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Doing the right thing the right way sounds easier than it really is. . You should be very proud of what you have been doing for destigmatizing female barecheatedness. Keep up the great work!
Frick Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsyvlania. March 2016. After three months in discussion with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, we received confirmation from the PBP legal department of what we already knew, that male and female bare-chestedness is to be treated the same under Pennsylvania law.
Last week I opened my email to find a message from the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police legal department confirming, after three months of conversation, that public female bare-chestedness is legal in Pennsylvania.
Here’s what they wrote:
“CONCLUSION There is no City or State law which expressly prohibits or even addresses the act of appearing bare-breasted in public. Based upon the information provided to the Law Department, the City does not appear to have any legal grounds under the City Code or Title 18 (i.e. the Commonwealth’s Crimes Code) to cite or arrest women for being bare-chested without any additional sexual or criminal behavior associated therewith…
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Ver y thoughtful post. I can relate to what you’ve said having a teenage daughter.
National Mall, Washington D.C., Fall 2015
I have spent a lot of time studying fear and anxiety, both generally and how it relates to normalizing female bare-chestedness.
I traveled to New Hamphire this week to attend the trial of the women who asked to be cited after police officers asked them to cover their breasts at a Gilford town beach.
Two witnesses testified that they were mothers and were offended on behalf of their and other children. One said she was offended in her own right, and didn’t want her son to see breasts.
I also just watched poorly made news footage from Woodlawn Beach in Buffalo where women have apparently been going bare-chested with some regularity (according to the hyperbolic reporting) and they managed to find an offended mother who said she was totally fine with topless sunbathing, just not in front of her daughter.
And of course I have heard…
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Let’s hope your letter finds echo in NH House of Representatives. Well done!
Rock Creek Park, Washington D.C. December 2015.
I have e-mailed this to every New Hampshire Representative at
Regarding New Hampshire House Bill 1525, which would amend the state’s indecent exposure law to forbid female breast exposure but not male breast exposure.
Dear New Hampshire Representatives:
My name is Chelsea Covington and I am writing to offer some thoughts on Representative Brian Gallagher’s House Bill 1525, seeking to amend the state’s indecent exposure statute to forbid the exposure of female breasts but not male breasts. New Hampshire law currently treats female and male breast exposure equally.
As you probably know by now, a social movement to normalize female bare-chestedness is gaining traction across the country. Representative Gallagher’s bill is a reaction to a peaceful action that occurred in Laconia, which has one of the few local ordinances barring female bare-chestedness in New Hampshire.
The first two articles in the New Hampshire…
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Couldn’t agree more on your perspective towards normalizing bare-chestedness. I find what your are doing really admirably.
Georgetown University, Washington D.C. December 2015. Who says global climate change isn’t real? 70 degrees on December 13? But it made for a nice normal walk… no negative interactions in three hours.
I walk bare-chested primarily because I enjoy feeling free. My strong secondary reason for walking bare-chested is to normalize female bare-chestedness, so that other women may feel the same way.
The only way to normalize anything is to do it with so much regularity and normality that people stop being afraid of it and start seeing it as conventional behavior. This is my motivation for posting photos and videos of my walks. I want people to see and hear for themselves the reactions (and more importantly the non-reactions) of the public as I walk by.
There exists this misconception that going bare-chested is some disruptive act of revolution and that traffic will stop and babies will cry. Perhaps…
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It is all about equality.
St. Jones River, Dover, Delaware. Delaware law specifically forbids public female bare-chestedness, but not public male bare-chestedness, nor public breast exposure by transitioning people who have “female-looking breasts” but still have male genitalia
“Bare-chestedness may be legal, but a bare-chested woman can still be arrested for disorderly conduct.”
I hear this so much from police I have begun to anticipate the argument when I email them before a walk or bike ride.
Sometimes a police officer will initially deny the legality of female bare-chestedness but that usually goes away quickly when we look at the applicable statutes, because they are almost always clearly written.
But then, almost universally, that police officer will warn me about disorderly conduct or some equivalent charge, like open lewdness or public indecency. Having heard it so often, this is what I write now in my very first introductory emails.
“Anticipating the argument that a…
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How can someone feel threatened by a group of topless women?
After our rooftop adventure (chronicled previously), we headed down with our new friend from the New York Times to the streets of Brooklyn and the grassy lawns of Prospect Park.
At first, no one seemed to take notice of us — so much so that our reporter friend commented on it, amazed that the presence of half a dozen women relaxing topless in a public space attracted not a single stare or rude comment. But like most things that seem too good to be true, it was: after perhaps half an hour, a police car cruised slowly to a stop alongside us and the officers inside sheepishly indicated they’d received several calls to 911 complaining of our presence. Because, you know. Breasts. Clearly they require armed men in uniform to subdue.
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Why should the men in this picture be allowed to be topless in public but not the women? In fact, the women in this picture were allowed to be topless in public one Sunday in August 2014 at Mont-Royal in support of topless equal rights for women. Sylvie Chabot (centre, in white jeans) leads a march around the George-Etienne Monument on Mont-Royal as part of a Go Topless demonstration. (Photo by Jillian Page exclusively for jillianpage.com.)
It seems sad in this modern age that women are still not allowed to go topless in public places where men are allowed to do so.
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“Think of the children!” How often I hear that. Children couldn’t care less of a topeless woman. I’ve been at the beach in France at it was quite common seeing topless mothers with their children enjoying themselves. Neither the children nor the adults were offended by it. It was perfectly normal.
One of the refrains we hear from time to time, on the increasingly rare occasions that we hear complaints at all, is “Won’t you think of the children?” The implication being that children are somehow harmed or traumatized by the sight of bare female breasts. This in spite of the fact that most children nurse from bare female breasts for the first chunk of their lives.
How does something that starts out as warm, loving, and nourishing — and wholly appropriate for children — transform into a taboo, a sight for adults only?
Fortunately, actual children don’t pay any attention to this nonsense. Or to us, by and large. Today we met in a downtown park where several young kids were playing, and aside from our representing a barrier to the unfettered pursuit of their game of tag, they couldn’t have cared less. They certainly showed less interest in our…
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