back to article US women protest for the right to bare

American women are preparing for protests this weekend against laws which allow men to remove their shirts in public, but treat women who do the same as guilty of misdemeanour. The action will take place on Sunday 23 August when, according to the gotopless website (PNSFW), "topless women will rally in great numbers across the …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    gotopless?

    I thought they were calling it topfree these days.

  2. Jonathan 17

    Pics

    .... or it didnt/wont happen.

  3. fishman

    Bare is fair, but..

    I think a woman should be allowed to go topless. But most people (men and women) look better with their clothes on. And as the population gets more obese, it will just get worse.

  4. Mike 119
    Coat

    Yup

    I fully support womens rights to be topless in public....

  5. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Lets see how the US would get on with..

    Embarrising (teenage) bodies,. In one episode you get a full frontal of a woman compling of a low <ahem> undercarriage. Plus may other scence of wobberly and dangly, some you'd rather not see.

  6. TeeCee Gold badge
    Unhappy

    Couldn't you have published this earlier?

    "topless women will rally in great numbers across the USA........"

    I can't get a cheap plane ticket now............

  7. dave hands

    apocalypse now

    "they train young men to drop bombs and fire on civilians but won't let them paint a naked woman on their planes because it's "obscene""

    (apologies to movie fanatics if I've got the wording wrong)

  8. David 39
    Go

    *dribble* BOOBS!

    "topless women will rally in great numbers across the USA "

    ryanair.co...... sod it wheres my concorde.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    What did you expect?

    The USA is fundamentalist puritanical state mostly populated by ultra-conservative religious zealots. Remember, this is the same country that has to actually debate whether or not to teach evolution!

    The GTA "Hot Coffee" fiasco always amused me. It was "OK" to run around and mow people down with automatic weapons ("The Righteous Arm of God" or whatever crap the gun-nuts spout), but if you hack around with the game and unleash a tiny bit of rather poor simulated rumpy-pumpy...well...THOU ART THE MINION OF SATAN! It beggars belief. Surely a bit of consensual rumpy-pumpy is far less damaging to the psyche and society in general and blasting people's heads off with a full clip?

    The USA is not unique of course. Almost all the current "problem" states are ruled by religion, and it is a shame to see that this great evil is on the rise again; bringing with it all the intolerance and hate it can muster.

    Even here we cannot divest ourselves of the cancer that is religion, we still give senior church leaders power in the land can cow-tow to illogical religious doctrine (e.g. Sikhs not having to wear crash helmets - what?).

    And, of course, it's not even religion itself that is to blame (although church leader do exploit it to their own ends). It is people's inability to critically think and simply accept differences. You get the same stupid hate with football fans as you do with religious fools. Then again, believing that your team is "best" regardless of what evidence lies before you is blind-faith in the same vein as the existence of a god.

  10. Will Shaw

    I for one....

    want to know what security guards get up to in a "wackenhut". Is it soundproofed or just readily stocked with kleenex?

  11. John Doe 1

    Some places are more enlightened than others

    Due to a 1992 state supreme court ruling, the ladies residing in the state of New York won the right to go top-free on an equal legal basis as men without threat of arrest or penalties.

    That right hasn't been widely exercised by ladies in NY but it's at least on the books. Pity most other states aren't so enlightened in this day and age. D.C. respects this as does a few individual cities around the country.

  12. Dennis O'Neill

    They really are odd over there

    A few years ago, whilst in America on holiday, I was watching The Witness on the telly in my hotel room. There's a key scene where the Harrison Ford character accidentally sees the Kelly McGillis Amish character bathing semi naked. There is a long and knowing look between the two characters and Ms McGillis is topless throughout. It's not in the least bit titillating and is shown to demonstrate the impact the two previously chaste characters have had on each other. Fair enough, but the prurient US TV censors cut out the topless part of that scene, lopping off a huge amount of its significance.

    Ah well, we all have our moments.

    However, this scene was immediately followed by commercials for beers in which young women were frequently to be seen being showered with water, soaking their t-shirts, or their bikinis, or their skimpy tops, and so on.

    The hypocrisy in attitudes was extraordinary.

  13. No, I will not fix your computer
    Stop

    Not a double standard

    Firstly, womens breasts are sexual objects, pretty much most of their time (unlike most mammals) they are large when not lactating, this is a biological/genetic vehicle to attract a mate, sometimes they perform the second function of feeding a child, although, often the mother choses not to breastfeed (typically a western-world decision).

    As beautiful/wonderful/amazing etc. breastfeeding is one can understand that it may be difficult to forget the primary breast function.

    Personally, I fully support a womans right to breastfeed in public as there is almost never any comfortable, pleasant private (public) places to breastfeed, besides if it's done modestly I can't see how anybody can complain.

    I'm also a big fan of women not bearing their breasts all the time, this is purely because I like womens breasts and think that they are special, if they were to be about all the time then they would cease to be special (and let's face it, gravity is not a breasts best friend), the desexualisation of breasts would probably brings us closer to an asexual society but is that actually a good thing?

  14. Dave Ross
    Happy

    hmm..

    this article is usless without images! :)

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Ms Mercardo

    Wow, just reading the linked story makes my blood boil. Puritanical roots come back to haunt the US.

    I can imagine such a thing happening here too, although I'd hope that UK court system would have more sense than the court in this case.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    FAIL: Intelligent Design

    I think they would win their argument if they did not include the extra-terrestrial ID clap-trap! I am all for equal rights, but only if you can construct a decent argument without invoking religion, "Intelligent Design", or the Daily Mail.

    Thought for a Friday: If we were "Intelligently Designed" why do male testicles dangle in a place where they could sustain considerable damage? Surely they would go inside to be protected by the skeleton?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    NSFW

    Can you mark the Sun link NSFW, please. It opens onto a naked female.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Troll

    This is what happens

    ...if you deport all the Puritans and leave them for a few hundred years. The US.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Perhaps

    when these women win this right, they'll celebrate with a beach party in Malaysia

  20. Max Jalil

    For equality and freedom!

    Absolutely - imposing dress rules on women that don't apply to men based on modesty is no different to requiring women to wear a burka in those countries with higher morals - can't criticise both!

  21. D@v3
    Pint

    Re: No, I will not fix your computer

    I would just like to throw my support in your corner Sir.

  22. Annihilator
    Thumb Up

    Bill of Rights

    Give me some tippex, the Bill of Rights and a pen. I can kill two birds with one stone:

    "the right of the People to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed"

    becomes

    "the right of the People to keep and bear breasts, shall not be infringed"

    All is now well in the world. God bless you, and God bless the United States of America!

  23. Rob 30
    Paris Hilton

    crazy merkins

    i thought it was well known that the main difference between the uk and the us was that over here violence is considered to be worse than nudity & it's vice-versa in merkland.

    Paris, as i'd rather shag than shoot

  24. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Is it April the 1st already?

    Young Women demanding to go topless in public?

    Have I accidentally slipped into some alternate reality where everything is fucking brilliant!

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tit-le

    Personally, I would prefer everyone to keep their shirt on.

    Breast feeding in public *should never* be a problem.

  26. david 63

    Testicles

    It's because they work better at a cooler temperature.

    Sumo wrestlers learn to tuck them up out of harms way.

  27. The Indomitable Gall
    Pint

    Re: What did you expect?

    @AC

    "Then again, believing that your team is "best" regardless of what evidence lies before you is blind-faith in the same vein as the existence of a god."

    Same goes for working-class socialist types who still vote for Labour....

    Beer.. cos.. well.. working class and that.

  28. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Keep ya shirt on....

    ....yes you Miss Iowa 1965!

  29. adnim Silver badge

    @AC:What do you expect?

    You summed it up pretty well, nothing more to add.

  30. Frank Bough
    Thumb Up

    You Go Girls!

    Surely anyone who's spent a day on a topless beach can understand that you soon get over the NOVELTY (and that's all it is) of seeing breasts out in public. If men are allowed to walk around semi-naked without fear of prosecution, so should women be. It's quite simple. I'm quite happy to see a women breastfedding in public - it may be sensual but it's really not sexual in nature. Grow up, Anglophones.

  31. A.A.Hamilton
    Coat

    re Right to bare

    The article ends with this:

    Hitachi IT Operations Analyzer - 30-day free trial

    Isn't there an upper case T missing here?

  32. Richard Tobin

    14th amendment

    Is that the one that gives men the right to bare arms?

  33. GrahamT

    @Not a double standard

    Women's breasts are only sexualised because they are forced to keep them covered. In societies where this is not the case then toplessness is not seen as immoral or sexual.

    The primary role of mammery glands is to feed babies, and women should be free to do that wherever it is necessary, not hidden away in a dingy back-room.

    Whether or not a woman bares her chest where a man is free to do so, should be her decision only. A French beach is an example of this choice, and depending on the beach, from 5% to 60% (empirical) of women exercise this choice.

    This should not be dictated by (male) lawmakers.

  34. xsquared_uk
    Paris Hilton

    The problem is...

    The problem is that it still remains illegal for me as a man to look at said naked breasts without being accused of sexual harassment. Therefore if everyone wandered around topless it would cause hundreds of thousands of injuries as blokes attempt to find somewhere else to look whilst driving, cycling, walking, etc.

    As a serious point though, you can't have this kind of law without equality in the other surrounding laws. If it is an offense to stare at parts of a person, then those parts should be covered up in public.

  35. Seanie Ryan
    Heart

    support

    i support this for all women that dont need support ;)

  36. Bill Fresher
    Thumb Down

    Europe

    "Clearly the US has issues here; but Europe, while historically more tolerant and broadminded, is also now displaying worrying tendencies to that end.".. the author then goes on to give examples from the UK, a country with attitudes to nudity no less messed up than the states.

  37. DS
    FAIL

    @NADS

    Agreed. I'm all for seeing, fondling, filming, and properly using one's mamms. Puritanical panic certainly seems to be the brick wall here (or more like a sticky, rubbery wall)... I also agree that just because I like them does not mean they have to be front-and-center all the time. But I think that's moot, because many women won't do that anyway, and all these folks are complaining about is the _right_ to do this, not a mandate for a state-controlled Happy-Booby-Hour every day. What I don't get is the whole cult angle. Well, I should rephrase... it makes perfect sense for a spaceman cult to recruit its less discerning members with promises of boobies. But if they really cared, they'd know that the puritanical public perception confronting them isn't exactly going to be swayed by this:

    "Who can participate? We welcome everyone! GoTopless was founded by the Raelian Movement, which recognizes that life on Earth was created by advanced extraterrestrial scientists. These scientists, both male and female, used their mastery of genetic engineering to create humans in their own image (breasts included!). GoTopless includes thousands of women and men, who have a wide variety of beliefs, affiliations, etc..."

    If they were serious, they'd hook us up with some of these hot-breasted "scientists", durn it.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    @David 63

    >Sumo wrestlers learn to tuck them up out of harms way.

    No, they don't . It's just another urban myth and was invented by Ian Fleming in the James Bond book "You only live twice."

    Next you'll be telling us that NASA wasted million designing a space pen whilst the Russian used pencils and that a duck's quack does not echo.

  39. SlabMan

    What kind of perverse mind...

    ...characterises a child feeding at its mother's breast as a sexual act? Says far more about the twisted psyche of the accuser than it does of any alleged moral deficiencies of the accused.

    Given the USA's apparent breast-phobia, I now understand why Ghadaffi employs a troop of female bodyguards. 'Oh my lord! Cover your eyes men - nekkid ladies at 12 o'clock.'

  40. Tam Lin

    Religion

    Already the root of all evil, now the root of hungry bairns as well.

    Y'all must be so prude, er, proud.

  41. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    "if you deport all the Puritans and leave them for a few hundred years. The US."

    Says the man probably being watched by half a dozen "security" cameras, who can't take a snapshot of a bus without being accosted by the rozzers.

    "i thought it was well known that the main difference between the uk and the us was that over here violence is considered to be worse than nudity & it's vice-versa in merkland."

    And yet there was "The Sweeny", "Spooks", "The Long Good Friday"...

    Speaking as one who lived through the 60s and 70s in the hallowed land of the violence-free breast-a-palooza that is fondly remembered by some here, I have to ask: "What in Azathoth's name are you smoking?"

    Violence was and is just as revered in the UK in the visual arts and in real life as it is here in NY. We just have fewer bare tits on display in the newspapers is all. No broacast TV show here has yet depicted anyone having their face deep fried other than the one brought over from...the UK.

    Hell, even The Young Ones featured wholesale gobs of extreme violence, and a total of zero topless females. To hear you lot talk you'd think Benny Hill was still on the box seven days a week.

  42. Mark Lockwood Silver badge

    And where

    Is the Friday Playmobil coverage of this?

  43. Kevin 6
    Flame

    I find it funny

    Most women complain enough already that men are only staring at their chest while it is fully clothed. I can only imagine how many men will hear "Where do you think your looking?" while topless...

  44. Adam 52 Silver badge

    @david 63

    Don't believe everything Ian Flemming tells you.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They need to get off the crack...

    These woman need to get off the crack and get a life.

  46. RW

    Keep in mind

    The more prudish a person is, the dirtier their mind and the more they think about sex. The prudes are in effect projecting their own distorted attitudes onto the population at large.

    Normal, well-adjusted people don't give a naked person a second thought: we've all seen naked bodies of both men and women, and as the old saying has it, seen one, seen 'em all.

  47. Walter 1

    @John Doe 1

    I live in upstate NY, and when it was first passed you saw a lot more women going topless just because they could. It slowed down after a few years, but it's not that uncommon to see sun bathers go topless or a few women to go topless at the music events they throw constantly where I live (sometimes 3-4 a week in the summer.)

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: Not a double standard #

    "..this is a biological/genetic vehicle to attract a mate.."

    Interesting assertion here. Surely if breasts were important in attracting mates then there would be a dominant breast size, which one would assume to be large but not too stupidly large?

    However a quick walk outside on a nice day suggests that there is a huge disparity in breast size which suggests that this is not the case.

    RE: "Young Women demanding to go topless in public?"

    I fear you miss the point somewhat. This is not about women demanding to go topless in public as much as it is women demanding the same toplessness rights as men.

  49. call me scruffy
    Joke

    Guys, there's no easy way to say this.

    Dawn French and Maggie Thatcher are both (technically) women.

    Think very carefully before you back this one.

    It's a shame that a cause that might have recruited every right minded IT bod in the UK (Plus every wanabe tard who defiles el-reg.) to women's lib, should be tainted by involvement of the raeliens.

  50. Nebulo
    IT Angle

    That 'indictment' you quote

    should make everyone's flesh crawl. It's about as egregious an example as you could ask for of the evil, prurient drivel which now routinely pours out of the degenerate, brain-dead petty bureaucracy which has somehow gained power over the western world. Things aren't going to get any better until the last of these specimens are thrown out.

    I salute our bare-breasted sisters, and wish them a good - and successful - day.

    Er ... what /is/ the IT angle? ...

  51. Keith Williams
    Grenade

    Responders to David 63

    In the book, You only Live Twice, Tiger Tanaka was talking about his ninjas, not sumo wrestlers.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No no no no......

    This just can't happen I'm afraid.....definitely not where I work. It's really hard to walk around the office looking professional with a hard-on....

  53. Raspy32

    To be honest....

    Given the sort of "men" I see walking around with their tops off, the easiest way to get equality would be to make men keep their tops on instead.

  54. b166er

    Following the links

    In the Videos section of the gotopless site, is a clicky called:

    Topless At Comfest

    Presumably thats a portmanteau of Comfort and Festival, so how is that pronounced exactly?

  55. No, I will not fix your computer

    @Lee

    >Interesting assertion here. Surely if breasts were important in attracting mates then there would be a dominant breast size, which one would assume to be large but not too stupidly large?

    Ahhh... you miss the point, you're assuming that genetic preference can only run away until other limiting factors (the peacock conjecture), there is a huge disparity in breast sizes, although statistically breasts are getting larger, the size isn't my point, it's the fact that they are enlarged in the absense of lactation is, there's actually no (non sexual) for breasts to be evident, the question isn't why are they different sizes, it's what are they there at all? which other animal has breasts while not lactating? it's a sexual device to attract a mate (breasts also swell during peak fertility to increase sexual attraction).

    Women do not have the right to go topless under the mistaken belief that breasts are not sexual, anymore that men have a right to show their penises in public because of it's dual purpose (and I pee more times per day than have sex, so therefore it's not a sex organ?)

  56. Richard 102
    Stop

    Religious zealots

    And where did America's religious zealots come from? Right, Europe. If you put all people of personality X in one isolated place and 400 years later their descendents act the same way, don't be filled with outrage or shock.

    Sincerely,

    A descendent of people who didn't want the Puritans landing in Jamestown

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    GoTopless site warning

    Have to love the last line from the GoTopless website:

    "NOTE: DON'T FORGET TO PROTECT YOUR BREASTS WITH SUNCREEN !!!!"

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    religion the accepted insanity

    religious conservitive zealots caused this to happen in first place. the more you forbid it the more they want it.

    there is nothing wrong with going topless either as male or female

    i remeber back in 92 0r 93 there was a big fight over that issue in NYC becuse a woman decided to go topless. i as i recall she had won and was able to go topless in public.

    this whole thing i s just a step up fight for equality. besides hopefully i get to have a nice show out of it and bit of enjoyment.

  59. Johnny Canuck
    Thumb Up

    Human female breasts are sexual

    And you could make an argument that their secondary function is suckling. Other female ape species’ breasts consist mainly of large nipples pointed outward, making it easy for the infants to feed. Human females offer no visual clues for estrous and mating success such as other apes do (mating success being defined as procreation) and often don't know when they are in estrous themselves. Human female breasts are designed (by nature) to attract the attention of males so that they (the females) can have sex constantly thus increasing the odds of procreation.

  60. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Fine, but don't complain

    I really don't mind if women go around topless (all the time if they want.) BUT, they can't go around like that and then complain I'm looking at their boobs! (This is not a double standard, I don't expect men to complain if women.. or I guess gay men... are staring at their 6-packs when they go around shirtless either.)

    That is all.

  61. Geoffrey W Silver badge

    @No, I will not fix your computer

    <QUOTE>I'm also a big fan of women not bearing their breasts all the time, this is purely because I like womens breasts and think that they are special, if they were to be about all the time then they would cease to be special (and let's face it, gravity is not a breasts best friend), the desexualisation of breasts would probably brings us closer to an asexual society but is that actually a good thing?</QUOTE>

    There are many cultures/societies on earth where women go around as a matter of course with their breasts bare (despite missionaries best efforts to modestify them.) Their societies do not appear to suffer in any way and have quite as many children as they need or want. You are just thinking in the way your own society has trained you to think and that isnt necessarily a bad thing. Desexualise one thing and you just sexualise something else.

    On a slightly different point; in these same societies where wome bare, the people still often adorn themselves with items of clothing and makeup to make themselves look better or more attractive, just like we do. So, if attractiveness is the aim, more really is more; unadorned really is less. The nature or extent of the adornment doesn't matter.

    Nothing that human beings do as a society really does any harm to the species as a whole. Bare or not, we all go on regardless. Have fun!

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Not a double standard

    Actually it's a social vehicle. The same way ankles were two hundred years ago. In the time of King James toplessness was a symbol of virginity. What these women are really trying to do, most of them anyway, is to get rid of current society's notion that breasts are dirty, sexual, immoral, whatever. And they're right, mantits are far grosser.

  63. Bounty

    But does the standard apply to all ages?

    But does the standard apply to all ages? Just curious if there is any divide in the pro-breast camp.

  64. Gilbert Wham

    @ No, I will not fix your computer:

    Have you ever thought that women might (quite rightly) not give a a flying fuck about what you think they should or should not do with their tits? Jesus.

  65. raidergoo
    Coat

    Never mind the tatas

    These gals are a front for the Raëlians.

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @FAIL: Intelligent Design

    Testicles are located outside the body so that they remain cool enough to produce viable sperm. So that's no argument against intelligent design.

    The argument against intelligent design is that God had to wait for us to come along and invent portable air conditioners that would have enabled us to keep our nuts squirrelled safely away.

    Another argument against the fact that God even exists at all, let alone bothered its arse to design anything is that prawns and avocadoes don't grow iin the same place, and again, we had to come along and invent modern refrigerated transport to bring them together.

    Topless? Bah, we should all go naked temperature permitting (think how much global warming we'd save on washing) and women should be allowed to wear as little or as much as they want. Okay, so I'm a naturist - I was born naked.

    That said, if the asshole men out there could quietly go away and kill themselves on a battlefield somewhre so that we don't have repeats of the film, The Accused, then women would feel a lot more comfortable. And if by some miracle, the marketing morons found it in themselves to reflect the real world and not some homosexual perception of women, then women would actually celebrate their individuality instead of covering it up.

    Still, topless is a good start and a woman's right to be topless should be in the human rights act. Oh, no but that'll break the mould, with the politico shysters actually doing something that we want wouldn't it?

    Why are we still paying them wages?

  67. Havin_it

    How Timely!

    How adroit that, while picking my way through this thread (especially the US/UK comparative debate at play), I chanced to look at the Antony Gormley website ( www.oneandother.co.uk ) to see nothing less than a young lady sitting on a plinth in the middle of Trafalgar Square - starkers. A colleague told me she is not the first (though possibly the first female) to have done so over the course of the "installation". She wasn't doing anything at all, just sitting motionless on a draped dining-chair for an hour. (Artist's model, perhaps?)

    I think that seems to address London's tolerance to female public top(and bottom)lessness quite eloquently. You can't get much more public than that! Er, I should add that I'm writing from the midst of the Edinburgh Festival which is literally swamped in nudity of the on-stage variety (and has been for many years).

  68. Richard_L._Kent_Esq

    An interesting read.

    No basis whatsoever in truth, but who cares? It's a story about nekkid ladies. Hey, sex sells!

    Must be sweeps week in the IT world.

  69. shawnfromnh

    Not most of us

    "quote"The USA is fundamentalist puritanical state mostly populated by ultra-conservative religious zealots. Remember, this is the same country that has to actually debate whether or not to teach evolution!"/quote"

    That is far from true. It's just that only the anal ones are the only ones that didn't have any fun in their life that are eligible for government work. It's also the idiots that watch FOX news and believe the crap they shovel them they call news.

    I'm finding the church in my country is more like a swiss bank than a house of worship since they actually hand out reciepts for donations for tax purposes, but also churches actually have high interest bank accounts so the worshipers are actually more like investors. It's one big tax evasion scam and the church splits the interest as a fee for helping all these so called chosen people steal from their country "cough"Bush"/cough".

    So as you can see I like a lot of others in the US think the far right are full of crap and when they talk they're just basically just passing gas.

  70. Kibble
    FAIL

    @ AC 1300 hrs

    "Even here we cannot divest ourselves of the cancer that is religion, we still give senior church leaders power in the land can cow-tow to illogical religious doctrine (e.g. Sikhs not having to wear crash helmets - what?)."

    A self limiting problem, eh wot?

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    he he

    Let us unite and repeal these sexist laws at once!

    Has it's plus points for men too...

  72. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
    Grenade

    Testicles - @dave 63, @Leon 1

    Debatable. The testes could have been exposed to hotter temperatures outside the body where humans evolved, but hydrostatic shock from an active lifestyle (swinging through trees/hunting) could have damaged them internally. Someone correlated testes location with lifestyle in different species... where did I read that, one of Richard Dawkins books, probably.

    On topic... Breastfeeding is perfectly natural, and I'm all for women deciding about attire for themselves. Of course breasts are dual use, infant feeding and sexual display, but anyone who thinks clothes prevent the sexual display aspect haven't seen tight sweaters.

    icon? insert innuendo here.

  73. john smith 7
    Paris Hilton

    All perfectly natural

    Yet another example of the rights of the individual triumphing over common-sense. Because men can remove their tops in public, why should women be denied this right? After all, breasts are perfectly natural as is breast-feeding in public. While we're at it, can I whip my old fella out for a quick 5-knuckle shuffle in public as well because that too is perfectly natural and has proven medical benefits. Sheesh!

    Paris for obvious reasons

  74. Geoffrey W Silver badge
    Heart

    @Mycho

    <QUOTE>

    mantits are far grosser

    </QUOTE>

    Grossness, as with beauty, is entirely in the eye of the beholder, and changes from season to season. Cuddly and hairy bears are in big demand in some quarters. For everyone on earth there is someone to love you, somewhere, and the internet makes finding that someone a bit easier. Some of you commenters need a bit of work though.

  75. Pete "oranges" B.
    Boffin

    Interesting.

    But I think you will need to see radical changes in the societies' attitudes towards clothing and sexuality before you see meaningful rights to forgo the former, to whatever degree. Either men and woman are truly equals, making an individual's sex an adjunct to, rather than a defining element of their identity, or they are quasi-voluntarily non-equal, with identities built on the differences between the sexes rather than similarities.

    In a world where the measure of an individual has little or nothing to do with sex, today's highly sexually divided clothing and often rigid socio-economic gender roles would have no place and the exposing of a female body would be no more or less shocking than the exposing of a male body. Sadly, we don't live in such enlightened times as a cursory glance over the covers of the fashion magazines offered up for sale at grocery store checkouts lanes or a stroll through any department store will quickly demonstrate.

    In other words, one cannot both posses one's foodstuff and ingest it as well.

  76. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC 13:00

    "The USA is fundamentalist puritanical state...ultra-conservative religious zealots... gun-nuts... THOU ART THE MINION OF SATAN! religion, ... this great evil is on the rise again; intolerance and hate...

    ...the cancer that is religion, ... illogical religious doctrine...inability to critically think...stupid hate ...religious fools."

    Yes - intolerance is indeed a terrible thing.

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    America: guns and guts and gore...

    ...but no nudity!

    What the fuck is wrong with people that see photos of naked children and immediately think "Sex!"?

    It's not the people who take the photos who should be labelled peadophile; it should be those that immediately jump to that conclusion.

  78. Jesse Dorland
    Thumb Down

    Does it matter?

    Been there done that...

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    No basis in truth? Check this out

    http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/feature-stories/malaysian-woman-caning-shariah-20090821.

    Reading the Amnesty website I see this is a sharia court verdict - if our govt allows sharia here, this could be our country in a few years. Should be good for S&M addicts everywhere

  80. JohnG

    UK <> Europe

    ".....but Europe, while historically more tolerant and broadminded, is also now displaying worrying tendencies to that end."

    Whilst the UK is part of Europe, it does not represent attitudes in the rest of europe when it comes to issues like nudity, sex, prostitution, etc. Britain is much closer to the US in this respect, with some of the most draconian pornography laws outside of the middle east. Countries in continental Europe are typically far more relaxed about nudity than either the UK or the US.

    I wouldn't want to live in a country where people think that a photograph of a woman breastfeeding her baby is pornography but consider it acceptable that guns are sold in supermarkets and that schools need metal detetctors. Each to their own, I suppose.

  81. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    Manbras

    Wouldn't surprice me if the byrocrats solution to the protest was to ban shirtless men.

    After the ban we might get men protesting it by wearing bikini tops.

  82. MnM
    Thumb Down

    @No, I will not fix your computer

    "Firstly, womens breasts are sexual objects, pretty much most of their time..."

    You do talk a lot of ugly bollocks. We (humans) have got culture now, and have done for, 40,000-odd years. So evolutionary origins, whatever they may be, are far from the be all and end all. Then there's your fixation with breasts. What about shiny hair? Good legs? Would you like to keep them special (i.e. covered up) as well? Or perhaps you're not a leg man (most adolescents aren't). And to give it due focus, what is with your premise that people should be modest? I really think you'd be happer as an aphid. So much more to that piece but you couldn't see beyond the norks.

    Though I tread on extremely thin ice here, that the Moderatrix hasn't dignified your tripe with a correction is, I believe, a reflection of how beneath contempt it was.

    I wanted to get on with the real work of considering how ID could survive the prawn/avocado conundrum but sadly no.

  83. Vanir
    Thumb Down

    Man boobs

    So all those fat American males will be baring their boobs! And their enormous overhanging bellies!

    How Homerian.

  84. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Grow up boys.

    For suckling infants breast is best. For adult males breast is beast.

  85. Maty
    Headmaster

    Spelling pedant alert!

    'I'm also a big fan of women not bearing their breasts all the time.' Bearing breasts is not an option for most women as the alternative is a mastectomy. Whether they are bared is a different matter.

    I recall there was an Italian seaside town where the issue of nudity on the beach was discussed, and the mayor decided that only aesthetically pleasing bods could be so displayed - with a prior display to a committee which decided if the body in question was up to the required standard..

  86. Mike VandeVelde
    WTF?

    hypocritical

    If you`ll bomb Afghanistan into the stone age so that women there don`t have to wear burkhas, then what the fuck are you doing forcing them to wear shirts at home.

    Just like you`ll slaughter however many people it takes in central and south America / south east Asia so that they can step up from the horrible world of one party communist cooperation to your fantastic two party capitalist competition.

    The best country in the world, 1 step up from the worst countries in the world! What does that tell you about the world?

  87. Nuke
    Grenade

    Breasts not Sexual ... WTF ??

    Don't know what's the matter with most of you lot, makes me wonder where the Y chromosome has gone. Translation of most of your comments :-

    "Women's tits have no effect on me, women are really just the same as men, what's the problem? Anyone who objects to seeing women's tits in the street is religious/puritan/anti-women".

    And John Ozimek's article says "Evidence of this blind sexualisation ... of breasts in any context is widespread."

    Jeez, I feel sorry for poor John if he doesn't see women's tits as sexual. Hey John, you're missing a lot. And most of the rest of you sound like earnest theorists in mom's basements and have never seen a woman's tit in your lives - except hers thirty years ago.

    I have seen a lot of women's tits, and they never cease to turn me on. I have taken quite a few photos of them too, some of which are here on the internet. But there is a right time and place to look at - and touch - women's tits, and that should be of my chosing. That makes me a puritan? And I don't want getting erections in public either thanks, it''s uncomfortable with trousers on and it makes you look like you are not getting it, even if you are. WTF is that got to do with religion? It's a practical consideration. Or don't you guys ever get erections?

    You don't seem to get it that women like Gloria Stovell are basically taking to take the piss out of nerds like you - she's saying "Look! but you can't touch, Ha Ha!".

    F#@k off, Gloria.

  88. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Wrong David W

    Surely you realize that religuous nuts are the most intolerant people you can find?

    What you sow you reap you see.

    I for one am not tolerant of those who wear their intolerance like a badge of honour.

  89. Naiirita
    Paris Hilton

    un-intended consequences

    Anyone else predict a massive upswing in attendance at girls volleyball games? A serious question is, what happens when you 16 or 14 year old daughter decides to go topless. Any guy over 17 who sees her has pretty much commited a crime with the way the law is currently written. Not to mention, do you honestly want your teen daughter walking around in public topless?

  90. JC 2
    Pint

    No no NO!

    I for one agree women should have equal rights to go bare-chested in public IF men are allowed to, but on public property I feel neither should be allowed to, and on private property it should be up to the owner to make the call to the extent those not complying with owner's demands to vacate the premises without pause, should be subject to a fine.

    What's the real issue here? No it's not religion, it's that men are horn-dogs. Half nude women are fairly seen as disruptive and men the far more aggressive pursuers. Law is not only meant to be "fair" in principle it is also meant to maintain order.

    Have you seen the breasts on the women in typical 3rd world countries where they're typically topless? No wonder that breasts aren't seen as sexual, the state of health and physical beauty in most such places pales to the evoluntionary wonders that we have in the 1st and 2nd world. Part of that is also thanks to that old evil the bra. Let gravity have it's way with a pair of breasts and it'll cause sagging also associated with aging, making those women less sexually desirable in a primitive sense that through evidence of online pron, seems to be transcendent into an intellectual one as well.

    I can't compel a woman to wear a bra nor would I want to, but I sure would like it if we kept a few boundaries for societal sexual conduct so there's none of that silliness with interpreting flirting, normal social interactions, and harassment.

    Is it harassment to merely glance at a clothed woman a bit longer than usual, whether you find her attractive or not? How about if she is nude but for a bikini bottom? How much freedom of speech do you have when you feel like speaking about something innocent enough like the woman having a body akin to a work of art, expecting nothing to come of it? How will she know you really expect nothing to come of it?

    In more primative societies there are also more primitive and severe punishments to keep people within social boundaries, these help foster an environment where being topless isn't so much of a problem. As for the rest of the world I see no clear answer except the easy and obvious one, topless only in designated areas or private property, though no inherent need to seclude that property from other public or private property, just a geographical rather than visual boundary.

    However in the end I have to suspect these women *fighting* for the right to be topless don't care nearly as much about social injustice as would make you believe, they're just another group of people in the modern world with nothing better to do with their time so they picked up a cross and carry it where they can on their crusade... unfortunately a bit like the greeenie environmentalists so far as finding something to occupy otherwise boring lives.

    Now to open another can of worms why is the issue toplessness? Must men and women wear pants of some sort? Is it really the genitals that provoke sexual behavior? I say no and can't remember walking up to a woman I had no interest in but after asking to see the genitals suddenly became enamored.

    Sexuality can't be hidden away with a shirt or pants so let's try to move onward to other good reasons to be wearing a shirt. Anyone ever had a sunburn on their nipples? OUCH!

  91. Loki 1
    Pint

    nudity for all

    I'm pretty much in favour of nudity. We are born naked and clothes were initially for keeping warm until religion twisted it into a fetish.

    Only 1 thing keeps me from becoming an outspoken proponent of nudity - the though of seeing my 10-ton mother-in-law naked. I'm sure i would never recover from the psychological damage.

    Its probably why (predominatly) male judges oppose nudity laws. At one end, they probably would love to see more naked women... on the other hand there is probably a little voice on a loop saying "mother-in-law.... mother-in-law".....

  92. No, I will not fix your computer
    IT Angle

    @Gilbert

    >>Have you ever thought that women might (quite rightly) not give a a flying fuck about what you think they should or should not do with their tits? Jesus.

    Many, many, many women do care about what I think about their tits, this includes women I know and women I don't, the social and biological aspects of their breasts either displayed or covered are very important to them and my (as a member of society in general) opinion is very important to them, to think that the average Joe in the street is indifferent to womens breasts is astoundingly naive.

    Some people indicate that countries where breasts are exposed have de-sexualised breasts therefore my argument about breasts being inherrently sexual is not valid, but this is a trap, does this mean that countries where penises are exposed the penis is not a sexual organ? Mycho indicates that covering breasts indicates that "breasts are dirty, sexual, immoral", OK I personally don't have that take on it, and I suspect that's not most peoples take on it either, to me modesty on breasts, showing a soft curve, a shape, perhaps a hint of nipple is sexual and sensual and all the more sexy when a woman invites me to touch (also, one would assume, and in my experience, more sensual for the woman, to be touched in an area less exposed).

    Desexualising breasts will mean they are less special for men and women, and as long as lactating women are given respect during the few breastfeeding months of their lives there's no dichotomy.

  93. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @No, I will not fix your computer

    I can't take credit for staying out of it, MnM, as through some great fortune I haven't been moderating this thread. Now that I am moderating it, I can assure you that I'm going to stay out of it and will be taking my usual tack for this sort of thing - letting some of the crap through so you can see what's out there, and nixing the very worst, which I'll let you imagine.

  94. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Breasts not Sexual ... WTF ??

    Alright, I'm going to have to respond to this just for clarity's sake. This line

    "Evidence of this blind sexualisation ... of breasts in any context is widespread"

    was added in the editing process. By a person with tits, as it happens. Not that that makes any difference. The crucial point is 'in any context'. Perhaps I should have put 'in all contexts'. Of course they're sexual in some contexts. Just not all of them.

    I understand it's a complicated issue, I'm not quite sure where I stand on it as it may not actually be very good for women (yes, yes, or men) at all. However, this

    >>You don't seem to get it that women like Gloria Stovell are basically taking to take the piss out of nerds like you - she's saying "Look! but you can't touch, Ha Ha!".

    is a little worrying. Is this really how you think women's minds work? It's not all about you, you know - some women want to go topless for comfort, not as some grand plan to cocktease the entire male populace.

    Hey ho.

  95. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Breasts not Sexual ... WTF ??

    Oh dear, one appears to have failed at staying out of it.

    Must try harder.

  96. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Cincinatti Man

    >> While the focus of the gotopless campaign is legal discrimination against women, in the smut-averse US even male nipples can occasionally come in for censure, as one Cincinnatti man discovered to his cost a few years back, when he was charged with indecency for displaying his breasts in public. (from the article)

    To be fair the man in question, Jerome Mason, was probably black (can't find any pictures, so guessing by the name). He can, therefore, be arrested and charged (and convicted) of anything in the US regardless of trivial things like evidence.

  97. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    @Nuke

    You sir are a very VERY sad man if you have so little controle over yourself that just the sight of a pair of female breasts give you an erection.

    Or to take it down to your level of conversation and class:

    LOL maybe you should get some more pussy so your dick dosent flap around everytime you see tits.

  98. Eponymous Cowherd

    Moobs

    A large number of American men have bigger breasts than most women, and they can't use breast feeding as a reason for getting them out.

    And the sight of a pair of flabby moobs is more likely to cause distress/vomiting than the sight of a woman breast feeding.

  99. Peter Mellor
    Paris Hilton

    Evolution of the female breast

    Rounded breasts are unique to homo sapiens. Gorillas, chimps, etc., don't have them, but still manage to breast feed their young. According to Desmond (Naked Ape) Morris, and also (if I recall correctly) Richard Dawkins, the reason for the evolution of breasts in the human female is self-mimicry: breasts evolved to resemble female buttocks, probably around the same time that bipedalism became the norm, and face-to-face (rather than "doggy fashion") became the preferred position for sexual intercourse. According to this theory, therefore, the primary function of breasts in the evolutionary sense IS to act as a sexual stimulus to males.

    Paris (even though she's a bit on the skinny side for my tastes).

  100. Andus McCoatover
    Grenade

    @Richard 102

    <<And where did America's religious zealots come from? Right, Europe. If you put all people of personality X in one isolated place and 400 years later their descendents act the same way, don't be filled with outrage or shock.>>

    Yep, it's called inbreeding. Bit like the Monarchy in Blighty. Bloody surprised they're not all sitting on river bridges, playing banjo's the the tune of that favourite Southern Song, "You'm gonna squeal like a piggie"

  101. John Ozimek

    Sexualisation?

    Hiya, nuke. I think you spotted the key quote - and promptly turned it on its head. My focus was precisely the effects of "blind sexualisation" ... "in any context". The key here is the "any context" bit.

    If you think I am either inexperienced when it comes to breasts, or have no aesthetic appreciation of them, then you err. The issue is, as many commenters have already remarked, they are like many other things in life: dual function - and treating them in every context and all circumstances as just having a single function, a unique significance, is wrong...factually and morally.

    There is possibly some degree of ideas short-hand here. When not scribbling for El Reg, I am working on a couple of larger projects, focused on sexuality and social attitudes to the same. Once you start to dig - one perspective at least - is just how obsessed with sex and sexuality most mainstream society is.

    Nothing especially new there: its in our culture, our media, our advertising.

    What did surprise me was how much of an inversion goes on: with those groups most closely associated with active sexualities probably taking a far more mundane and everyday attitude towards sex than society as a whole.

    So not just breasts: but sex in general. There's a very broad streak in society that is utterly obsessed with the significance of anything sexual: the greatest irony is that these things figure far more extensively in the calculations of this supposed anti-sex segment than in the (allegedly) more transgressive sexually active.

  102. mmiied
    Joke

    @ sara be

    "It's not all about you, you know - some women want to go topless for comfort, not as some grand plan to cocktease the entire male populace."

    dam another grate conspricy theroy bites the dust

  103. No, I will not fix your computer
    Happy

    @MnM

    >>You do talk a lot of ugly bollocks.

    This is true... do you know me?

    >> We (humans) have got culture now, and have done for, 40,000-odd years. So evolutionary origins, whatever they may be, are far from the be all and end all.

    True and unlike Dawkins I don't belive that evolution can explain everything, however 40,000 years (how do you define culture?)* compared with 160,000 (homo sapiens) is a much smaller number, but lets go back to that 40,000 years assumption, I see no social leveling for women at all past 500 years ago, even today, in the UK, women don't have equal pay or political power, so one could argue that we are still not cultured, so yes the biological imperitve is still very, very strong

    >>Then there's your fixation with breasts. What about shiny hair? Good legs? Would you like to keep them special (i.e. covered up) as well? Or perhaps you're not a leg man (most adolescents aren't).

    Ummm... this article is about breasts, and personally, for me I enjoy a bit of mystery, I could describe all the other things that I find pleasurable, but that's a bit off topic don't you think?

    >>And to give it due focus, what is with your premise that people should be modest? I really think you'd be happer as an aphid. So much more to that piece but you couldn't see beyond the norks.

    When talking about breastfeeding, I actually said "if it's done modestly I can't see how anybody can complain" personally I feel I can tell the difference between a woman breastfeeding and a bit of cleavage in a plunging neckline summer top, one I may find sexy, one I'll probably find "nice", I wish breastfeeding in public was more acceptable 20+ years ago when my daughter was born, and yes, I do prefer a bit of modesty (sorry if this offends), topless beaches are novel for a while, but they do make breasts "ordinary". Something being "sexy" often has more to do with the unknown than the known.

    >>Though I tread on extremely thin ice here, that the Moderatrix hasn't dignified your tripe with a correction is, I believe, a reflection of how beneath contempt it was.

    Different women have different viewpoints, some would agree with me and some would not, the evolutionary argument for breasts being a sexual device is sound (don't forget that a peacocks tail is a sexual device), but just because they have a strong sexual selection aspect it doesn't mean that they are sex "organs" (directly involved in the reproductive process) which most societies cover up, as Sarah says, it's a complex issue, and MnM, my friend, are not complex enough to understand all sides.

    >>I wanted to get on with the real work of considering how ID could survive the prawn/avocado conundrum but sadly no.

    For the sake of free thinkers around the world, best you stay away from it, stick to Sudoku.

    *Reporter: What do you think of western civilization?

    Mahatma Gandhi**: I think it would be a good idea.

    **funny, although to be fair he was a nasty little racist

  104. viet 1
    Joke

    continental europe...

    has some very unlogical restrictions on breast display too. In France where I live, it's OK for women to go topless on seaside beaches, but not much anywhere else. There are various restrictions in place, leading to somewhat hilarious situations. This year, a tranvestite was prosecuted for removing her top at "Paris Plage" (during summer, a beach is created on the banks of the Seine river), where it's forbidden for women to go topless, and (s)he argued during her hearing that being a man per records, (s)he had the right to do so. Ruling due in autumn...

  105. Peter 8

    Same issue in Toronto years ago

    We had the same issue in Toronto years ago.

    A woman decided to take off her top on a hot summer day. She got charged her with something like 'indecent exposure'.

    She took it to court and won because the court agreed with her legal argument that to prevent her from going topless because she's a woman violated her rights under The Charter of Rights and Freedoms Act... which disallows gender discrimination among other things.

    Strangely I was at Canada's Wonderland a year or two ago on a hot day. I, as a male, took off my shirt and a couple of minimum-wage--powertripping-idiot employees asked me to put my shirt back on... so I did... even though I didn't actually see anyone complain. But then I saw other guys without their shirts on and NOT getting harassed, so I took my shirt off again and didn't get bothered.

    Honestly.. I think there are too many stupid and putative laws and there needs to be FEWER laws. Definitely "no toplessness" is one that has to go. And as for porn laws... unless it involves imagery of actual intercourse with a minor, it shouldn't qualify as "illegal porn".

    Anybody who thinks that breastfeeding is sexual is themselves a pervert and is in no way fit to make any judgment calls as to what is lewd and what isn't.

  106. Swee' Pea

    Tempest in a B-Cup

    My personal observation from the ladies' locker room at the employer's gym suggests most gentlemen have no reason to fear opportunities for arousal from bare breasts.

    Within that environment, there are ladies of ages from 15 to 75. Modesty is inversely proportional to age and attractiveness. The young women with beautiful bodies go to extreme measures to stay covered whilst changing, showering, and drying. The oldest ladies let down their "venetian blinds" front and back and proceed to visit with no thought to the view they offer.

    If the attractive ladies cannot bear to bare in front of other ladies in a women's locker room, they probably will not remove their shirts in public. Hence you are saved from perpetual stiffies The real concern is whether you'll be able to function at all.

    There are a lot of unattractive people in this world -- maybe we should all give ourselves an objective viewing and keep our clothes on!

    Me? I'm old enough that if I LOOKED like those 20-somethings, I'd show it off. That's the dilemma of being in-between.

  107. Mike Hocker
    Linux

    Go To Pless ?

    Why name a web site go to pless (.com)? Is Pless some kind of special beach for those desiring to luxuriate in the lack of garments? Maybe I've been writing too much dodgy firmware recently, need a breath of fresh air?

  108. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Fingers Crossed

    That this idea doesnt go titsup

  109. rick buck
    FAIL

    No Page 2...

    or Page 3 Girl?

    What kind of article is that?

    I thought you guys were ENGLISH.

    Did I miss it in one of the links?

    Come on guys...

    a Little more obvious...ehhhh

    Engwish...

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