Women free their nipples for gender equality on Go Topless Day

PUBLISHED : Monday, 29 August, 2016, 9:36am
UPDATED : Monday, 29 August, 2016, 10:39pm

Women around the United States took off their tops yesterday on Go Topless Day, a day that promotes gender equality and women’s rights to bare their breasts in public.

Go Topless Day is celebrated annually on the Sunday closest to Women’s Equality Day, marking the day American women earned the right to vote.

A few dozen women, and some men, went topless Sunday afternoon as they walked down Broadway in New York City. The march was led by some women carrying a banner, followed by others in a convertible, with the top down, of course. Coming up at the end was a pair of giant inflatable breasts. Onlookers gawked and took photos as the parade participants went by.

The event in New York City was one of several planned for cities across the US. Gatherings for the movement known as “Free the Nipple” were planned in New Hampshire, Denver, Los Angeles and more.

Nadine Gray, president of Go Topless, said she hopes the events will take away the shock and awe around seeing female breasts.

“In New York City, we are really celebrating our right to be freely topless without getting a ticket or going to jail for it. In other places, it will be more like a protest because the discrimination is still happening,” she said. “This push for women to go topless in the 21st century is as strong as women wanting to vote in the 20th century. It may be sensual, but it’s not illegal to be sensual. This is not Saudi Arabia.”

It’s been legal to be bare-breasted in New York since 1992. The legality of women going topless varies by state.

Kia Sinclair is an event organiser for Go Topless Day at Hampton Beach in New Hampshire.

“It’s in hopes to show people that it can be normal, that it’s really not a big deal and it’s not about getting attention or protesting,” she said.

Sinclair was also part of a group of women who last year helped beat back an effort to criminalise toplessness in the state.