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.