It’s Go Topless Day — Countless Arrests Likely Across the U.S. Because the Female Nipple is Illegal

It s Go Topless Day Countless Arrests Likely Across the U.S. Because the Female Nipple is Illegal




Starting in 2007, and growing in popularity every year since, Go Topless Day has become a worldwide event to protest the oppressive double standard of outlawing the female nipple.

This year’s Go Topless Day on August 28 includes events in at least 57 cities all around the world. Go Topless Day events are scheduled for cities in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., South Korea, France, Italy, The Philippines and more.

According to the Go Topless Day website, the event takes place on the Sunday closest to Women’s Equality Day, Aug 26. On Aug 26, 1920, women earned their right to vote on the basis of Gender Equality. In 1971, the US Congress made Aug 26 a nationally recognized date and named it “Women’s Equality Day.” The president of the United States is summoned to commemorate this date each year.




“As long as men are allowed to be topless in public, women should have the same constitutional right,” explains the event’s founder Rael.

However, in today’s society, the female nipple remains taboo and police officers will throw you in jail for showing them.

According to the Go Topless Day site, there are only three states where going topless is completely illegal for women – Utah, Indiana and Tennessee. Thirty-three states allow women to go topless is public. The remaining states – Massachusetts, Michigan, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Arizona, Nevada and Washington – have ambiguous laws.

In spite of these laws, women are continually arrested and fined for baring all.

Massachusetts law, for example, states that “persons guilty of indecent exposure” could be sentenced to “imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not more than 6 months, or by a fine of not more than $200, or by both such fine and imprisonment.”

Louisiana specifies that “female breast nipples in any public place or place open to the public view with the intent of arousing sexual desire or which appeals to prurient interest or is patently offensive” can receive three years of jail time for a first-time offense and a $2500 fine.

The organizer of Go Topless Day in Minnesota, Faith Neumann highlights the tyrannical and sexist nature of these anti-female nipple laws and why she’s fighting them. In an interview the MinnPost, Faith explained:

What I’m trying to get across is a very blatant example of gender inequality. It’s hard to prove our socio-economic worth is sub-par as women, or the way that we’re culturally valued… Stuff like that isn’t tangible, but to literally be able to point out a law and be like, ‘I will get arrested for something that a man won’t’ actually represents a lot more. So it’s kind of just making ripples to show that we are not even physically equal in the eyes of the law, so how can we be [equal] socially?

Even in states where bearing female breasts is legal, cops still arrest women for it. In 1992, the New York Court of Appeals ruled, in People v. Stanorelli, that women could go topless, but only if it wasn’t for commercial purposes. In spite of this ruling, cops still find it necessary to “protect” society from the dangers of the female nipple.

The paparazzo known as “Holly Van Voast” has been arrested multiple times for going topless. She won a $40,000 settlement after suing the New York Police Department, according to Heavy.

It’s not just New York either. Last year, Chicago officials held no punches when they directly attacked the female nipple in an absurdly chauvinist and tyrannical motion. As the Chicago Tribune reported:

“The city on Wednesday filed a motion to dismiss a federal lawsuit over the right of women to go topless in Chicago, arguing that nudity is not protected expression under the Constitution and that ‘female breasts are considered erogenous in a way that male breasts are not.’

Yes, they really said that.

It s Go Topless Day Countless Arrests Likely Across the U.S. Because the Female Nipple is Illegal

Nothing highlights the sheer asinine nature of anti-nipple laws quite like transgender women baring their breasts. As Parker Molloy points out, writing for Bustle.com:

In 2013, a transgender woman named Ashley Del Valle was arrested in Savannah, Georgia, for allegedly exposing her breasts. Like my sweet home Chicago, it’s illegal for women to show their breasts in public in Savannah. Then something magical happened, something that can only happen when transphobia and misogyny combine: Del Valle was placed in a men’s cell because the prison determined that she was “technically a male,” based on what I’m sure was a wonderfully invasive genital examination.

So hold up: If she’s “technically a male,” then she didn’t commit any crime at all, right? Either she should have been free to bound through the streets braless without consequence, or she should have been placed in a women’s prison, but certainly not arrested for illegal toplessness as a women and placed in a men’s facility… right? Eh, apparently not. Logic be damned, Del Valle was tossed in with men before eventually being locked in solitary confinement “for her own safety.”

So continues the logic of the state and the tyrants who enforce it.

As brave men and women take to the streets on Sunday, let’s not forget that this is how progress is made. Openly disobeying inherently unjust laws exposes the tyrants when they come to enforce them. Remember, up until the 1930’s publicly bearing one’s man boobs was illegal too.

men-nips

Civil disobedience of the 1930’s. Lifeguards rebel.

source:
thefreethoughtproject.com



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