Dare To Bare: America Isn’t Ready For Topless Women

Flickr / Michael Candelori
Flickr / Michael Candelori

If you’ve ever been to Times Square – God help you- you know that it’s a hubbub of tourists, panhandlers and general mayhem that you cannot wait to get out of. Being anywhere near this area gives me serious walking rage and I will break your damn selfie stick if you’re in my way. Not even the Naked Cowboy can alleviate the pain of having to pass through. Recently, women have begun painting their bodies and going topless to attract swarms of people who will pay to have a picture taken with them. Now, I totally get the appeal – attractive women wearing ass floss, with their breasts in full view. We as a society are fairly puritanical, nudity is not openly welcomed and most would do a judgmental double take if we saw a boob.

New York celebrated the GoTopless Pride Parade; dozens of men and women walked down the city streets, topless, to prove a point: If men can walk around topless, why can’t women? I fully support the notion that men and women should have equality in all aspects of life; equality in the workplace, at home, etc., but in today’s society where everything is Facebooked, Instagrammed and Tweeted, the minute a woman is seen topless in a public place, someone WILL share it. To accept women going topless is to refrain from turning into a 12-year old prepubescent boy. Or girl.

What the panhandlers in Times Square are doing completely eliminates the respect women should receive from either breastfeeding their children in public or tanning without a bikini top. They’re capitalizing on what is essentially illegal, while painting their bodies with the American flag colors to show “patriotism” for their country; the country that doesn’t really let them be topless in the first place. You can kinda sorta go topless, but then you will probably sorta kinda get arrested. Yet, perhaps it’s more acceptable in Times Square, an area that was once home to prostitution, and now is probably considered a somewhat fictional place where being topless “doesn’t count.” We can’t exchange one viewpoint for another by allowing women to exploit their bodies for money but prevent them from feeding their newborns.

Women who choose to breastfeed in public are gawked at, and deemed inappropriate but yet taking a selfie with a woman – for a price of course – in the middle of the street where her erect nipples attracted your attention is totally normal. Many men marched alongside women fighting for the cause, a cause which honestly is somewhat trifle. Is it really that big of a deal to have women topless on the street, just as men? In this day and age, I think it is. I don’t believe that our society is ready to have women be partially naked in public; the sexualization of breasts would ultimately overpower the comfort of laying down in Central Park without covering up. It’s ok for women to get gangbanged on TV but to go sans bra is blasphemous. Would women who currently profit alongside the costumed Elmo’s and various superheroes, be ok with a stranger taking a picture outside of their “workplace?” Hell no they wouldn’t be.

Moving towards a more accepting and equal environment will take years; yet allowing men the freedom to remove their shirts but not women is unacceptable. In essence is it different if a man takes off his shirt versus a woman? OF COURSE. But it shouldn’t be. I don’t expect to see a woman ordering a Grande vanilla latte just wearing yoga pants or riding the subway in half a pantsuit, but enjoying a warm day at the park without a top shouldn’t cause uproar. Everyone needs to calm their tits. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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