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I n so u cia n ce: Ja m e s F . Tr u m m

A few years ago, the following conversation occurred between a San Francisco radio-talk-show host named Chris Clarke and a caller named Gregory.

Gregory: I have a friend who recently had breast reconstruction after having undergone a mastectomy for breast cancer. She was upset because, for the time being, she was not allowed to get the silicone implant and had to stick with the saline. As it turns out, she is very pleased with the saline. But this gave rise to an interesting point. Another friend pointed out that in politically conservative, repressive times, big breasts on women become very popular, and in liberal, freewheeling times, small breasts become popular.

Clarke: What age are we entering into now?

Gregory: Well, clearly we are in a repressive age.

Clarke: So there are going to be larger breasts.

Gregory: Yes, based on my friend's theory. For example, the fifties were a very repressive age, and we had Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield. The twenties were a very wild age, and small breasts were popular. You see, his theory is that in a repressive age, people feel the need for nurturing. That's why big breasts become popular.

Clarke: Yes.

Gregory: Now, my theory is that my friend is confusing cause and effect. Rather than political thought determining breast size, it's the other way around.

Clarke: You mean breast size determines political thought?
Gregory: Yeah. Big breasts are popular, people look around, they say, "Oh, there's lots of big breasts--they're very big, they're scary, somebody might get their eye put out. I'm going to vote for Buchanan."

Clarke: Yeah.

Gregory: It's not that "Political times are repressive, ergo we like big breasts," but that "There are a lot of big breasts around, ergo we get scared and we get conservative." And, conversely, like in the sixties you had people like Penelope Tree and Twiggy, and people looked around and said, "Oh, there's lots of small breasts around--it's okay, it's safe. I'm going to join a commune and take drugs."