Topless Women

This has always bothered.  Why can men go around without shirts (except for in establishments with food and some stores) but we have to cover up?  Why does the fact that my nipples are backed with mammary glands and fat make a difference?*  The freedom to go topless is a sort of silly thing, but, as I believe I have said in the past, these little things all add up to a heaping pile of unfair.  On both sides of the gender divide.

This may be a discrepancy many of you have noticed, but some people are actually acting on. has organized protests for topless equality.  They are all occurring on “Go Topless Day” and D.C. is included!  Some places in America it is already legal for women to go topless and D.C. is one of them.  Here is a map, courtesy of, that shows the topless laws in American states.  Keep in mind, though, that some cities within states have different laws.

The one possible tripping point is the owner of the website, The Raelian movement.   On the home page of the website, the movement says that it was “founded in 2007 by spiritual leader Rael”.  If you’ve never heard of them (which I hadn’t), they believe that scientists from another planet came to Earth and started life.  I’m sure they believe other things, but that is mostly all they say on their website when they are explaining themselves.

The only two mentions of the Raelian movement on the site are the one I mentioned and the recommended reading of the Raelian book, “Intelligent Design”.   Accordig to the wikipedia article (I know, great source) some claim that the Topless Day event is a publicity and recruiting method for the religion/philosophy.  I’m distrustful of organized religion to begin with, so I wouldn’t put it past them.  The Rael movement has been involved with a number of protests, though, so this may just be what they do.  Either way, I believe that these topless days and protests may actually get some awareness for how absurd this double standard is and how easily it can be fixed.


*I’d say some men have breasts as large as mine, but as those of you know me are aware of, that is very unlikely.


About Tori

I am a graduate student working on my masters in Women and Gender studies. My masters thesis is on the gender nonconformity and ambiguity in modern film.
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5 Responses to Topless Women

  1. Bibi says:

    Tori, I’ve helped on the NY & national TOPFREE day with PR as a volunteer for the last few years. I’m not a Raelean; but I must observe that their beliefs are less far-fetched than any of the major religions of the world, if you really sit and think it out.
    They’ve not tried to recruit me, but let me know all I wanted to know of their beliefs. They put great store in their leader, as do many groups.
    I have an ailment, and am unable to go myself to the march in Central Park, but wish I could, and am there in spirit.

  2. Bibi says:

    Good luck in your school. As a matter of research in media; I will call your attention to the scoffing tone in the media, for this group; and how their issue gets shunted to the back, while their beliefs are roundly ridiculed.
    I’ve yet to see such media behavior with any “Christian ” group; including the Southern Baptists, (founded to preserve human slavery;) or the Westboro Baptist Church, which pickets the funerals of US servicemen killed in action; and says such horrors as “Thank God for 9/11”
    But, because this Rael group spearheads this liberation movement (small though it be) for women, they are roundly ridiculed.
    I cannot help but think this is just another way of media ‘keeping women in their place.’
    Especially interesting might be a media comparison of male & female reporter’s stories.
    I hope this was of interest to you.

  3. Equalizer says:

    I think the fact women are supposed to cover up more then women is because people in general are were more likely to be molested if their sex characteristics are shown. Women are visually attracted to penises and men are visually attracted to breasts and i think thats why men covered their penises sense ancient times and women have covered their breasts.

    • Equalizer says:

      sorry that was typo i mean’t i think the fact that women are supposed to up more then men is because

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