By Kevin King
On Sunday August 26, women came from around the United States to gather in Asheville. What was the calling that drove them miles and miles to our esteemed town? Exposing themselves. Nothing says liberated femininity like going topless on a city street. It would surely make the likes of Eleanor Roosevelt proud that their fight of equal rights has led them to this juncture.
According to GoTopless.org spokesman, I mean spokeswoman, Lara Terstenjak, the event was held as a protest to the constitutional rights of women to be topless. While I don’t claim to be a constitutional scholar, I don’t recall any mention of the right to be nude for either gender. However if it is tucked away deep inside that 18th century verbiage, our forefathers were all to forward thinking.
What is interesting about the whole deal, is that the rally was held to protest the fact that men can be topless legally, and women cannot. However, as demonstrated by the, participants, it was not illegal for these women to walk around downtown topless. Therefore this may have been the first protest to ever be held that protested nothing.
Do you recall the men’s suffrage movement where they protested the right to vote? Or the civil rights movement where whites protested being able to ride at the front of the bus? Oh, no, that’s right, that never happened. Generally for a protest to be held, there must be some illegality to what they are trying to accomplish. If there’s no risk of arrest, it’s probably not a protest.
Beyond all of that though, there is a deeper problem in American culture exemplified by this display. Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. Because it is legal, or should be constitutionally according to GoTopless.org, doesn’t mean society should embrace it. What good would actually come from topless women on city streets on a daily basis?
Furthermore, what happened to class and civility? At what point did society give the green light to even hold such a protest? The argument by GoTopless.org that this isn’t a moral issue is completely off-base. It is absolutely a moral discussion. A society without morals is one that is doomed to failure. If everybody does whatever they want, whenever they want, without regard to their fellow man (or woman) or respect for themselves, the fall will soon follow.
This isn’t a gender issue, it’s a societal issue. While legal, men should not appear in public topless either. Furthermore, they should not wear Ed Hardy t-shirts and flat-billed baseball caps angled 18-degrees off center. Call me old fashioned, but society used to have gentlemen and ladies. Now it consists of boys and topless girls. While everyone has been asking whether or not it’s legal to go topless, they never stopped to ask whether or not they should. That is what makes them all a bunch of boobs.