Sunday, April 04, 2010

Women Exercise Their Topfree Rights in Portland

The best way to normalize women's topfreedom is to exercise the right, and that's exactly what about two dozen women did in Portland yesterday.
The point of the march was that a topless woman out in public should attract no more attention than a man walking around without a shirt on, said Ty MacDowell, 20, of Westbrook, who organized Saturday's event and promoted it on Facebook....MacDowell said she understood that for women, going topless in public "is not socially acceptable yet, and obviously there's going to be a reaction to something that breaks the norm." 
But, she said, the picture-taking was particularly upsetting.

"A lot of people were taking pictures without even asking," she said. "Even if you're somewhere where people are fully clothed, you should ask."
I find it rather odd that Ms. MacDowell would be so savvy about her topfree rights, yet so ignorant about photographer's rights. Anyone who appears in public and has no reasonable expectation of privacy can be photographed.

Also, in our breast-obsessed society, women who appear topfree in public should not be surprised by getting a lot of attention, particularly from males who have been conditioned to regard female breasts as sexual objects.

It's very encouraging that women turned out in such a relatively large number for this event, and since interest was high with no incidents or arrests, perhaps the next topfree protest in Maine will be even larger. For their next event, the women say they are planning a "topless adventure".


Elton said...

More power to them. ;)

Tom Roark said...

Top freedom seems a strange place to take a stand against sexism. It is discriminatory that men have greater liberty to show our breasts, but the sexual meaning female breasts have in our society guarantees that gaining the same liberty for women will be unpleasant.

Nudiarist said...

Absolutely it's not easy for these women, that's why they deserve everyone's respect for taking such a courageous stand.

Kendra Holliday said...


Reminds me of when I was a goth punk rock chick in high school and wore all black, shaved head etc and wondered why people stared at me. HA! I was TRYING to stand out.

I hope sometime soon a topless woman is not such an unusual sight!

Anonymous said...

The answer to this could be banning men from publicly showing their breasts.


Good on Ms McDowell for taking a stand against sexist norms in the 'good' old USA.
However, I don't think that she ought to go kicking up such a stink about the cameras and the presence of guys at the parade. If you go out in public in a way that is unusual to that society then you WILL be photographed and there isn't anything you can do to stop them. Should a crowd of thousands of people have to go individually asking you if they can take your photo? Completely impractical. I hope she organises another one soon until a time that the public are desensitised to female breasts and it's no longer a social issue.

Anonymous said...

I'd have no issue with this. Then again, I'm for making all of the planet Clothing Optional.

suburbanudist said...

I was happy to see that they were exercising their rights. There must be more of this in all forms and not just when it comes to top/clothing freedom. I also completely agree that there are rights of photographers. is a great blog about a man's trouble with the law due to photography in public and the troubles of others facing similar trouble. I think that people get too up in arms about perceived rights to privacy especially in public. I witnessed something similar when doing the WNBR in St. Louis. Some clothed photographer was taking pictures of a group of girls and they complained loudly that he "had to ask." Of course it would be polite to ask...but they were standing nude on a public street in down town St. Louis. Even if there's nothing wrong with such a scene it certainly isn't the norm. They, like the women in the above article, should have expected no less.