Thanks to civilizeme for this link to The Frisky’s post “What the Hell is ‘Breast Ironing’?”
I haven’t seen the documentary referenced, but the concept is pretty hard to stomach. By flattening a young girl’s developing nipples so she doesn’t incite men to lust, a girl is not only held responsible for men’s actions, but subject to all sorts of health problems. As Jessica Wakeman for The Frisky points out, “breast ironing” is similar to female genital mutilation. Both hold women entirely (and unfairly!) accountable for the sexual misconduct of men. Women are portrayed and treated as temptresses who distract and destroy otherwise innocent men. Subduing a woman’s “negative” sexual power is considered much more important than protecting her health or dignity. One can only imagine the shame and deep psychological damage that must come with both breast ironing and female genital mutilation. Women are taught that there is nothing positive about their bodies or sexuality – which can only perpetuate a cycle of smothering repression.