On that day, for the fourth consecutive year, the U.S.-based organization will stage a national GoTopless Day protest to proclaim a woman’s constitutional right to go bare-chested in public. During the protest, while participating women go bare, male participants will cover their chests with bikini tops or bras to proclaim equal rights for both genders.
“It’s no more ridiculous than women having to wear tops at all time in this double-standard, topless battle that’s being waged in public and in the courts,” said Nadine Gary, president of GoTopless.org.
For Rael, spiritual leader of the Raelian Movement and founder of GoTopless.org, the equation is simple: "As long as men can go topless, either women should have the same constitutional right or men should also be forced to wear something that hides their chests.”
“We will force men to legally cover up if women can’t go bare,” agreed Gary, who is also a Raelian priestess. “After 4 years, our national protests are starting to bear fruit, for a growing number of women across the country are reaching out to us. They’re beginning to feel empowered by our demonstrations and the constitutional message we bring.”
Gary noted that women in more and more U.S. cities are starting to exercise their constitutional topless right. New York City is a prime example, but smaller cities are also joining in, she said.
“On the legal side, we’re happy to report that Madison, WI just passed a city ordinance in favor of topless rights after several topless women were arrested during World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR). But our larger goal is to bring about legal change at the national level. As part of our national topless march in Washington, D.C., next year, we will submit petitions with thousands of signatures to President Obama.”
Gary said a shift of mindset concerning topless rights is under way across North America.
“Women are rejecting shameful, puritanical values about their bodies, nudity and breasts,” she said, adding that such sentiments have recently been echoed in other social protests, including “Slutwalk,” which GoTopless.org fully embraces.
For the Raelian Movement that sponsors GoTopless.org, nudity has always been a non-issue.
The Raelian philosophy states that life on Earth was the result of scientific creation by the Elohim, an advanced, extraterrestrial human civilization mistaken for gods in the Bible.
“They created us in their image very scientifically, through genetic engineering,” Gary said. “So how can the human body, a masterpiece, be perceived with shame?”
She said GoTopless Day is always held at the end of August to honor Women’s Equality Day, Aug. 26, which commemorates the American passage of women’s right to vote on Aug. 26, 1920.
GoTopless.org hopes for similar success with the right to go bare-chested, and is planning its events to draw attention to the issue and educate the public.
“Our GoTopless Aug. 21 events are planned not only for cities where it’s illegal for women to go topless publicly, like Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Miami and Honolulu; but also for cities where it’s already legal, including New York City, Washington DC, Portland/OR, Austin/TX and Asheville/NC” Gary said.