To The Daily Sun,
I am not only a supporter of Free the Nipple, but I am the woman who organized this movement in New Hampshire with the help of Heidi Lilley. People ask me why I go topless. It is because I can and I want to. Not only is it a legal right, but I hope someday society will accept a topless woman sunbathing just as it accepts a topless man.
The many double standards I see surrounding this issue upset me. I am not going topless because I want attention or want people to see my breasts. I am not being sexual. Why is it that if a man goes topless at the beach no one assumes it is because he is looking for attention? Men go topless because they want to and many times, for comfort. Why is it not the same for women?
I do not understand why when a woman shows "too much skin" it is automatically assumed she is being sexual. This screams of rape culture and victim blaming to me. No one would ever say that a man was raped or harassed because he was topless. That is absurd.
I enjoy swimming at the beach without a top, just like men do. How can we tell half the population that a body part that all humans have is obscene and sexual, especially, when the half we are telling that to, are the ones who feed our children? Couldn't one argue that a man's chest is actually more sexual because it does not have a purpose the way a woman's does? To me, this is like stealing breasts not only from the woman, to whom they belong, but also from our children. Breasts are for babies and children, not men or lovers. Breasts and nipples are not completely and only sexual objects.
To everyone who thinks that and teaches that, I say, "Shame on you." Shame on you for lying to your children about what a woman's breasts are for and who they belong to. Shame on you for taking away the breast from the woman and the babies for your own sexual pleasure.
If you do not think men should remain covered and their nipples do not bother you, ask yourself why do a woman's nipples bother you? Before 1936 men's nipples were obscene and sexual, too, but because they fought for the right to go topless now we think nothing of seeing a topless man at the beach or pool. But I assure you, if you are offended by female breasts, had you lived before 1936, you would be arguing that men, too, should keep their shirts on.
Just like there is nothing necessarily freeing or liberating about taking your shirt off, there is also nothing necessarily liberating about keeping it on either.
- Category: Letters
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