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‘Free the Nipple’ hasn’t a thing to do with body- or slut-shaming

To The Daily Sun,

To (Free the Nipple supporter) Kia Sinclair, this nonsense needs to stop. You have taken a movement about gender equality and bastardized it into something unrelated to the original.

First off, the woman who started this #FTN – Lina Esco – stated that this was all about gender equality and the shaming of the female nipple; that it was about the U.S. being "puritanical and unevolved." She only used the words "Free The Nipple" because it was engaging and funny. Well, I am disengaged and failing to find the humor.

You drag in the LGBTQ community as well as persons of color. Why? It isn't about them. It isn't about body-shaming or slut-shaming. It isn't about a lifestyle choice. This is about you being the bully, not others. When a small group of women attempt to browbeat a town of 7,000 (and far more in the summer) into looking away while they flash their particulars, it is you who are being the bully. So an attempt to desexualize the female nipple is only about gender equality – not a lifestyle choice. That was my response to the nudists from Florida and California who sent in their 2 cents. Because nudism is a lifestyle choice that can be enjoyed at a private resort or enclave. In California and Rhode Island and Florida they have beaches set aside for just that lifestyle. Gilford does not.

Personally, I hope you fail, and I'll tell you why. I have daughters. I will stand by them their entire lives to ensure they have equal voting rights, earning ability, education opportunities, and other legal rights. But from the first time I had the privilege — yes, a privilege and not a right — to see the breast of a woman who had exposed it for me and only me, I knew that it was a moment of immense personal sharing; a time and a place where people who care for each other take that step.

The attempt to desexualize the female nipple is a losing proposition for couples everywhere. It takes something away from those moments between a man and a woman of equal everything and now makes it secondary. Minimized. An afterthought: It hasn't anything to do with race or sexual preference, and shame on you for trying to drag them into this.

Perhaps Ms. Esco is right and that at some point in the future, your nipples will be free to exhibit themselves anywhere they want. But even if the Supreme Court of the United States was to say, "Yes Kia!! Go forth and expose to your heart's content!!," I still will have an issue with you and your little group of bullies. And I hope that the town of Gilford will use my tax dollars to fight and continue to fight to keep this town invested in a little bit of old-fashioned romance.

Alan Vervaeke

  • Category: Letters
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By all that I have seen and heard, toplessness only adds fuel to an ignorant fire

To the Daily Sun,

My letter was an open letter of thanks to Marie Ludwick. However, the title you chose to use is misleading. It could have been simply titled "Thank you Ms. Ludwick," as I believe it was. Instead you chose an alternate title for my letter. Was there a reason why you did? I had other things written that you could have used. Did you do it for a more dramatic flair, stir up the pot even more, or attempt to capture the reader's eye faster? Well, I see by the numbers of hits it received, I feel confident that soon there will be an FTN supporter responding, and I wanted to make sure they were not going to be misled.

I have said (and so have the supporters) that the move is about gender equality; the "old war"; men vs. women. However, it has been my choice to say that you can achieve all that and more with your shirt on. And you could be be taken far more seriously than with it off. Again, I will say, there are more serious "battles" to be taken on in the USA, and globally. With your number of followers,and the drive behind them, you could be a great force of help.

I still think that being topless will do more harm than good for women. Men will always look at our breasts as "sexual objects." And being topless, is not going to help. MANY overlook that fact. It will only draw unwanted and negative attention. I do not think being topless will help the rampant racism we have today. I do not think it will help gay men, women and transgenders get the rights they need, and I do say deserve, or stop a rapist from raping. I definitely do not think it will help bullying, body image, fat shaming or slut shaming. By the comments I have seen and heard, which are just awful at times, it only adds fuel to an already ignorant fire.

The supporters, many men and women, of this cause, seem to want it ALL their way or no way, and they do not care about anyone else. To me, that is selfish and bullying. You simply cannot change people overnight, by forcing them to just "deal with it" or shut up! And if you can't deal with people, such as myself, not being in favor of this lifestyle/choice, then maybe you should just take some of your own advice. Please stop complaining about families/parents, and how you feel they should raise THEIR kids. You are not their parents, and it is their choice on what they wish to have their children be "exposed," too, not you.

I have never felt "oppressed" being a woman. I don't let models/actresses influence my life or wardrobe. No man could/would/will ever tell me what to do with my body! Please, stop trying to tell me being topless is "freeing" and empowering. Because, I believe being a strong, individual, assertive, smart, loving, great mom, wife, daughter, sister and friend empowers me every day! And I have achieved all that on my own, with my top on, thank you very much.

Also, if men stare take pictures, gawk, catcall, film, etc., don't get upset with them. That's called a "double standard," ladies. What did you think men would do if you walked by topless? Did you seriously think they would/could ignore it? Again, this is not Europe. It is not openly accepted, and unsure if it ever will be in America. We are the "prudy" state, as it has been pointed out numerously.

I certainly hope the LDS will choose a better title for my letter this time, since I guess mine was not so catchy the last time.

Denise C Burke

  • Category: Letters
  • Hits: 222