Equality for All Chests

Have you ever wondered why it’s ok for men to not wear shirts? The constitution states that every citizen should be treated equally so why do we leave it in the states hands to determine whether women must cover up their chest when it’s perfectly normal for a man. “As long as men are allowed to be topless in public, women should have the same constitutional right” stated by Rael of GoTopless.org. Although many states such as New York have laws allowing females to be topless in public, many of the smaller localities within the state ban women from showing their breast. For instance, police can still arrest you under the pretense of “disorderly conduct.”

Gender equality means all or none. In a letter to the president, Lara Terstenjak, wrote that Obama can go shirtless at the beach while its illegal for a woman. On August 26, 2012, women protested in front of the White House in hope of the government granting women the right to go topless anywhere that a man can (beach, pool, gym, etc). However, the petition did not get enough signatures to be recognized by Congress.

Breasts are considered “private parts.” Why? All breasts are the same as a man’s chest because we have the same nerves, tissues, and muscles. The only difference visibly is the volume.

If you look at a man and women side by side you will also notice that we both have nipples. Why? Looking at evolutionary theory, nipples are a neutral, non-sexual biological characteristic. Some scientists actually believe that, at one point in time, men were able to nurse as women do.

            If made legal in all localities, women would have to deal with what comes along with being topless in public. It’s human nature for a male to stare at a woman’s breast or buttocks. The law stating women must cover their top was put into place to prevent this but that is infringing on a woman’s right to choose whether she wants to wear a top or not (e.g. taking a women’s right away from choosing to have an abortion) is ludicrous.

In other countries, such as European nations, topless sunbathing is allowed at most pools, parks, and beaches. As a matter of fact, many of the beaches located in European nations allow full nudity. On the other side of the spectrum, Muslim countries require that all women cover their entire body at all times, including their faces with a burqa. England and Canada on the other hand allow women to be topless anywhere in public, although it’s not common for many to exercise this freedom. In Virginia specifically, women going topless is a class 1 misdemeanor although the only exception is women breastfeeding a child in a public place.

When it comes to the appropriateness of the female breast, it’s no different than a obese male counterpart who may have chests larger than some females. Seeing a woman in public without a top in the United States may be seen as indecent, but it should be left up to the woman to decide if she wants to deal with the stares. If woman have to cover their chest up by law, then so should men.





About aleex032

Senior at Old Dominion University
This entry was posted in Body Image and Beauty, Politics & Protest. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Equality for All Chests

  1. brynn711 says:

    I love this topic! I agree with you 100% it should be a woman’s choice and not mandated by the government. If women did have the choice, I’m sure most would decide to cover up. But there are plenty of others that would enjoy the freedom! However, it could hurt our local “strip clubs.”

  2. Bryan O'Loughlin says:

    I agree! But here is my twist. It is not human nature to do anything, men can’t justify their behavior on nature, for we are past that, and everyday we control ourselves in a way that surpass human nature. The problem in this country that Europe doesn’t have is, is that we have over sexed everything aspect of the human body, that even the chest of a female becomes an object for lust. We need to get at the fabric of our cultural, it is flawed, women are valued less then men, and turned into objects of pleasure. We don’t see people as what they really are, Life Forms. Out features such as boobs, face, hair, jaw line are all meaningless, and no way to judge someone. We are slowly seeing that mindset take over as women and men move towards equality in some areas, but yes until everyone is topless on the beach in the summer, we are promoting a cultural of sexism, sadly.

    • aleex032 says:

      Our country has always been over-sexualized and is only getting worse. However, I don’t agree with “women are turned into objects of pleasure” because that is not the case. When men have their shirts off, women are looking just as much as men looking at women due to hormones and human nature.

  3. There was a story early this year about a transsexual man who had become a woman and wanted her new gender reflected on her driver’s license. The DMV would not allow it because, they claimed, he was biologically a male even if he lived his life as a female. In protest the transsexual took off her shirt and the police arrested her for going topless.

    I don’t even know. You go figure it out!

  4. clunymac says:

    This is very interesting, I agree with how you think “All breasts are the same as a man’s chest because we have the same nerves, tissues, and muscles. The only difference visibly is the volume.” So why the difference, I think that the issue would be males staring at a woman’s breast or buttocks which would be look at as “sexual harassment” becasue its, “not right to stare at a woman.” So I think that, its not the fact of a woman being topless. Its the fact of men and woman would just stare at each other. If staring was not looked at as a bad thing, this thing of being topless I think would not be such a big deal.

  5. nightwing17 says:

    My favorite part is that women DON’T have to wear tops. In a lot of places they technically just can’t show their nipples. Because obviously nipples are the obscene portion. I mean haven’t you seen all of that huge nipple porn (no offense if anyone’s into that). The logic surrounding breasts has never made sense. Part of me is surprised this hasn’t been put to rest already. I mean, how many people are against women being topless. You get those concerned with equal treatment and superficial sexists. And if those groups could find a common purpose, just think what a wonderful world that would be.

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