Go Topless

Got plans today? Kathryn gave me a heads up (or something) that today is Go Topless’s protest day around the US, where women will gather without shirts to protest the ridiculous standards which make it socially acceptable for men to go topless, but not women. The New York City gathering place is the Merchant’s Gate of Central Park, aka the Columbus Circle entrance across from the Time Warner center. Other cities hosting topless rallies include Bloomington, Chicago, Miami and Omaha. The Denver rally will be on the 26th to coincide with the start of the DNC (Welcome to Denver! Here are our boobs!)

I think this is just awesome, but I have one word of caution: women, please, trust me on this. Wear sunscreen. Especially on your nipples. I recommend SPF 45+ lip balm as a sunscreen for your nipples. It tends to stay on longer.

Happy topless day! Hope someone breastfeeds while this is going on because that would just underscore the awesome.

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  1. 1
    Aimee says:

    I just want to say we won the right to go topless here in Ontario about 10 years ago I believe. I couldn’t figure out for the life of me why none of the men were in the office and why lunch seemed to go on forever. It’s because, one plucky lady, decided to take advantage of the fact that it was now legal and bared her chest. On a weekday, during lunch…. City Hall had never been that packed.

  2. 2
  3. 3
    Jane O says:

    I don’t know. It seems to me that most people, male or female, look better with clothes on.

  4. 4
    ev says:

    People v. Santorelli, 1992, NY. The difference between going topless in public for commercial gain (illegal) and for personal desire (legal). So why are they protesting in NYC?? Or is it to support other states who can’t??

  5. 5

    I’d go topless to promote breastfeeding, and to protest the ridiculous reaction so many people have to that act. Otherwise, not so much.

  6. 6
    ev says:

    I would not go topless, but I support it. The cause and my boobiews (which is why I won’t go topless.- see thru bra??)

    I would rather look at some woman walking around topless than some of the men that I have seen. MY EYES, MY EYES!! I HAVE BEEN BLINDED BY THE GAWDAWFUL MANTITTY!!!! ARRGGHHHH!!!!
    And we won’t discuss the usual bellies that go with said naked man titty.

  7. 7
    AgTigress says:

    While I agree that male and female should be treated alike on this issue, I also detest the discourtesy shown by so many people these days in going about far too scantily clad in inappropriate surroundings – such as urban public transport.  I resent having my nose pressed against the bare back of a total stranger when travelling on the Underground. 

    There are occasions, such as swimming in the sea, in which it seems perfectly reasonable to strip off completely, if one wishes, and again, I don’t see why the sexes should be treated differently, but bare backs, bellies and thighs, let alone chests, seem to me unattractive, unsuitable and uncomfortable in crowded places. 

    For both men and women, loose, light cotton clothing covering not only back and chest, but also the upper arms, is more aesthetically pleasing in public surroundings than acres of bare flesh.  It is also a wise choice if one wants to avoid skin cancer, and is more comfortable.

    So, yes:  female breasts are no more objectionable than male ones, and it is insulting for the law to imply that they are, but I still believe they should all be kept modestly veiled in most public surroundings.

  8. 8
    AgTigress says:

    Breast-feeding is a totally separate issue, to my mind.  Most mothers are perfectly well able to nurse a baby in public in a modest fashion, without any extravagant display of the body.  I can’t imagine why anyone would object to it.  People are very odd.

  9. 9
    Nifty says:

    I would never have the nerve to be topless in public these days because my size-D chariots swing low, but…  In the past, I’ve visited a few nudie beaches, and I have to say that one benefit of such places is that they quickly impress upon you the infinite variety of body shapes and sizes.  In America, most of the “bare boobies” we see are on 20 year old girls posing for Playboy or “Girls Gone Wild”, or nicely backlit on a movie screen.  They’re perfect boobies, round and perky and uptilted and glorious.  But not all boobies are that way, and I think it could help expectations—and self esteem—if people (of all ages and both genders) were more aware of the wonderful variations on the boobie theme (and the body theme, for that matter). The other thing I noticed about the nudie beaches is that initially, it’s a somewhat erotic experience.  Naked bodies everywhere!!  Boobies and twigs and berries!!  Skin, skin, and more skin!!  But before long the eroticism fades and it’s just naked bodies everywhere…boobies and twigs and berries…skin, skin, and more skin.  *yawn*

  10. 10
    Tina says:

    I guess I’ll be the big weenie here:

    I ain’t down with Go Topless Day ladies, sorry.  No offense, but showing up at these rallies is like ringing the dinner bell for every moron with a photo-capable cell phone.  It’s unfortunate, but we don’t live in a female-dominant society where going topless is a natural thing; this sort of attempt at empowerment is just another opportunity for John Q Public to get a hard-on.  ^_^.  Unless every women shows up at this thing with a child on her tit—it means nothing and serves no purpose. 

    There’s better things to be rallying for as women, showing off the breast armor in public, is not one of them.  :/

    Still love the blog, peace.  ^__^

  11. 11
    Moira says:

    I’m from Ontario, too, so it’s a done deal, but I’m a prude and I’d rather go the route of no one going topless rather than everyone. At a beach and maybe some parks it would be fine, but it’s not something I’d like to see just walking down the street, and I’m glad that few people here, male or female, seem anxious to exercise that particular right.

  12. 12
    Carrie says:

    Say no to publicly naked boobies of any gender!  Much like making out in public, there are just some things I don’t wanna see.  I wouldn’t inflict my boobies on you while you’re walking to the bookstore, riding the bus or eating lunch.  Please do not inflict your boobies on me!

  13. 13
    Lori Borrill says:

    Wait a minute.  I would definitely argue the point that it is socially acceptable for men to go topless in public, for one reason only:  The ones who do it are the ones who really, really shouldn’t.

  14. 14
    Diane/Anonym2857 says:

    The Denver rally will be on the 26th to coincide with the start of the DNC (Welcome to Denver! Here are our boobs!)

    I think if they really wanted to make a statement that made an impact, they’d have done better to pick a different day, different venue… maybe even different city entirely.  There are approximately 90 different venues for protests and parades and park events planned around the DNC this week—as in planned and with city-approved permits—not including all the spontaneous ones.  We’ve got people protesting for peace, for war, for gay rights, anti-gay initiatives, immigration rights, stomp on immigration rights, pro-choice, operation rescue, you name it.  We’ve got anarchists, ‘free love’ activists, more government/less government, pot smokers, Christian coalition, yadda yadda.  We’ve even got a group that plans to come and stand around the Denver Mint in a circle, hold hands, think happy thoughts, and with sheer mind power alone cause the building to elevate.  A few extra bare boobies probably won’t even be noticed, and even if they are noticed, the intent behind the cause will be lost.

    Tho I suppose it might make the videos and mug shots a bit more interesting.

    I guess I’d have to fall in with those above who talk about how there’s a time and a place for it. I’d also like to think (and for those of you who are wondering, the clouds in my world are a fluffy lavender color) that women have better fashion sense than men, and prefer to be seen in a way that is attractive.  I don’t see why women should be treated differently than men, but then I also don’t think a lot of the man-titty on display is overly welcome either.  Or take hair, for example—I’d wager that most women would rather be seen bald than have some ridiculous comb-over, with one hair spiraled and varnished to their scalp, assuming that no one else will notice. 

    On one level, I guess I can admire that these people have the self-esteem to wear (or not wear) what they do and be comfortable with it. But on another, I wonder why no one ever pulled them aside and gave them a bit of fashion advice. Or at least told them that their appearance was traumatic to those who had to look at them.

    But then, I’m also a firm believer that spandex is a privilege, not a right.  *shrug*  Bare boobs have their place—I’m just not sure it should always be a public place, male or female.

    Diane
    will do the humanitarian thang, and spare everyone from having to see my boobs swinging freely… You’re welcome.

  15. 15
    Denni says:

    I’ll err on the side of not inflicting on others what I don’t wish to see on them.  And I discretely nursed 3 infants, in public when necessary…word, not everyone breast feeding in public is discrete.  Wasn’t there a home video gone public on that subject?  Maybe it was local news.  Anyway it was blatent exhibitionism at the mall.

  16. 16
    KTG says:

    I support these ladies! Having breast fed both of my sons, I know the fear of “getting caught” nursing and infant in public. If nothing else these protests will bring attention to that issue.

    I think women should be allowed to go topless anywhere a man is: public pools, beaches, parks. Most malls, stores, and restuarants have a no shirt/no shoes=no service policy. No one is protesting that. If the site of a woman’s breasts or breast feeding bother you, look the other way.

    That said, even if I had the right to go bare, I probably wouldn’t. But I sure as hell would still go out and support these ladies!

  17. 17
    Soccer Mom says:

    Say no to publicly naked boobies of any gender!  Much like making out in public, there are just some things I don’t wanna see.  I wouldn’t inflict my boobies on you while you’re walking to the bookstore, riding the bus or eating lunch.  Please do not inflict your boobies on me!

    Amen, Carrie.  I don’t give a hoot if someone wants to get nekkid on a nudie beach (as long as I have advance warning), but I don’t want to see 99.999 % of the population au naturel, especially while walking around town.
    I have two good reasons not to go topless and they’re both size “D” and have breast fed too many kids to be exposed to polite society.

  18. 18
    Emmy says:

    Hey, maybe we’ll make the cover of National Geographics like the African women do all the time. The photographers seem to love nekkid peepo.

  19. 19
    Leah says:

    Honestly, aside from the aesthetics and modesty issues (for both genders), aren’t there some safety concerns.  I mean, I am not going to follow some handsome shirtless guy home and rape him, but a woman going topless in public can unwittingly expose herself to some weird guy who WILL follow her home, or into an alley, or whatever, and harm her.  This does not mean she was “asking for it,” btw—I just think we have to be cognizant of the fact that not every guy out there is of the “look, don’t touch” variety.

    word:  final19….yeah, that was probably the last year mine were still nice

  20. 20

    I had friends that went around topless in the town I lived in Ontario. Never bugged me and I honestly don’t see the problem some people have with the naked body. Yes there are situations were being naked would be very frowned upon (and unsafe), but on the whole I think people are just really prudish about it. There only boobs. I have seen many men with boobs that would fit in a DD bra but they can let them hang free. Never gone topless personally but don’t have a problem with people that do.

  21. 21
    Kimberly Van Meter says:

    I don’t think I would go topless but I would like to see more people tolerant and encouraging breast feeding. I breast fed all three of my kids and when I had my first son I was only 20 and very self-conscious. I was so afraid of breast feeding in public that I was nearly in tears when we were at a mall and my 3-month old infant started wailing because I knew I had to feed him. I was very uncomfortable because the prevailing attitude was that I should go sit in the bathroom and do that. By the time I had my third child, I didn’t care what other people thought and when my daughter was hungry, I found a way to feed her discretely.

  22. 22
    Bonnie says:

    I don’t want to see anybody flopping around in public.  Male or female. 

    And I’ll probably get flamed six ways from Sunday, but I don’t want to witness blatant breast feeding in public either.  Sorry, I just don’t.  Discretion is a good thing.

  23. 23
    amy lane says:

    I’m with many of you here—I’m not a big fan of going shirtless—for men or women, although there is the occasional, coveted glimpse of muscular sweat-oiled man-titty that I do have locked in the auto-save portion of my consciousness.  However, the public breastfeeding issue is a big one for me.  I breast-fed four kids, and I spent the first two in absolute terror of some stranger a zillion miles away getting some traumatized view of my calloused, abused nipple as it popped in and out of my bra under the three-layer barrier of T-shirt, baby, and blanket. 

    Then, when I was nursing my third in a hospital no less (waiting in line for the pharmacy), I caught the ‘You offend me, you bitch’ glare from an upright old man who had nothing better to do than scowl at my screaming, STARVING son as he dug in and chowed.  I was not being exhibitionistic, I DID have a nursing blanket, and you know what?  The old stick could go fuck himself before I dragged the kid out to the car in the cold and huddled over my rack like it was a family history of nose-picking.  If there’s a movement that takes some of the shame and terror of out of a woman feeding her children, I’m all for it.  I mean Jaysuuuus, people, my bod has been stretched and filled beyond all sexual proportion by four children and a lifelong love of Mr. Oreo—if there’s anything sexual behind the accidental flash of my rack as I’m making like Bessie the cow, I think that’s the fault of the pervert watching me.

  24. 24

    I don’t have a problem with breastfeeding. Kids need to eat! And while I will never breastfeed (no kids for me) I see no problem at all with the women that do in public. My sister tried but just couldn’t. I am pissed off at the people that get angry at women breast feeding. Thats what they are for and if you don’t like it, look away. It shouldn’t be a shameful thing! And wouldn’t be if people were not so prudish.

  25. 25
    Flo says:

    Ew.  I’m all for empowerment but it just seems like an excuse to get to see boobs.  I’m sure some guys are out there going “Sure, empower yourselves!  We’ll just sit back here with a box of tissues…”

    On another note I really don’t want to see people topless.  Man or woman.  Keep it covered!  Then when it DOES come off it’s way more fun.  Not to mention I’m sure they aren’t all hotties.  And if I have to look at anyone in the nude besides myself and my better half I want them hot and hidden through a filter.

    I know, I know.  I’m horrid.  But I went to those nude beaches in various European countries and it isn’t pretty and it doesn’t better the world.

  26. 26
    KTG says:

    I respect people who “Don’t want to see that”, and I think they should look the other way.

  27. 27
    Bibi says:

    Another one from Ontario, where it’s been legal for years.

    An interesting note for the people who say that they would be uncomfortable seeing nakedness in public places, of any gender: it’s been legal for AGES, and I have never ONCE seen a naked breast in the streets (minus Pride Day, but that’s to be expected).

    The point is people having the same legal rights. It’s the principle, rather than the practice.

  28. 28
    Donna D. says:

    I don’t think we’re talking about women walking through the mall or down a street topless with their girls merrily bouncing along (athough I’m sure there would be those rebel few).  We’re talking a public beach, the pool, a park while sunbathing, etc., the exact same situations in which men have free rein to pull their shirts off. 

    What is so “ewww” about that?  Are those of you who don’t want to see it telling me you don’t stop for a second in your brain and admire a man with a really nice set of abs and pecs jogging through the park?  Why would a woman being topless inspire the urge to slap your hands over your eyes? 

    This sounds suspiciously like the feeling that many people have of fat people, that “You make me uncomfortable and/or disgusted” attitude.  Some of the comments I’ve just read here speak more of your own personal body issues, not denying women the right to pull their shirt off at the beach. 

    And I find it hilariously ironic that this debate is taking place on a blog (that I ADORE) that spends a great chunk of time critiquing bare-chested cover men and man-titties.  Then we mention women-titties and people are covering their eyes or saying “No, no, women will be sexualized by it!!!”

  29. 29
    Teddypig says:

    Sorry but as a guy can I point out I wish more of those legal male titties were covered the hell up.

    Why is it always the ones who should not, do it all the time?

    Now with the obesity stats at an all time high… NO NO NO!
    Think this through people!

    My momma always said don’t flaunt what you don’t got.
    Momma should have told more people than just me.

  30. 30
    ehren says:

    meanwhile, men are happy everywhere. >.>

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