Feeling Spring Breeze on the Boobies: Female Toplessness in Maine Is Legal, but Controversial

8 years ago

It is legal for women to be topless in public in Maine -- but that doesn't mean that breasts free from bras and bikinis are welcome. In an effort to claim their right to feel the spring breeze on their chests in equal measure to the men in town, a group of Portland activists took their shirts off and took to the street in a demonstration against gender bias last weekend. 

The Portland Press Herald says, "About two dozen women marched topless from Longfellow Square to Tommy's Park this afternoon in an effort to erase what they see as a double standard on male and female nudity."

The women garnered a lot more than simply some early spring tan-line-free sunshine on their shoulders.  According to a video story at CNN, the band of women walking topless upset bystanders because children saw the "disgusting" display and pleased some oglers and photographers who seemed pleased they stumbled upon what they viewed as a free parade of soft porn.  The Press Herald reports that in all, the crowd was estimated to be about one thousand people.

Word of the action had spread via one woman's post on Facebook, which is ironic as the social media company's policies banning breastfeeding photographs have been widely protested.

News and blog stories about the protest have been skewering the outrage the marchers have expressed at being viewed salaciously.  For example, The Frisky quipped that while they understood that organizer Ty MacDowell was upset that photos of women were taken without permission, but that her general complaint seemed baseless: "... I can’t believe MacDowell is surprised by this. Did she really think people would stroll on by as if nothing unusual was going down? Please. Wasn’t that the point of the stunt anyway—to get some attention? Otherwise, they would’ve made like nudists and had a topless party in an enclosed public space, not on a major thoroughfare."

Based on the conversation that developed it still flouts social norms for women to go shirtless and women aren't free from being ogled, even in states where female toplessness is legal.  What do you think?  Are you willing to bare all to erase bias about public nudity?  If so, would you be surprised your boobs made the news?

Deb Rox blogs like a freaking butterfly, stings like a Tweet, and recommends LOT of sunscreen if you aren't used to baring your sheltered nipples very often.  Seriously. Trust her on this.

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