Men join women to strip down for the annual GoTopless day parade in support of equal rights


Female demonstrators were supported by members of the opposing sex as they took to city streets across the United States yesterday to celebrate GoTopless day, a day that promotes gender equality and women’s rights to bare their breasts in public.

GoTopless Day is celebrated annually on the Sunday closest to Women’s Equality Day, marking the day American women earned the right to vote.

A group of about 50 women and men were walking topless in the oceanside Los Angeles neighborhood of Venice, behind a giant, inflatable pink breast that had the phrase ‘equal topless rights’ written on it. 

One marcher carried a sign that said: ‘My Body Is Not A Crime.’

On the other side of the nation, a few dozen women and some men went topless as they walked down Broadway in New York City, where it has been legal to bare one’s breasts in public since 1992.

The march was led by some women carrying a banner, followed by others in a top-down convertible pulling along a pair of giant inflatable breasts. 

Onlookers gawked and took photos as the parade participants went by. 

The events in New York City and Los Angeles were two of several planned for cities across the globe, and similar marches were planned stateside in New Hampshire, Denver and more.

Activists in the GoTopless movement argue women should be able to go topless in public, just as men can.

Cities and states have varying laws on whether it is legal for women to go topless in public, though the practice is legal across the board in more than 30 states.

A demonstrator's painted chest is pictured prior to the start of the 2022 GoTopless Day Parade on August 28, 2022

A demonstrator’s painted chest is pictured prior to the start of the 2022 GoTopless Day Parade on August 28, 2022

The parade is held in late August to align with the nationally recognized 'Women's Equality Day," which celebrates women earning the right to vote in the United States on August 26, 1920

The parade is held in late August to align with the nationally recognized ‘Women’s Equality Day,” which celebrates women earning the right to vote in the United States on August 26, 1920

Charles Langley (R) of Kansas City, Missouri has his chest painted by artist Carmen Consalvo prior to the start of the 2022 GoTopless Day Parade on August 28, 2022 in Denver, Colorado

Charles Langley (R) of Kansas City, Missouri has his chest painted by artist Carmen Consalvo prior to the start of the 2022 GoTopless Day Parade on August 28, 2022 in Denver, Colorado

GoTopless Day Parade on August 28, 2022 in Denver, Colorado

GoTopless Day Parade on August 28, 2022 in Denver, Colorado

Sherrie Murray, of Denver, Colorado poses for a portrait with the Colorado State Capital in the background prior to marching in the 2022 GoTopless Day Parade on August 28, 2022 in Denver, Colorado

Sherrie Murray, of Denver, Colorado poses for a portrait with the Colorado State Capital in the background prior to marching in the 2022 GoTopless Day Parade on August 28, 2022 in Denver, Colorado

Activists in the GoTopless movement argue women should be able to go topless in public, just as men can.

Activists in the GoTopless movement argue women should be able to go topless in public, just as men can.

Cities and states have varying laws on whether it is legal for women to go topless in public, though the practice is legal in more than 30 states

Cities and states have varying laws on whether it is legal for women to go topless in public, though the practice is legal in more than 30 states

Nadine Gray, president of GoTopless, said she hopes the events will take away the shock and awe around seeing female breasts.

‘This push for women to go topless in the 21st century is as strong as women wanting to vote in the 20th century,’ she said. 

‘It may be sensual, but it’s not illegal to be sensual.’

Kia Sinclair, an event organizer for GoTopless Day at Hampton Beach in New Hampshire, said of the demonstrations: ‘It’s in hopes to show people that it can be normal, that it’s really not a big deal and it’s not about getting attention or protesting.’ 

Sinclair was also part of a group of women who last year helped beat back an effort to criminalize toplessness in the state.

There are only three states where it is illegal for women to go topless in public – Indiana, Utah and Tennessee.

However, there have been cases of women being arrested on the grounds of ‘disorderly conduct’ in places where they are legally allowed to be topless.

GoTopless was founded in 2007 by the French spiritual leader Rael, leader of the Raelien movement which was launched in 1974.

Freeing the nipple is only a small part of the Raelien manifesto, which also claims that Earth was a barren rock until extra-terrestrials came and breathed life onto it. 

Rael has published books detailing what he claims is a blueprint for managing the future of humanity and the Earth given to him by a human being from another planet. 

There are only three states where it is illegal for women to go topless in public - Indiana, Utah and Tennessee (march in Denver pictured on August 28)

There are only three states where it is illegal for women to go topless in public – Indiana, Utah and Tennessee (march in Denver pictured on August 28)

There have been cases of women being arrested on the grounds of 'disorderly conduct' in places where they are legally allowed to be topless

There have been cases of women being arrested on the grounds of ‘disorderly conduct’ in places where they are legally allowed to be topless

Whitney Taylor of Lafayette, Colorado marches during the 2022 GoTopless Day Parade on August 28, 2022 in Denver, Colorado

Whitney Taylor of Lafayette, Colorado marches during the 2022 GoTopless Day Parade on August 28, 2022 in Denver, Colorado

Lori Olcott (L) has her breast and chest painted by artist Elayna Hawley prior to the start of the 2022 GoTopless Day Parade on August 28, 2022

Lori Olcott (L) has her breast and chest painted by artist Elayna Hawley prior to the start of the 2022 GoTopless Day Parade on August 28, 2022

Although the GoTopless movement aims to promote women’s rights to bare their breasts in public and gender equality, a new study from Western Illinois University found women are more offended by females who bare their breasts in public than men.

Researchers showed more than 300 men and women pictures of topless women in different scenarios and locations, asking them to rate them on levels of appropriateness, from one to 11. 

The study, published in the journal of Sexuality and Culture, showed that men were on average two points more favourable to seeing bare breasts than their female counterparts.   

It was no surprise to professor Colin Harbke, from Western Illinois University, that men were more amenable to seeing breasts in their daily lives. 

However the expert did not expect the respondent’s sex to be the most deciding factor in whether or not they would find a photo appropriate.

‘There’s kind of a paradoxical pattern, where the data suggests that women police other women’s behaviour…and they do so by ascribing a notion of morality,’ Professor Harbke told the Times.

Describing it as odd, he added: ‘It shows just how complicated our behaviour is, when we are actually just talking about something as simple as whether or not someone is wearing a top.’

 



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