Italian Education Minister, Stephania Giannini teaches a powerful lesson in women's topless rights
The minister of Education taught everyone a lesson with the candor in which she reacted to the paparazzi photographing her exposed chest. She reacted naturally as a topless man would have, unworried about the consequences her going topless in public would have on her political career as head of the Ministry of Education.
"To her, going topless was obviously a non-event, and that is exactly what GoTopless is looking to achieve not only on the beach but everywhere in Italy." Monica Morghen said.
She added: “our women's organization inspired by Rael, spiritual leader of the Raelian Movement, has the goal of promoting true equality between men and women.”
“Though it is legal for women to be topless on public beaches in Italy, we are still far from seeing
topless gender equality fully applied in our country”, Morghen explained.
“In public pools and parks, or on the streets while jogging, men are allowed to show their bare chest while women would be convicted of indecent exposure for the same act. How can the female breasts be considered indecent when it is par excellence the symbol of beauty, life and nourishment in all the art museums of our nation?
The Italian mentality proves once again to be negatively influenced by catholic morals causing blunt discrimination in the Italian legislature.
In the 21st century, Italians need not be the victims of such archaic values that instil nothing but
taboos, fears and guilt among people.
Some may regard standing for topless equality as trivial but it is far from the truth. Demanding gender equality at all levels is fundamental to the dignity of all citizens. Treating everyone with absolute parity is the way to non-violence.
Additionally, when we strip off all that separates us from our environment, we are totally true and we can better perceive our oneness with everything, feeling no separation with the living beings sharing the planet. And then, we naturally develop a peaceful and non-violent attitude”, Morghen added. “For this reason, I consider the practice of going topless not only a socially revolutionary act, but also a deeply spiritual one, capable of strengthening the peace in the world.”
Denver, CO GoTopless participants rightfully stand up to police over their topless rights.
GoTopless Day falls on the Sunday closest to the anniversary of women winning the right to vote in America. Events are held in order to promote topless equality. Events occur in multiple cities across the USA, so we decided to independently hold one of our own here in Denver.
We all met and lounged a bit in Denver's Civic Center Park. Eventually we grew to around 12 women and 8 men, enjoying mutual respect and appreciation without objectification. Some of the men even wore bodypainted or actual bikini tops to show their solidarity. One of the guys, upon realizing how uncomfortable the tops were, painted "This Thing Sucks!" beneath his top.
There was a bicycling event going on, highly publicized, so it was very populated. Though we exhibited no lewd or sexual behavior, we obviously weren't surprised that it didn't take long for law enforcement to appear and inquire about our purposes.
We were very peaceful and explained about GoTopless Day and related how Colorado has no state law against female toplessness, and that we weren't breaking any local ordinances. Soon, a member of the police department who claimed to be a public relations liaison appeared. He expressed some moral condemnation but admitted that there were no laws against female toplessness in Denver. He did state that the bicycle event was held by permit for the day, and that if the organizers complained, we'd be asked to leave.
We walked the area for about an hour, receiving many startled looks but an amazing amount of appreciation from attendees (and not just because of "Wow, Boobs!"). Many men and women told us they felt the taboo against topless women was unfair. Though many women expressed how they wished they could join us, eventually (as expected), complaints were made to the organizers and forwarded to the officers, so we left peacefully and went for a walk down the 16th Street Mall.
The 16th Street Mall is always one of the busiest sections of Denver, full of locals and tourists; today was no exception. Smiling and waving, allowing photo opportunities when requested of us, we made quite a favorable impression on onlookers; we received many cheers and comments of support. Members of the public (including females) stripped off their tops and joined our stroll.
A female police officer walking her beat noticed us and asked the women to cover up. We politely related how we'd been assured by previous officers that we weren't breaking any of Denver's local ordinances. The officer said she'd recently been to a Vice class where she'd learned that it was illegal. She was at the end of her shift, so she called backup and handed it over to them.
Since a crowd was forming at that point, many officers arrived on site. A very amicable officer became the primary. He also was convinced that we were in error, and he said that if the ladies didn't cover up, they'd be ticketed. We knew our right to be informed of what laws we were to be cited under, so we politely asked him for the statute number.
He agreed to find out for us. He made multiple phone calls, including to the original lady officer, but nobody could tell him the statute. Eventually, he received confirmation that no laws were being broken. We cheered and went on our way. All in all, it was a wonderful experience!
We know that we'll possibly receive some ridicule in the news media, but also hope that our appearance initiates a deeper conversation. It took much courage for those in our group to make such a public statement. We know the taboos; we understood that there'd be those who'd choose shallow thinking over depth and react in juvenile manners. We braved objectification and condemnation, knowing that men once faced the very same thing when male toplessness was illegal in the US years ago.
Times are changing. It's the hiding of women's breasts that make them a "forbidden fruit". More and more cities across our nation are embracing equality, where female toplessness is accepted in the same situations and contexts as men's. Eventually, we'll actually achieve the equality that America proudly boasts.
GoTopless celebrates 501c3 tax exemption status
“This is wonderful news on top of the great turnout we had at our Go Topless Pride Parades and other events held in over 60 cities worldwide on Sunday,” said Nadine Gary, President of GoTopless. “August 24 was our 7th annual GoTopless Day, which was timed to honor Women’s Equality Day. There was a great turnout for our pride parades and other events, with thousands of men and women showing up to support our mission, so how appropriate this is that we have received our tax-exempt status the very same week! All contributions to GoTopless will now be tax deductible.”
She said the GoTopless mission is to achieve the right for women anywhere in the world to go topless legally in public wherever men have that right.
“With the federal government now granting us public charity status, it seems more and more ridiculous for certain states and municipalities to continue banning female toplessness,” Gary said.
Yet local laws forbidding it are still very common.
“For example, one of our activists, Sonoko Tagami, was cited for indecent exposure last weekend on Chicago’s North Lake Shore Drive even though her nipples were covered and the supposedly exposed breast was actually painted on,” Gary pointed out.
Gary said Tagami and GoTopless will fight the citation through the court system.
“The citation was unconstitutional,” Gary said. “Equal topless rights for women is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution under the 14th Amendment.”
Gary said that in most cities where GoTopless parades were held, police escorted the bare-chested participants through the streets to avoid problems.
“In San Antonio, we were surrounded by men carrying rifles on their shoulders,” said Michelle Laforce, the GoTopless organizer for that city. “I guess they thought the purpose of our peaceful demonstration was to make them give their weapons back.”
“In Los Angeles, conservative Christians came to remind everyone that our exposure of female breasts would send us to hell,” Gary said. “Violence and threats were their answers to our peaceful protest. But fortunately, those people were a minority. The huge crowds that gathered in cities like New York and Vancouver were highly supportive. And more and more women are daring to join our topless parties.”
“Our goal is to make the public aware of the unconstitutionality of the current situation, eliminate the double standard and free women from thousands of years of sex related submission” Gary said. “Our new 501c3 tax-exempt status will be a big help in raising public awareness of this issue.”