To The Daily Sun,
An open letter to Chelsea Davis:
Your letter to the editor about dressing modestly and that women not expose their breasts in public, doesn't understand what the Free the Nipple movement is really about at all.
Your implication that my mother didn't raise me to be respectful and "modest" is wrong. And you would know that, too, because we're family. Others reading your letter believe you're speaking in theory about any woman going topless but the truth is, because your brother is my stepdad, I know you are speaking literally about me and my mother. I'm pretty confident that this is personal and if this movement was started by any other woman, you wouldn't care all that much.
Makes me wonder why months ago you said to me, "When I saw you doing the Free the Nipple thing I was so happy because breastfeeding mothers get shamed too much." We spoke for hours about it. Why is it you can bash me in an open letter in the paper but not to my face?
Like a majority of women in the U.S., I was raised to wear a shirt, bra, or bikini top. It wasn't until last year that I started exercising my legal right to go without a shirt. Your breasts may be private parts to you, which is fine, but not all women think of their breasts as a private part. How is this supposed to create equality? The very fact of not allowing me to do something men are allowed to do is inequality. It's like all of us flipping a coin and being told those who get heads are allowed to do something and those with tails are not allowed. Well, unfortunately I got tails and so did you. Is that equality?
Having the right to go shirtless is so insignificant. It's so small and simple, yet women cannot do it. That is the point. How can women ever expect to be treated completely equal in all regards, even in wages, if we cannot do a simple thing like going without a shirt the way men are allowed? Me going shirtless does not restrict your rights. You do not have a constitutional right to be comfortable at all times in public. But you do have the constitutional right to be treated equally under the law regardless of gender. If you see me shirtless at the beach you have choices. You can turn away, move, or even leave. While you may feel you are being forced to leave, you are not. It is your choice and your response is your responsibility.
I will not comment much on the Bible and what God may or may not think of people going without a shirt. It isn't related because, as you said, there are many different religions. Christianity isn't the law of the land. But ask yourself, if God wants me to be covered does he want the same for men? Are you socially conditioned to believe that God has no problem with men parading around half-naked flaunting their nipples?
Christians may have places they can meet, but they still have equal rights. They are still able to wear a cross in public and even openly talk about Christianity in public. I do not want to go to a "designated spot" for nudity because I am not a nudist. If a man walking around without a shirt isn't nudity, than neither is it for a woman. You are selfish and greedy to expect me and others to dress and behave in a way that you find acceptable. Why should I be uncomfortable for you?
Free the Nipple is about more than going topless. It's about getting rid of breast and nipple shame for women. It's about getting rid of notions and implications like yours, that I wasn't raised right. Keep your shirt on at the beach if you want, I won't.
- Category: Letters
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