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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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23-Aug-2014,
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Sunday's 'GoTopless Pride Parade' to end at Brooklyn's new boob-themed bar

NEW YORK CITY, August 23 – This Sunday, August 24, the women's rights organization GoTopless will hold Go Topless Pride Parades and other events in New York City and over 60 other cities worldwide for the 7th annual GoTopless Day, according to a statement released today by GoTopless.

"New York is the ideal location for the world's first GoTopless Pride Parade,” said Rachel Jessee, GoTopless spokesperson and leader of GoTopless in NYC. “Since 1992, it’s been one of the few cities in the United States or the world where women's topless rights are already recognized by law.”

She said her organization is inviting both men and women “to stand up with topless pride” on Sunday in honor of Women's Equality Day.

"There’s nothing more empowering for a woman than to free her body from the shackles of repression," Jesse said. “Freeing her body allows her to free her mind as well, and also to mend her self-image and self-esteem."

Jesse said “topless and joyful performances” will take place all Sunday afternoon as the Go Topless Pride Parade makes its way from Columbus Circle through Times Square to Bryant Park. The parade will begin at 2 p.m.

"After the parade, all participants are welcome to end the GoTopless Day festivities with a fun get-together at the Boobie Trap, a recently opened, boob-themed bar in Brooklyn,” Jessee said. She added that her organization’s goal is to make female toplessness “a non-event.”

“We hope that by participating in annual topless festivities, New York City women and women around the world will feel increasingly comfortable to go topless in public,” Jessee said. “When a woman’s uncovered chest in public becomes the simple non-event it already is for a man, we will have accomplished our mission.”
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19-Aug-2014,
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GoTopless Pride Parade and other events around the world on Aug 24

LAS VEGAS, August 20 - The women's rights organization GoTopless will hold Go Topless Pride Parades and other events in over 60 cities worldwide for its 7th annual GoTopless Day,August 24, according to a statement released today by GoTopless.

“Equal topless rights for women is a constitutional right,” said Rachel Jessee, New York City’s GoTopless leader. “The 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution specifies equal rights for everyone. That includes the right to expose body parts common to both genders, including the chest and nipples."

The states of New York, Texas and North Carolina are a few states that already honor the Constitution but many cities in those states have passed unconstitutional ordinances to prevent women from going sans shirt.

GoTopless’s goal is “to eliminate the current double standard,” Jessee said. “If women can’t go topless, the only way to ensure equality is to make men cover their chests too, as spiritual leader Rael declared when he inspired GoTopless in 2007.”

Jessee pointed out that before 1936, people thought it indecent for men to go bare-chested in public.

“Women's ankles, knees and belly buttons were taboo back then, but today nobody bats an eye,” Jessee said. “Why should showing breasts be different?”

She emphasized that GoTopless members don’t bare their breasts to attract attention.

“Showing female breasts should be a natural part of life, a non-event,” Jessee said. “The right to go topless is immensely empowering for women after centuries of living under macho laws and puritanical Judeo-Christian values.”

Living under such constraints is debilitating to a woman’s self-esteem and body image, Jessee said.

"At our events, we invite all women to celebrate their bodies and femininity,” Jessee explained. "Women are life bearers! How can their breasts and nipples be considered indecent?”

The idea that bare female breasts pose a threat to society or to children is absurd, she said.

“Children are nurtured by breasts,” she pointed out. “Showing those breasts is a powerful way to emphasize women’s nurturing role in our ailing world.”

As a member of the Raelian Movement, Jessee follows an atheistic, creationist philosophy.

“Raelianism encourages me to embrace my nudity,” she said. “The body is a masterpiece, engineered in the image of our creators, the Elohim. Guilt and shame aren’t part of my value system and shouldn't be part of anyone else’s. The shaming of women and girls violates human rights and should be illegal.”

For the list of participating cities, see gotopless.org/gotoplessday
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