NSFW? | National Go Topless Day: #FreeTheNipple

On August 23, cities all over America will be participating in National Go Topless Day, a day that advocates for gender equality, in particular the right for women to bare their chest in public. Founded back in 2008 by Claude Volrilhon, a spiritual leader of the Raelian Movement who goes by the name Rael, the day begs an answer to an age old question: why do women have to wear shirts?

Rael, who also advocates for legal prostitution, supports a liberalized sexual education for children and believes that humans were created by scientists from another planet says, “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.”

Why? Because according to Rael, who’s UFO encounter enlightened him to the hypocrisy of the judicial system, the human body is beautiful and should not be something shameful. He says that if women should have to cover their chests, so should men. More believably, however, the alleged UFO encounter turned him into a professional con-artist who found the easiest way to attract throngs of topless women. Either way, the day is real, and it’s sure to attract all sorts of crowds, ranging from liberal feminists to zealous, religious protesters.

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On National Go Topless Day, which is organized by Rael’s charity organization, GoTopless.org, women are encouraged to stand up for their constitutional rights to go topless in cities and states where they are forbidden to do so. In cities where going topless is already legal, like Boulder, Colorado, Santa Fe, New Mexico and New York City, they’re encouraged to exercise those rights, so women start feeling comfortable with their new-found liberation.

Despite its straight up wacky beginnings, Go Topless Day has attracted feminist support from all over the world, including celebrity Cara Delevingne. Due to its recent growth and popularity, Go Topless Day participants in most cases do not have to worry about accruing fines or dealing with legal problems. In past years cops have arrived on site just to keep peace between protesters and opinionated passersby, whose close-minded attitudes can quickly turn to misogynistic bigotry. Last year in Venice Beach, California, a city where going topless is illegal and can be prosecuted with a hefty fine, a man passing by demanded that a protester put on her shirt, but the cop calmly defended the woman, saying that he should put on his.

What do you think? Is this a legitimate call for equal rights to indecent exposure? Or is this day just a joke founded by a narcissist who thinks he saw a UFO?

 

Images courtesy of GoTopless.org