I never thought I’d enjoy hearing the words “whip ‘em out.” Up to now, the meanings associated with the phrase have been less than liberating.
First there’s the good old fashioned ‘show us your tits’ meaning. Talk radio hosts Opie and Anthony started a “whip ‘em out wednesday” trend in the ’90s– they were eventually shut down but not before thousands of cars had been festooned with “WoW” bumper stickers in the hopes that girls would flash their hooters once a week in support of the fun-lovin’ campaign.
In the context of breastfeeding, “whip ‘em out” has been used in a derogatory way by those who find public nursing vulgar. Women who dare to feed without a blanket draped over the offending flesh are “whipping them out.” Like the Wow girls they are exhibitionists, but this time it’s a show men don’t want to see. And suddenly those very same body parts are “private.”
Come to think of it, the modern semantic history of “whip it out” perfectly embodies the paradox of breast-exposure in America: hot tits are everywhere, but functional breasts should be kept under wraps.
Kudos to The Bump, who produced this stylish PSA, for trying to drag this phrase away from the Hooter-Lovin’ Prudes. And with gorgeous celebs Kelly Rutherford, Lisa Loeb, Ali Landry and Constance Marie telling us it’s OK to publicly feed our babies somewhere other than the bathroom stall, maybe our culture’s squeamish days are numbered.