16-Nov-2014,
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GoTopless activists join Femen to protest the recent 'sexual exhibition' accusation against them in Paris

On Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014, five GoTopless members joined forces with the FEMEN association in France to support two Femen members accused of sexual exhibition for protesting topless in the French capital.

"Would men in a similar protest, and shirtless, also have been charged with sexual exhibitionism?” wondered Maryline Canin, GoTopless leader in France.

We will recall on GoTopless day three years ago in France, the alleged country of human rights, six GoTopless women who were still fully clothed were arrested and prevented from engaging in the peaceful protest, while men who were shirtless and part of the group were free to protest.

This past Sunday Maryline Canin was with the Femen group and this is what she witnessed: 35 Femen women with flower wreaths in their hair as a symbol of their femininity and proudly disobedient, with beautiful energy, have shown for two hours their unwavering commitment to change attitudes and laws in France and walked to the courthouse, where their trial was held a few days earlier.

• Topless and free
• I’m a feminist, not an exhibitionist
• A shirtless man is cool, free, and legal. A topless woman is criminal.
• My nudity is my freedom...
• Not a criminal, not a criminal

These were some of their powerful slogans that we chanted with them.

The police force was quick to arrive on the scene and, with a crowd of tourists and many photographers present, they stormed toward women, surrounded them and sometimes dragged them to the ground before taking them in their vans. We have since learned that they were arrested and charged with sexual exhibitionism again!

“As more and more women are claiming their right to be topless on social networks by posting photos of their back and nude breasts, as renown fashion designers reveal female breasts during fashion shows, as women protest topless in front of embassies in France, a country known for its buoyancy and culture, other women are arrested simply because they are topless and because they demand the right to have the freedom to do with their bodies as they see fit. Does this not illustrate how much work still remains to be done (or undone) in our sexual revolution where, even in Western countries, we still point the finger at so many Muslim countries and complain regarding the disparity that exists between the way men are treated versus women?” explains Maryline Canin. And what is even more astonishing and confusing is how various political officials, including the mayor of Paris, on the one hand express support for freedom of expression and freedom of creation, while on the other hand remain completely silent when it comes to defending the real equal rights for women to be topless as men are. Has equality between women and men become a politically correct term in France, the only country where Femen women are accused of sexual exhibitionism? How much longer shall we wait before we see the coming of an open minded elected official, as New York’s mayor, who ordered officers in his police force not to harass topless women in the streets?
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16-Oct-2014,
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Chicago judge intentionally fines GoTopless activist to allow case appeal

CHICAGO, Oct. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- According to a statement released today by the women's rights organization GoTopless, on October 10, Chicago Cook County Court Judge Marcia K. Johnson "purposefully found GoTopless activist Sonoko Tagami, 41, guilty of indecent exposure so Tagami can appeal the case and challenge the constitutionality of the local law."

"Judge Johnson explained that constitutionality cannot be legally challenged at the municipal court level," said GoTopless Spokesperson Nadine Gary.

GoTopless, founded in 2007, claims equal gender topless rights for men and women, reflecting the words of GoTopless founder and international spiritual leader Rael:"As long as men are allowed to go topless in public, women should either have that same constitutional right or men should be forced to wear something to hide their chests."

Gary said Johnson quickly perceived the import of Tagami's case:

"When presented with Exhibit A, two pictures of Sonoko's chest, she immediately recognized the civil rights issue involved. One picture showed Sonoko's chest with her nipples covered by opaque paint. It was taken the day police issued the citation at North Lake Shore Beach on GoTopless Day, August 24. After looking at it, the judge said she found the municipal law's reference to 'opacity' to be vague, and that if the paint Sonoko used were to cover a book or newspaper page, you wouldn't be able to see the print.

video of citation: [link]

Yet Johnson found Tagami guilty as charged.

"She explained that by finding her liable, Sonoko could take this matter up to a higher court and argue the constitutionality of the ordinance and municipal code," Gary explained. "She said she would indeed find her liable because she thought Sonoko should take it further. In fact, she said the municipal law's vague reference to opacity [regarding the covering of women's nipples in public] is a very interesting question. She said she's curious to see what will happen with this case, especially if it gets to a Superior Court after being in her courtroom."

Sonoko was given 30 days to appeal.

"We're looking for a civil rights lawyer to represent her in this gender equality case," Gary said. "We recently received our charitable 501c3 status from the IRS and we're organizing fundraising events for Sonoko's legal expenses."
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02-Sep-2014,
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Seeking equal topless rights, GoTopless protests lifeguard’s command that a 3-year-old cover her chest at a public pool

MONTREAL, Sept 2 – Days after the 7th annual GoTopless Day raised public awareness of equal topless rights, a lifeguard at a Montreal, Canada public pool ordered a 3-year old girl to wear a top. If she didn’t comply, he said, the toddler and her mother, Veronique Shapiro, would have to leave immediately.

“I’m shocked,” said Sylvie Chabot, Raelian guide and spokesperson for GoTopless-Canada. “The lifeguard’s reprimanding order was discriminatory and reprehensible. It will affect this child for the rest of her life!"

Chabot said blatant gender discrimination about topless rights occurring at such an early age greatly impairs a girl’s psychological development.

“It’s the equivalent of imposing a burka on her,” Chabot said. “Were topless toddler boys at the pool told to cover their chests?” Of course not!”

Chabot reflected that this 3-year old had absorbed a painful lesson: that her chest must be hidden because it’s somehow shameful.

“Yet a boy’s chest, which looks absolutely identical at that age, isn’t considered shameful at all,” Chabot said. “What an outrageous double standard! The imprint of this shaming experience will have devastating consequences for the girl’s body image and feeling of self-worth.”

She added that boys’ minds were also impacted by the pool incident.

“They saw a girl forced to cover up on top and realized the directive didn’t apply to them,” she explained. “They naturally concluded that the male gender is privileged and superior to females. What’s more, topless gender discrimination fosters an obsession with the forbidden female chest that might trigger violent, unbalanced sexual behavior later in life.”

“Free your breasts, free your mind,” is GoTopless’s motto.

“Prevention of pedophilia is often mentioned as a reason for forcing girls to hide their chests,” Chabot said. “But it’s outrageous to use the behavior of a few sick people to justify topless discrimination. Remember, pedophilia also occurs against boys. It’s a crime that must be punished, but everyone is still entitled to equal gender rights.”

Chabot said GoTopless is asking former Canadian First Lady Margaret Trudeau and psychologist Catherine Pinhas Mulcair, wife of Canadian Opposition leader Tom Mulcair, for their support.
“We wrote to them, urging them to pressure the Harper government to ensure that the Canadian Constitution is upheld regarding women’s rights,” Chabot said.
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