To The Daily Sun,
As the court date in December for the topless (sunbathing) citation approaches, I would like to remind the people of New Hampshire of some things.
Firstly, it is not illegal in the state of New Hampshire for a woman to expose her breasts or nipples. The reason two women are going to court is because there are places, like Gilford Town Beach, that have a discriminatory ordinance prohibiting women from going topless and Laconia that specifically prohibit showing the areola and nipple. But it is not a state law.
I have been told by several people that some New Hampshire legislators have been contacting citizens looking for people in support of making it illegal for a woman to go topless. If you are someone who supports such a law I want you to remember this: today, as I write this, Dec. 8, I have the legal right as a woman to go shirtless in public. Again, I already have this right. If you support legislation that prohibits women from going shirtless you are in support of taking away a right from women they already possess.
The worst part is it wasn't until we exercised our right to freedom of expression that you decided it must be taken away. See, there was no need for a law because our society has "rules" in place that taught us that girls and women must never show their breasts or nipples unless they want to have sex. We have been told and have been telling each other that breasts are for sexual pleasure and to express sexuality, nothing more, nothing less. Our society says women's bodies are obscene and inherently pornographic. It wasn't until other women and I said, "Screw your social rules," and exercised our legal right to go shirtless that you decided something else must be done.
You know now that your societal expectations and public shaming won't stop us, so you have to use the law to oppress us instead. You know you have to criminalize female nipples or else more and more women every year will shed their shirts because they want to, and they can. If people of the Live Free or Die state are so quick to take away my rights, I wonder what other rights will be taken away next? The right to bear arms perhaps?
Let's face it, guns are more harmful and dangerous to us and our children than any pair of nipples. How many children and adolescents are injured or die each year because of firearms? Now compare that with how many are injured or killed from breasts and nipples. I don't use that example because I am against guns. I use that example to point out the hypocrisy and how ridiculous it is that my nipples are perceived as more dangerous and harmful than a gun, which can be openly carried in public.
If you are for such legislation I can't help but assume that you really do not support freedom and equality. You must not believe in freedom of expression. You can't possibly believe that all humans are created equal. The question isn't do you believe women should have the same right as men to go shirtless. No, the question is do you believe women should have the same rights as men? Period. I'm not asking anyone to grant me a right; I am telling you to not take away a right I already have.
- Category: Letters
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