Thousands of women in cities across America and around the world will be going topless on the public streets today in observance of “Go Topless Day,” an offshoot of “Women’s Equality Day.” The event is organized by the organization Go Topless, which seeks the constitutional “right” for women to go bare-chested as part of a national gender equality movement. Thousands more are expected to attend the “Go Topless Day” observances as onlookers, including police officers, who reportedly do little to nothing to interfere with the rallies.
“Centuries of patriarchal, top-down religious education have trained women to be subservient to men, to be only child bearers and homemakers and to remain chaste. We must remember that it was less than 100 years ago that women finally won the right to vote in this country,” stated Go Topless president Nadine Gary. “Today, their emancipation is expanding to all aspects of life.”
Events are scheduled to take place in 30 cities worldwide, with the majority occurring in the United States. New York City, New York; Madison, Wisconsin; Asheville, North Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; Richmond, Virginia; Austin; Texas; Miami Beach, Florida; Seattle, Washington and Phoenix, Arizona are among the many municipalities that will be participating.
According to Go Topless, not only are women urged to bare their breasts at the event, but “[t]o show their support, men are encouraged to wear a bikini top.”
Asheville, North Carolina is at the focus of this year’s “Go Topless” observance, since there has been much controversy in the city about the matter. The Asheville protest was organized by Jeff Johnson of Huntsville, Alabama, the 59-year-old manager of Over the Rainbow Pediatrics, who also serves as a children’s baseball and basketball coach and the youth entertainer “Sparkles the Clown.”
Two city representatives that strongly opposed the event worked feverishly to stop the rally, but permits were granted to Johnson by the city nonetheless. Former Asheville Vice Mayor Carl Mumford and former Republican party County Chair Chad Nesbitt state that they are disturbed that their outcry against this year’s topless march has seemingly fallen upon deaf ears.
“We have fought this every step of the way, including asking the county commissioners, mayor, city council members and even the local school board to support the resolution and ordinance [blocking the event], but we were either told ‘no’ or faced resistance from all of them,” Mumford said.
Police estimated that approximately 2,000 people attended last year’s “Go Topless” observance, which according to Mumford and Nesbitt, included children as young as three to four years old.
Mumford and Nesbitt state that while they believe state law allows for women to be shirtless in a “non-sexual manner,” they opined that the topless gathering was very sexually suggestive. The two pointed to an incident that took place on the fountain last year, where women “stripteased” and acted very inappropriately.
Nadine Gary remarked that the accusations were “absurd” and “completely false.”
“To further [Mr. Mumford’s] political ambitions, he’s taking our event grossly out of context,” she stated. “Our aim is to highlight women’s constitutional rights, since men already have the right to go shirtless in public. The entire point of our demonstrations is to emphasize the principle of gender equality. If women have to wear a top, so should men. The Constitution says nothing whatsoever about gender distinctions for clothing.”
Mumford and Nesbitt outlined that they even went to the FBI about their concerns, but FBI agent Brian Hallman informed the men that the organization would not get involved in the matter.
“He said that everything is coming down from the city attorney’s office and that if any laws were broken that the police department would enforce them,” Nesbitt explained.
The Asheville city attorney’s office, however, pointed to a 1970 state appeals court ruling that upheld the current law by stating that female breasts are not “private parts” and cannot consequently be deemed as indecent.
As previously reported, at least one woman was spotted going topless at Asheville’s recent Bele Chere Arts and Music Festival. At one point, a senior citizen attempted to cover the bare-chested woman, but several officers restrained the elderly lady from doing so. When nearby Christians expressed their concern, police notified them that toplessness is legal in the state.
Christian News Network phoned Governor Beverly Perdue’s office and Asheville City Hall to inquire why such acts were “legal,” but calls were not returned.
Mumford and Nesbitt scolded the area churches for doing nothing to stand against what they call “shameless and lawless” activity.
“The faith based community, per usual, played it safe and didn’t say a word. There remains a big difference in a house of worship and a religious country club devoted to member services,” the men declared. “Asheville has been called a ‘Cesspool of Sin’ – it’s a title that fits and an opportunity for people of faith. Less so for people of comfort.”
In Chicago, Illinois, women will be demonstrating on North Avenue Beach, even though city ordinances expressly make it illegal to “appear, bathe, sunbathe, walk or be in any public park, playground, beach or the waters adjacent thereto, or any school facility and the area adjacent thereto, or any municipal building and the areas adjacent thereto, or any public way within the City of Chicago” exposing “any portion of the breast … of any female person.” Women can face fines of up to $500 per violation.
Additionally, it is stated that the most visible protests will take place in Washington, D.C. near the White House and in Tampa, Florida, where the Republican National Convention is scheduled to take place.
“When a woman takes her top off in public, there’s a chemical reaction in her brain that is very powerful,” stated Donna Newman, who is organizing an event in Columbia, Missouri, the home state of Senatorial candidate Todd Akin. “It’s something men will never understand. We want it written into the Constitution that women should be allowed to go shirt-free in public. We were human beings before we were gendered.”
The national event is scheduled to conclude with speeches supporting toplessness, along with various forms of entertainment.
Many rallies, although not all, were reportedly co-organized by the Raelian “Church,” a group which believes that life on earth began with extraterrestrials. The Raelians founded the human cloning company Clonad in 1997. The founder of Raelianism, Claude Vorilhon, once stated, “As long as men can go topless, women should have the same constitutional right or men should also be forced to wear something that hides their chests.”
As previously reported, the movement for “topless equality” is becoming increasingly significant across America, and may be considered as the next “civil rights” movement.
The organization Go Topless currently has over 12,000 fans of both men and women alike.