Jan 13 09: Australia GoTopless Action
TODAY! NORTH BONDI 5PM
Sydney, January 13th: “The current attempt by fundamentalist politicians and activists to have topless sunbathing outlawed following Mr. Nile’s campaign is unacceptable with regard to gender equality” says Veronique Chachay, spokesperson of the Australian Raelian Movement in Sydney. “Why should anyone feel more uncomfortable surrounded by topless women than by topless men?
Rael, spiritual leader of the Raelian Movement, has long asked women to defend their right to be bare-chested if they feel like it. “As long as men can go topless, women should have the same and equal right,” said Rael who also founded the GoTopless.org Movement. “Otherwise, men should also be forced to wear something that hides their chests.”
The U.S.-based organisation [link] which claims that women have the same constitutional right as men to go bare-chested in public already organized a “National Protest Day” in several American cities. “It is now time to rally in Australia as well and exercise our rights to gender equality,” states Chachay.
(Topless) Raelians will gather on North Bondi Beach along the promenade on Thursday the 8th of January 5pm to express and demonstrate the view that women’s breasts are not offensive but should be seen as natural as men’s chests.
Topless wars reignited on Australia's beaches
Christian MP wins mainstream support for his bid to tighten nudity laws
By Kathy Marks in Sydney
Wednesday, 31 December 2008
A Christian fundamentalist politician, the Rev Fred Nile, is calling for topless sunbathing to be outlawed, and he has received backing from several mainstream MPs
On any given day, acres of tanned flesh are on view at Bondi Beach: men wearing the briefest of briefs, women sunbathing topless. But it wasn't always so. In the 1940s, a legendary beach inspector, Aub Laidlaw, patrolled the golden sands, ruler in hand, ensuring that men's and women's bathing costumes conformed to bylaws governing public decency.
Costumes had to cover at least three inches of thigh, as well as the entire front of the body, and wobbly bits had to be kept in place by robust straps. Mr Laidlaw frogmarched 50 or more people a week off the beach, including, in 1945, the first woman to brave Bondi in a bikini, and in 1961, a group of men wearing Speedo swimming trunks.
The fanatical Mr Laidlaw retired in 1969, eight years after the bikini was legalised, but now his ghost is once again stalking Sydney's beaches. A Christian fundamentalist politician, the Rev Fred Nile, is calling for topless sunbathing to be outlawed, and he has received backing from several mainstream MPs.
While nudity is illegal in Australia except on designated beaches, local councils consider toplessness acceptable. Mr Nile wants the legislation to be tightened. "The law should be clear," he said. "It must say: 'Exposure of women's breasts on beaches will be prohibited'."
His proposal elicited howls of protest from sun-loving Sydneysiders, who have just begun their long summer holiday. Outraged callers deluged talkback radio stations, and the ACT nudist club in Canberra, the national capital, warned that Australia was in danger of appearing like a "haven for prudes".
However, Mr Nile, a veteran family values campaigner, was unrepentant, and several conservatives in the state parliament supported him, with Paul Gibson, a Labor MP, claiming that topless women made people uncomfortable. "If you're on the beach, do you want somebody with big knockers next to you when you're there with the kids?" he asked. A Liberal politician, David Clarke, agreed, telling Sydney's Daily Telegraph: "I don't think our young children should be confronted with nude bathers on these public beaches."
Mr Laidlaw, who made international headlines in 1951 after escorting a Hollywood starlet, Jean Parker, off Bondi for wearing a skimpy swimsuit, would applaud such sentiments. But many public figures poured scorn on Mr Nile, with Sally Betts, the mayor responsible for Bondi, declaring that toplessness did not equate to nudity. "Nude is when you've got no clothes on," she said.
Ms Betts added that Sydney faced far worse social problems than bare breasts. "We've got alcohol-related violence, we've got underage drinking and antisocial behaviour in the public domain: those are really important issues," she told local radio.
And – pertinently, in a country with the world's highest rate of skin cancer – a junior health minister, Jodi McKay, said that safety in the sun was more important than who exposed what.
Nude sunbathing is permitted on certain beaches in every state except Queensland. As for the Speedo trunks that so upset Mr Laidlaw: the men he arrested were charged with indecency, but the case was dismissed because no pubic hair had been exposed.
A new front: Defining decency
A decision by Facebook to censor pictures of breastfeeding mothers has caused a backlash. Barry Schnitt, a spokesman for the social networking website, said the images had been removed to protect children.
"Photos containing a fully exposed breast (as defined by showing the nipple or areola) do violate those terms (on obscene, pornographic or sexually explicit material) and may be removed," he said.
Kelli Roman, who fell foul of the breastfeeding ban, has collected 80,000 names for an online petition called "Hey Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene!"
Gotopless in Columbus, OH 2009
Columbus Ohio woke UP to what it means to exercise their Top-free rights when GoTopless.org appeared at this years COMFEST (Community Festival). In a city where women have won, but seldom exercise their right to be topless - it was a joy to see so many stopping by our booth, for information and for INSPIRATION!! By many reports there were many more topless women at this year's Comfest than in years past :-) and we hope it was due to our presence and our own happiness in being top-free !!! Inexpensive paints picked up at a local dollar store - and the relative privacy of our booth provided some with the delight and courage to paint each other in a variety of wonderful colorfly shapes and designs! For many this was the first step toward enjoying their top-freedom! Mothers and daughters, girlfriends, partners ... all gathered at our tent to try their hand at creating boobie flowers, stars, sun's, moons... all setting FREE their beautiful 'bazoomz' :-) !!!! Also at the festival was an action organized for nursing mothers, allowing them an opportunity to have a 'nurse-in' ... we found our sisters in top-freedom also appearing at our tent with their babies and it was so lovely to welcome them into our shade while their little ones had lunch :) Form - Beauty and Function - We were impressed at the incredible women we met during our three days at Comfest. Often we barely had a place to stand at our booth :) and with nursing moms, painting and passionate discussions about being top-free - it was truly form, beauty and function all in action XXX For those who made the few comments to us which allowed us to see their limited understanding of top freedom - we felt an even greater connection to our sisters and their friends who supported them - being FREE and loving their bodies - as we should -Thank you to ALL who supported our presence in Columbus this past weekend - and LOOK for us again on August 23rd and we tickle each other and those around us with top-freedom!!!-- Carla WatsonNBC4i news report: Topless At Comfest: Take It Off Or Leave It On?By MARCUS THORPE
Anchor, ReporterPublished: June 24, 2009COLUMBUS, Ohio—It is legal for a woman to go topless in Columbus. And every year some choose to use that right at Community Festival (Comfest). This year, GoTopless.org is using the Comfest platform to encourage more women to lose the top. Some parents say they will keep their families away because of what they could see, while others are using the opportunity to show others they believe there is nothing to hide. Lauren Damon is a new mother, and is organizing a nurse-in for mothers to be able to breastfeed in public. Her group will set up at Goodale Park this weekend during Comfest to try and breakdown stigmas associated with breastfeeding. Some are more understanding of mothers nursing, while saying they are not comfortable with women showing their breasts just because they can. Others say if a man can go topless, so can women.Comment from GoTopless: Our constitution will have the last word ... yes, changes brought thanks to our constitution can be disturbing. Overcoming segregation laws was very disturbing to some people, some families in the 1960's (depending on the values they were raised with).In this case, it maybe difficult to face the constitutional right of women to go bare breasted in public because one was raised with puritanical values. And yet, that too will become a natural part of our daily lives one day. In Europe, women baring their breasts on public beaches are not even payed attention to anymore while whole families go to the beach! For the last 40 years, European children have not had any side effect from seeing bare breasts in public.As generations pass, animosity ineluctably dies down and constitutional freedoms are fully embraced. In the process, we can kick and scream or reason it out with ourselves, with our families and enjoy the inescapable change (because it is constitutional) that our society is passing through at this time and age.
Dec 27th War against Nipples on Facebook - breastfeeding? What's the fuss about?
And remember... as a breast feeding mother remarked, "If breast feeding on facebook disturbs you, please feel free to put a blanket over your head!"
Here is Gotopless response to the censoring of pictures of women breast feeding, This article was posted on the New Jersey Daily Record newspaper website
Dear Mr. Karp,
The women of Gotopless.org would like to thank you for the article you wrote entitled Facebook VS. breast feeding Some of us are breastfeeding mothers and are appreciating the fact that the law is finally treating breast feeding in public as a decent act and look forward to Facebook (and all media) complying with the law! However, it is time that all women speak up for the fact that a female breast is a decent body part even when a woman is not nursing! Indeed, Gotopless.org demands women's constitutional right to bare their chest in public where men already have that right. It is a matter of equal rights.
Gotopless.org was founded by International spiritual leader, Rael whose philosophy is set on freeing the mind by freeing the body and vice versa so humans can true live fulfilling, peaceful lives as they were originally scientifically designed to do by an advanced human civilization mistaken for "god" (more on this at www.rael.org)
Gotopless.org will organize its next National Gotopless protest day on Sunday Aug 23 rd 2009 (please go to www.gotopless.org to view our 2008 protests in NYC and Los Angeles, etc..).
Aug 23rd was chosen for our protest to commemorate Women's Equality Day. It is indeed on Aug 26th, 1920 that US women won the right to vote. Thanks to our Constitution, it is now time to expand women's equal rights from their intellect to their body, specifically to their breasts and finally rid our society of this dangerous, malignant taboo associated with exposing this noble part of their being in public –a privilege enjoyed by men for over 70 years!
Here is a good article stating the "true" problem in Time magazine published in Dec 31 2008
Facebook's War on Nipples
The sides have been distinct: breast-feeding advocates insist that women should be able to nurse anytime, anyplace, while opponents use words like discretion and discomfort. But the latest battle apparently has nothing to do with the best way to nourish a baby or the boundaries between private and public. It's about the nipples, stupid.
Facebook has drawn a line in the sand by removing any photos it deems obscene, including those containing a fully exposed breast, which the site defines as "showing the nipple or areola." In other words, plunging necklines or string bikinis are fine — just no nips. The purging of bare-boob pics began last summer and has swept up, alongside any girls gone wild, a growing number of proud — and very ticked-off — breast feeders. (Read about giving birth at home.)
On Dec. 27, some 11,000 protesters held a virtual nurse-in by uploading breast-feeding photos onto their Facebook profiles, and 20 or so women showed up at the company's headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., to breast-feed there. By Dec. 30, more than 85,000 members had joined a Facebook group called "Hey, Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene!"
The group, founded by San Diego mom Kelli Roman, urges Facebook to change its obscenity policy. "We expect you to realize that nursing moms everywhere have a right to show pictures of their babies eating, just like bottle-fed babies have a right to be seen," their petition reads. "In an effort to appease the closed-minded, you are only serving to be detrimental to babies, women, and society."
Assisting their cause is the Topfree Equal Rights Association (TERA), a Canadian group that has started posting on its website photos that breast feeders claim were removed from Facebook. One or two are vaguely pornographic shots of naked women holding babies, but most are straightforward and innocent.
"There are two problems," says Paul Rapoport, coordinator for TERA, which has been advocating that women should not be penalized for going topless since 1997. "First, Facebook removes photos arbitrarily. Second, its policy clearly implies that visible nipples or areolas always make photos of women obscene. Facebook stigmatizes breast-feeding and demeans women."
Facebook counters that it is far from the only organization steering clear of Areola City. "Could I place an ad related to breast-feeding that showed a woman breast-feeding a child but exposed her full breast in TIME or on your website?" asks spokesman Barry Schnitt. "During the course of this protest, I've called many media organizations and asked them this question. Not a single one has said yes."
The Facebook furor has brought up a bizarre cultural issue. We're all for breasts — the more cleavage the better. But the second a nipple is visible or we are reminded of nipples by the sight of a baby attached to one, all hell breaks loose.
When a tabloid website catches a star like Britney Spears, Keira Knightley or Tara Reid in a red-carpet "nip slip," traffic goes through the roof, as Web surfers click to catch a glimpse of the forbidden bit of skin. (See the 50 best websites of 2008.)
It is perhaps understandable that we'd be so enflamed by the sight of women's nipples because we see them so rarely. Barbie dolls don't have nipples. Magazines routinely airbrush out nipples on fully clothed (but presumably chilly) models.
In the past decade, some 40 states have passed pro-breast-feeding legislation. Rapoport, however, says he considers such laws a "two-edged deal because it exempts nursing women from prosecution but reaffirms the sense that a topless woman is obscene without a baby."
Meanwhile, men's nipples aren't a problem. Recent photos of President-elect Barack Obama walking shirtless on a beach were greeted with puns about how he is "fit to be President," "buff-bodied" and "chiseled." (See pictures of Presidents at the beach.)
And perhaps the surest sign that "pregnant man" Thomas Beatie has been accepted as a man — even though he still has female sex organs and the ability to deliver a baby — is the fact that his nipples, the same ones he had when he was a woman, are suddenly O.K. to look at. They are acceptable features for the cover of a book, the pages of a magazine —and the profile photos for the Facebook groups supporting him.