Hundreds of people celebrated "Go Topless Day" on Aug. 23. Many women want to go topless in public. This is a right they feel they should share with men.
The world celebrated "Go Topless Day" on Aug. 23.
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According to GoTopless.org, this day falls on the Sunday closest to Aug. 26. That is the date of Women's Equality Day. Aug. 26, 1920 was when "women earned their right to vote on the basis of gender equality."
Aug. 26 became Women's Equality Day in 1971, per GoTopless.org.
GoTopless.org explains its mission. It pushes for women to have the right to go topless in public:
"We are a U.S.-based organization founded in 2007 by spiritual leader Rael and we claim that women have the same constitutional right that men have to go bare-chested in public.
"'As long as men are allowed to be topless in public, women should have the same constitutional right. Or else, men should have to wear something to hide their chests,' Rael, founder of GoTopless.org and spiritual leader of the Raelian movement (rael.org).
"FREE YOUR BREASTS! FREE YOUR MIND!"
Austin, Tx. is one city which allows women to go topless in public, per KXAN.com's William Malm. He spoke with Carolyn Estes. She was one of the participants in Austin's "Go Topless Day" parade on Sunday:
"It's absurd that someone has judged topless women as obscene and yet topless men is considered normal in our culture and we just abhore the double standard it's legal to be topless. We are practicing our rights; we think everyone should try it. It's a lot of fun."
Kelly Busch organized the "Go Topless Day" movement in Memphis, Tn.
"We want to promote equal topless rights for women as well as men," Busch told WMACActionNews5.com. "Anywhere where it is okay for men to go topless, we would like for women to go topless."
This year's celebrations come in the wake of New York City's mayor's disdain for topless performers.
Mayor Bill De Blasio is not pleased with these Manhattan-based performers. He admits the First Amendment protects these individuals from getting reprimanded. He spoke with Observer.com's Ross Barkan on Aug. 18:
"Our current laws do make it harder to enforce in the way we might like to. There is a First Amendment protection for begging. There is a First Amendment protection for painting yourself and displaying yourself in a certain fashion.
"It makes no sense, but I understand that is a First Amendment protection."
Nonetheless, Mayor de Blasio told Barkan he won't "tolerate" the public display. The women are naked. They're only covered by spray paint. They prowl the streets of Manhattan and pose for pictures with tourists. Each photo costs $10 to $20, per The New York Daily News.
Barkan confirms it is legal to go topless in New York. de Blasio still promises to work around that. He wants to put an end to the nudity in Manhattan, per Observer.com:
"If there's a business transaction going on -- let's face it, the women in Times Square, or the furry creatures are engaged in a business. We believe that opens the door for us to enforce the way we would with any other business.
"And we will do so while still respecting constitutional rights.
"This situation is going to change; this is what I'll guarantee you. I'm not going to tolerate it; we're going to change things. I think we have just begun to recognize all the tools available here. But, you know, this is a situation I don't accept, and we will deal with it very aggressively."
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