I’m a big advocate for equal rights – whether we’re talking about gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. I firmly believe that the law should apply equally to everyone and I’m grateful that the U.S. Supreme Court supported that ideal when they decided that “separate is not equal” in 1896.
Last weekend, I participated in the third annual Go Topless Day Protest in Phoenix. The purpose of Go Topless Day is to bring awareness to the fact that there in gender inequality under the decency law in my places (Phoenix included). Since men are allowed to be shirtless in public and women are not, everyone covered their areolas at this protest because women are required to. If we want to say that men and women are equal then everyone should be able to be shirtless or everyone should have to cover up.
About three dozen people showed up for the event in Phoenix, as did the press. I was interviewed by Fox 10 – who tried to be creative by doing a Garden of Eden thing – which made me look more naked than I really was. We gathered at Steele Indian School Park and marched up and down Central Avenue where we were met with lots of honks, cheers, and people taking photos. Fox posted a link to their footage on Facebook, and the last time I checked, it had over 1,100 likes and over 600 comments.
This is an issue about equality, not sexuality. How can we tell women and girls that they are equal to their male counterparts and then treat them differently under the law? I reached out to my elected representatives recently about this issue and was disappointed when none of them responded. They’re all up for re-election this November and I’ll keep that in mind when I’m filling out my ballot.
By requiring women to cover up, I think it promotes the objectification of women and the notion that women should be ashamed of their bodies. I shared some of those thoughts earlier this year on my personal blog.
I wanted to share some of the reactions to Fox 10 Phoenix’s coverage of the event as well as my thoughts. (I corrected the grammar and spelling mistakes.)
Ok, walk around topless. But don’t get mad when I look at them.
Looking is fine - especially if you can be discreet about it. Ogling and leering is not.
Hey I don't want to see either, man or woman, keep the shirts on.
That’s fine. All I want is for the law to be the same for men and women.
I don’t need my son seeing women walk around topless.
I’m sure there are lots of things you don’t want you kids to see that are legal.
I'm a woman and would rather not go topless.
Ok. When women were given the right to vote, we didn’t force you to do it. We just gave you the option. There are lots of things that I can legally do but I choose not to because I don’t like it - eat sushi, wear flip flops, and listen to heavy metal music are on my list - but if you want to enjoy them, go right ahead. Plenty of guys choose to keep their shirts on and so can you if the law is changed.
I will go along as long as there is an age and weight limit to it.
Will you support age and weight limits for men too?
Those women who want to walk around topless are going to attract perverts and sex offenders. They need to keep their shirts on for their own safety. They are asking to get raped and or assaulted.
You’re kidding, right? No one deserves to be sexually assaulted regardless of what they’re wearing.
A woman's breast is still considered to be an object of sexuality and till that changes - things will never be equal.
This is a great point and that as a society we need to examine how objectified women are. Don’t look at anyone as if they only exist for your visual or physical enjoyment. They are a person, not a piece of meat.
While they are at it, have them sign up for the draft. Silly women, they don't realize we have it so good.
I’d support making everyone sign up for the draft at 18 years old. If I want gender equality, I can’t pick and choose which laws change.
To those who claimed that the people who participated in this event are pot heads, hoes, or have no morals, you couldn’t be more wrong.
Special thanks to Fox 10 Phoenix, Downtown Devil, and the Phoenix New Times for covering this event and thank you to the Phoenix Police Department who kept us safe during the protest.
If you want to follow this issue in Arizona, check out Topless AZ on Facebook. You can also chat with me about it by commenting below, connecting with me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, or send me an email. If you want more information about Carter Law Firm, please visit the homepage.
One response to “Response to Go Topless Day 2014 in Phoenix”
[…] One of the things that made today special was the Topless Protest. This is an annual international event to bring awareness to the fact that men and women are treated on equally under the decency laws. This is true in Arizona – men can be legally topless in public but women are required to cover their areolas at all times (unless they’re breastfeeding). At the Topless Protest, men and women are often shirtless but cover their areolas to show that the law should be the same for all people. As a person who believes in gender equality, I believe the law should be changed so that there is one rule for all people. […]