Sunday, November 21, 2010

Excellent article about women's rights to bare their breasts in public

In the late 1800's in teh US, the sight of a woman's bare ankle was scandalous. Then in the roaring '20's flapper girls showing off bare calves were considered "loose." By the 1940's women could finally wear skirts coming below the knees and 2 piece (not bikini) bathing suits were coming into style. In 1946, French engineer Louis Reard is given credit for "inventing" the modern bikini. And of course in Europe, topless bikinis are very popular on all beaches, especially Spanish beaches where topless sunbathing is legal.

Yet, if you look at the above photo, you will see it is of a mosaic from the 4th century AD of Italian women in bikinis.

And going back further Queen Nefertiti of Egypt and many fellow Egyptians enjoyed public nudity.

"Nudity in Early Egypt

A fascinating tale of early sun worship and nudity was unearthed in 1887 at Tell-el-Amarna, a small Egyptian village on the banks of the Nile some 200 miles south of Cairo. There, an Arab woman accidentally stumbled upon the baked-clay tablet archives of Pharaoh Akhen-Aton (1385-1353 B.C.). It was learned through the subsequent translation of these tablets that the brilliant young pharaoh and his exquisitely beautiful queen, Nefertiti, considered the sun, Aton, to be the true wellspring of life and thus justified the practice of nudism for spiritual and physical advancement." from

It seems "modern" American society has forgotten how to enjoy life clothes free.

Today in the US, women can still be arrested for being topless at most beaches and doing activities men can do shirtless. But, don't forget, men could be arrested for being shirtless at beaches until the 1930's, because it was thought women would not be able to handle the sight of a man's bare nipple.

A college student from MA wrote a very good article about women needing to get the right to bare their breasts anywhere it is acceptable for a man to do so.

Here it is:

"If you’ve ever been out walking on a hot summer day, you know that sometimes clothes can make you unbearably sweaty and uncomfortable. If you’re a man, you can try to cope with this problem by taking your shirt off, and no one will complain. If you’re a woman and you do the same, you’re likely to get arrested.

In most parts of the U.S., it is illegal for women to go topless in public. Women may legally do so only in six states, and specific cities and beaches. If a woman goes topless in public anywhere else in America, it is considered indecent exposure. In Massachusetts, the maximum penalty for indecent exposure is up to six months in jail and a $200 fine...

The strongest argument for keeping women’s tops on is that women must be protected from men. According to this argument, men simply are not able to control themselves at the sight of a woman’s bare breasts and would sexually harass, assault, or even rape them. However, women are expected to cover their hair in certain cultures and religious groups. These groups believe that if a woman’s hair— a supposedly sexual part of her body – was to be seen, men would not be able to control their desires. Regardless of religious belief, though, women typically leave their hair uncovered in the U.S., since we don’t consider it to be a sexual entity. Even if a woman does have beautiful hair, men are easily able to control themselves. There is nothing inherently sexual about a woman’s hair, and similarly, there is nothing inherently sexual about a woman’s breasts. Both ideas, in fact, are mere societal constructs.

Other people will say that they aren’t comfortable with being forced to see women’s breasts in public. After all, not everybody has attractive breasts, and who wants to see ugly women go topless? Nonetheless, not everybody has a body that is widely considered attractive, and yet we are “forced” to see them every day – sometimes in shorts or a bathing suit. Finding someone, male or female, unattractive is not a viable reason for forcing them to cover up, or for arresting them if they refuse to do so...

Another pervasive argument against women’s toplessness is that children must be protected from the sight of breasts. However, breastfed children grow up seeing their mothers’ breasts, and it doesn’t seem to affect them adversely. Moreover, European children who go to public beaches see women’s breasts, and it doesn’t traumatize them...

Far from preventing sexual assaults, the law against women’s toplessness is part of a way of thinking that is harmful to both men and women. If we take steps to change the law, our society’s attitudes will adjust and such a change in attitude will protect women far more effectively than a t-shirt ever could.

For the full interesting article: Click Here

It's still so sad that Mary Clare, if she wanted to walk outside would have to wear at least a tube top instead of being able to be topless. Hopefully, this situation will change for future generations.

Tom Mulhall
Terra Cotta Inn clothing optional resort and spa
Located in Sunny Palm Springs, California
Our resort site at:
Visit our Resort Facebook page at:

1 comment:

Rick said...

I saw that article several weeks ago. While she doesn't cover any new ground in her article, she does present it very eloquently and from the perspective of someone who is not a nudist. It's refreshing to know that some in the younger generation are thinking about these issues and the absurdity of many of our public decency laws.

I hope that she and others like her will work to effect change in the laws and public perceptions in regards to nudity. I dream of a society where the concept of nudism is unnecessary.