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GoTopless joins forces with Slutwalk Las Vegas

Members and affiliates of GoTopless have been supporting the Slutwalk Movement since its inception and attended Slutwalk LV on Sept.1, 2012.

GoTopless women stand for topless gender equality, and they too are sometimes called "sluts." They face strong moral opposition from those who believe the very sight of women's breasts will trigger sexual excitement in others.

So what? Every part of the human body can be arousing! Should burqas be imposed on everyone, then?

GoTopless emphatically remind people that the sight of a woman's nude chest in public is not an invitation for rape. The legal system must protect women from the unbalanced individuals who could violate their topless freedom. These troubled people are often severely repressed.Nevertheless, our legal system is there to prosecute such offenders, not to deny women their freedom for the sake of their safety!

Consider this short story from Golda Meir, late prime minister of Israel:

"Once in cabinet we had to deal with the fact that there had been an outbreak of assaults on women at night. One minister ...suggested a curfew; women should stay home after dark. Golda Meir replied, "But it's the men who are attacking the women. If there's to be a curfew, let the men stay at home, not the women..."
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Letter to Ben Gvir, right wing activist in Israel in response to his discriminatory remarks towards Israeli women's equal topless rights

On Aug 23, 2012, right wing activist Ben Gvir of Tel Aviv appealed to the attorney general of Israel to prevent GoTopless from obtaining their permit for their protest the next day in Tel Aviv. His opinion was that such behavior [women's top-freedom] hurts the female public and expresses contempt and humiliation of a woman's body. Beyond that, he said it violates laws on public misconduct. He added that it's not a matter of freedom of expression but freedom of degradation.
The permit was released on the condition that female GoTopless participants would fully cover their breasts.

Below is Ms. Haziza's reply.

Mr Ben-Gvir,

I would like to comment on the letter you wrote to the Attorney General of Israel and the Police Commissioner of Tel Aviv that I have not personally read but that was quoted in the media. As an Israeli female I don't think you have any notion of what will hurt the female public and what is humiliation and contempt of a woman's body. How can you? You are a male. From the get go your point of view has no merit.

The freedom of Israeli female citizens to go topless legally and equally to men, can never be a behavior that "hurts the female public". What "hurst the female public" is to be discriminated against on the basis of gender!

The only behavior to condemn is the one of men who think they are entitled to judge which rights women should have like their topless rights while they themselves are fully enjoying that privilege. At one point, many men even opposed giving the right for women to vote, thinking that it was best for women not to vote. Who are you, Mr. Ben Gvir to dictate what is best for women?

In Israel, gender equality is protected by the Gender equality act of 1951. In fact Israel is breaking its own law by not allowing women the right to go topless wherever men are legally allowed to.

As a woman, I feel “contempt and humiliation” when you and other men like you, consider my body and the body of my fellow women as your property and when you legislate on what is right and wrong for women! Very similar to many Muslim and Christian men, whose socially established opinion degrades women and keeps women barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen and without enjoying the same freedoms that men have. Men don't own women's bodies, women do!

Going topless triggers "Contempt and Humiliation of a woman's body" you say? Is it because the exposure of the female breast may spark a sexual thought in a man's mind? Sure it may! The naked chest of a man is also arousing to women! No one finds that "humiliating"! In fact, the sight of the complete human body (male and female) can trigger sexual feelings. Shall we impose the burqa on both male and female Israeli citizens to avoid any sexual thoughts from permeating in our society? If you are going to use this logic you have to go to the end of your thinking.

But, Mr. Ben-Gvir, don't you see that the repression of the female breasts that you advocate in public is precisely what makes men obsess over them! Less than a century ago, men were obsessing over women's legs because they were banned from public view. Today, no one thinks anything when seeing a woman pass by with a short skirt or shorts.

Equal topless rights, as all gender equal rights contribute to making our society more decent and civilized, more respectful of women and their bodies, not the other way around.

Only a perverted mindset thinks that exposing a female breast is more humiliating than exposing a male breast. Female breasts are as beautiful as men’s and they likewise come in all sizes. The only degradation that needs to be observed in the streets of Israel is the degradation of male domination and the unbiased enforcement of gender equal topless rights.

Respectfully yours,

Sharon Haziza,
Head of GoTopless in Israel
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Open Letter to David Cameron

The Right Honorable David Cameron MP

Dear Prime minister,

If I may take this opportunity to introduce myself, my name is Tamzin Brown and I am running a demonstration in London this day, Sunday the twenty-sixth of August, two thousand and twelve, in conjunction with Glenn Carter and GoTopless.org

Our protest is designed with the intent to highlight a socially ‘acceptable’ bigotry and to call for a clarification in the law regarding topless nudity.

The work of previous British Governments in making nudity laws by enlarge none discriminatory is commendable. However, the grace that these laws afford, when enforced by both the police and local authorities, almost uniformly do not extend to women and are in need of clarification.

In polite society it appears more acceptable, or indeed only acceptable, for a male to bare his chest in a public place and not a woman. Remembering that men also were classified as ‘indecent’ for baring their chests not a century ago and that now it is considered completely normal. Men also are free to walk past Downing Street in the summer with no coverings for their nipples, but not women. Men are also often seen topless on TV prior to any ‘watershed’ without any concern but not women. Is this not a double standard that restricts women’s freedoms and equal rights?

All of this only serves to prove that we as a society view female topless nudity, in effect my body, as only ‘Sexual’ and therefore inappropriate, ‘indecent’ or even ‘obscene’ if viewed anywhere outside of the bedroom. This apparent generic and normalized discrimination is in fact what is inappropriate, not the exposure of the female body.

I and we freely acknowledge the need for decency laws and willingly abide by them. However, this double standard of what is deemed as ‘decent’ or ‘indecent’ when being applied to male or female topless nudity by the individual is where the grey area exists within current legislation, which clearly needs to be updated.

I received these comments in a letter from the ‘Westminster Events Office’:
Whilst public nudity is not an offence in isolation, nudity or degrees of nudity can possible constitute a number of offences dependant upon its "purpose"," nature" and "location"

All of these points are clearly open to interpretation dependant upon the individual enforcement officer’s personal bias. This approach surely is not satisfactory when the possible outcome is an infringement of ones equal rights.

As you are completely aware we live in a pluralist society and I implore you to speak out and clarify this grey area of what is deemed decent or indecent within British law. The ability for each law enforcement officer to make his own decency judgment, imposing his or her personal bias upon the law limits my legal freedoms and is clearly a wholly inconsistent approach to enforcement.

The sooner we as a society cease from tolerating mindless or unconscious discrimination and address these inequalities, in all of their forms, the better. We, both male and female on this day are using our bodies to highlight an inequality between the treatment of men and woman. It is possible that this message will be happily lost in any press generated by our event, however I trust that this message will not be lost on you.

My breasts, covered or not, are not indecent nor should they even possibly be categorized as offensive.

Yours sincerely,

Tamzin Brown, Artist.
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