new Fox show Stacked, said that the network censors have come on the set and ordered that her nippled be “taped down” because you can’t have nipples before 10 p.m.

This shows the absurd lengths to which regulatory puritanism has gone: Now American women can’t have nipples, at least not before the “safe harbor,” when, apparently, nipples are suddenly, magically allowed to pop out again.

I say that the NOW should be storming the FCC with protest over this: Because of the chill (which, yes, ironically, would have the undesired effect on nipples) they have imposed, we are now at the point where a woman’s clothed anatomy is deemed to be injurious to children. That’s childish itself; it’s absurd; it’s sexist; it’s more offensive than any nipple, even Janet Jackson’s.

Free the nipples!

  • Shalom Jeff,
    What’s next? Men forced to bind their loins for that “Ken Doll” look?

  • It’s equally absurd that TV producers need to highlight a woman’s nipples via her wardrobe in the first place. Seems that Mary Tyler Moore and Candice Bergen did fine on TV keeping their nipples in tow.

  • Ben

    What’s with this photo of Dianne Sawyer then?
    Better censor everything. Uhh no. Amazing what you can find on the Internet before 10PM.

  • Mike

    Jeff, sometimes you are so over the top it feels like you are trying to scale the Empire State building. This is such an absurd argument. If you want to highlight freedom of speech infrations and government censorship of speech, is nipple censorship the way to do it? You come off sounding like a shill for Howard Stern.
    Free the nipples? Please just go buy a Playboy, or look on the internet for your nipples. There are plenty of avenues to fill your nipple watching. Just because they can’t be shown protruding through tight tops before 10pm is not an attack on our freedoms.
    It would be nice if you looked at the attacks of speech on universities or political campaigns, but instead it would seem your talking points on this issue come straight from the Howard Stern show.

  • Luetta

    I think this is a case of women vs men thing
    women have no problem with men on tv without a cover over the chest, but men have to fight tooth and nail
    to see nipples show that are coverd on a women’s chest. The FCC is sexist

  • marthirial

    I just figured it out.
    This is the newest marketing trick, recipe follows:
    1) TV channel (or any media) hides behind a righteous/puritan/concern platform from where it will filter its content.
    2) Brings flashy/sexy/sexually driven celebrities but impose some 18th century moral rules to them.
    3) Liberals/howardsterns/etc. scream their lung off condemning this “censorship”. This provides free ads to TV Channel and sets the “morbid curiosity factor” on the audience to the highest level. Emotional drive always wins.
    4) Liberal audience watches the show while asking: “will the celebrity rebel?”, Moralistic audience watches the show while asking: “Do we have to call FCC?”, Who cares audience watches the show while asking: “Why am I watching this?”, Brain damaged audience watches the show and thinks: “Just kill more of my time, please”
    5) TV Show gets biggest ratings, celebrity strengthens his/her market or creates a new one, liberals had argument to keep bashing, moralists get satisfaction and affirmation on what they consider a victory, rest of audience conforms in silence.
    6) Repeat 1-5 as needed.
    6a) Content/quality of the show is irrelevant.

  • Old Coot

    Given the number of “enhancement” surgeries, I kinda wonder where her nipples are these days.

  • Marthirial, I think you’ve cracked their code, LOL

  • Todd Fletcher

    This reminds me of the Onion headline “President Carter Urges Calm After Farrah Nipple-Sighting”

  • Paw

    Nice theory, Marthirial. I’m sure Fox would have expected it to work for LITTLEST GROOM, WHO’S YOUR DADDY? or MARRIED IN AMERICA, but it didn’t. Bottom line, if the program is doo doo, no amount of outrage from any community will provide anything more than a few minutes of brief initial sampling followed by a hasty exit. If Pam’s sitcom isn’t funny, viewers won’t return. End of story.

  • Catherine

    Did anyone ever watch Friends. Jennifer Aniston had hard nipples throughout 85% of the episodes. She was on before 10, wasn’t she?

  • What’s next to pop-up?

  • Tom

    Seriously, since we surely frequently come across people whose nipples are showing in EVERYDAY LIFE, we can’t have them show up on television, even if it is in EVERYDAY SITUATIONS now? Sheesh.

  • Pat

    If Pamela Anderson said it, and on the Howard Stern show, then it *must* be true.

  • Jon

    Sounds like a replay of last fall’s markets, morality and Monday Night Football.

  • Hunter McDaniel

    The name of this show is “Stacked”. From that I would infer that the whole show is about Pamela Anderson’s tits. That’s the real scandal, not whether we can see her nipples.
    Maybe I’m missing something, but where is the FCC angle in this? Seems like this was a content decision by Fox. Producers fight with networks all the time, just as writers fight with editors. That doesn’t make it ‘censorship’.

  • It’s not censorship in the classic definition. The point is whether or not Fox would impose this restriction if the FCC weren’t on its witch-hunt. Self-censorship based on fear of FCC fines is still a form of government coercion.
    And really, if Fox is this concerned about nipples on tv, perhaps they should do something about Simon Cowell. He has the same problem. Is the argument against enforcing this against him that he’s a male and that’s not indecent?

  • “Self-censorship based on fear of FCC fines is still a form of government coercion.”
    that’s assuming that its the FCC they’re afraid of. quite often, network censors are more concerned with keeping their advertisers happy than the FCC.

  • I agree that it could be the advertisers, but it’s a Pam Anderson show on Fox. They know what they’re getting, so I don’t believe that’s the case this time. Even it wasn’t Stacked, I doubt I’d believe that until folks start complaining to advertisers before complaining to the FCC.

  • JJ, think about the relationship between this story and your note about push marketing.
    Let’s take an average American family: they don’t want to have marketers intrude on their family life during the evening, and they don’t want T&A intruding on their family viewing during the same time.
    In one case, the government intervenes in favor of the family, however it is at the expense of somebody’s right to free speech and expression, albeit the use of technology to do so.
    In the other case… well, ditto.
    You can turn off the TV. You can also rip the phone cord out of the wall. What’s the diff? You say that telemarketers are now forced to abandon a stupid practice, but at the same time, Pamela Anderson’s show will have to rely on like, you know, actual jokes and good writing (if Pamela Anderson’s report is true, which I’m not entirely buying, anyway… it really does smack too much of bosom-based publicity mongering)

  • carsonfire,
    Bad analogy to telemarketing there. TV is a broadcast medium. When the FCC punishes a TV network, they are preventing everyone from watching that content, even if they want to. Telemarketers make person-to-person calls. If I say I don’t want to be contacted (via the do not call list), they have no right to call me. With TV, I don’t have a similar option (yet), except changing the channel. What’s so hard about that?

  • nameless

    Am I missing something? Nipples were a problem on a radio show?

  • Danil

    I call your attention to “Tip of the Iceberg”, by Worley and Waller…. “Fuck you, this is Art!”

  • Children weren’t meant to see nipples. That’s why when they are born the first thing we do is cover their own nipples with happy-face stickers which are not to be removed until the child reaches 17 years of age.

  • The whole nipple taboo is artificially created by our society. There is nothing inherently sexual about nipples. They are an organ for feeding babies, for chrissake.
    But whatever. Taboos create fetishes, and I guess that must be the real goal.

  • Fling – all taboos are artificially created by societies, no?

  • Derek

    The reason you don’t hear NOW crying out is that many feminists (e.g. Andrea Dworkin, may she rip) also agree that a Taliban-style prohibition of exposed female flesh is appropriate. Go far enough around on one extreme and you start finding representatives from the other….clowns to the left of us and jokers to the right.

  • Like I told Carrie Fisher in 1976: “No jiggling in the Empire.” Somehow the film made money, with nary any royalties for the duct-tape industry.

  • Michael Zimmer: all taboos are artificially created by societies, no?
    Sure, and we often forget their origins. They provoke a strong emotional response we assume it stems from something deeper than societal programming.
    Some were for good reasons, like incest. And others were more arbitrary in nature that they aren’t shared so widely by other cultures.

  • It probably makes more sense to ask Pam and the Stacked crew what they think about this, since they all have blogs themselves.

  • Andy Freeman

    > I say that the NOW should be storming the FCC with protest over this
    Once again, Jarvis thinks that someone else should be protecting MSM’s porn-speech rights, the same MSM that works to restrict not-MSM’s political speech rights.
    Porn-speech probably does come under the penumbra of my political speech rights, but MSM pushed us past that point on the slippery slope.
    So Jeff, what has MSM done to justify such help? Why should anyone lift a finger to help network execs buy a bigger house in Aspen?

  • John Ettorre

    To an earlier commenter: you’ve only just recently concluded that Jarvis comes off sounding like a shill for Howard Stern? That’s been his problem for a very long time. That lowbrow TV Guide background of his rises to the top at uncomfortable moments.

  • pawl

    you mean women have nipples?

  • Lex

    It ain’t just the FCC. A friend who competed once in the Miss Georgia USA pageant says each contestant was issued two Band-Aids, to be used for purposes neither God nor Johnson & Johnson ever intended.

  • John

    In addition to the aforementioned Jennifer Aniston, Teri Hatcher on “Desperate Housewives” almost weekly disproves that there’s any FCC-related ban on hard nipples before 10 p.m. The issue with “Stacked” sounds more like a Fox standards-and-practices policy that Ms. Anderson is conflating with an FCC thing.
    Actually, rereading the post, I see that according to Jeff, Pamela did refer to “network censors” and not to the FCC. So, despite being a nipple fan myself, I think Jeff’s high dudgeon is misplaced here.

  • JohnB

    Anybody who has actually watched the program knows that Pamela’s nipples would have been the sole redeeming feature in a landscape of puerile dialog noticable only for its complete lack of anything that even resembled humor.

  • Kay

    I certainly don’t have Pamela Anderson’s breasts, but even non-celebrity nipples sometimes show under regular clothing. Even a lined sports bra and an oversized T-shirt isn’t enough to completely prevent “nipplage” on a cold day. It seems unbelievable that the FCC would complain about something that also happens to normal women wearing normal clothing. Or are we all supposed to cover ourselves with burkha’s so no child could infer we have nipples?

  • Cora

    So does this mean that when I visit the US and my nipples accidentally show beneath my clothes, I’ll be arrested or what?