This was a tricky story to write because my first reaction to the notion of women walking the streets topless is, “nope,” not interested in seeing that. That’s usually my reaction to guys walking topless, too. I mean maybe if there were an office that handed out permits based on aesthetics and strict adherence to a gym membership, perhaps, but this whole willy-nilly anyone can opt-in shirtless policy is not to my liking.
Why it literally good for the goose but not the gander? Well, literally if we’re talking geese, but I digress.
It took some mental leaps but I quickly decided that going topless can’t be determined by gender. It makes absolutely no sense that a man with more breast tissue (I’m being nice here) than me can strip out of his t-shirt and I can’t. Because somehow my breast tissue is more offensive than his because … um … because his breast tissue is male?!? It’s nuts.
As I wrote the piece I couldn’t help but be befuddled by the fact that we’re still arguing about this. And sure, there’s a lot of issues that will come up and a lot of uncomfortable conversation will have to take place, but really, seriously the time has come. It’s sexism and even if it’s protectionist as its root, sexism is sexism.
I was a little surprised that most of the comments and voice mails I received about this piece were overwhelmingly positive, but we’ll see how long it takes for that to amount to change
There are lots of issues in the world and sadly the girls-gone-wild-type franchises and don’t help this debate.
Read my full story on a single page here: Film about nipples says inequality is the real indecency.