Get ready for a byproduct of feminism you’re going to love. Or think you’re going to love, anyway. Topfreedom advocates believe women should be legally allowed to go shirtless in public. Noticing the double standard that permits men to bare their chests with impunity, they’ve decided what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Hence, the past weekend’s National Go Topless Day. This occasion is to the topfreedom movement what April 20 is to potheads.
Of course, it’s hard to complain about something that allows men to actually glimpse the glory underneath bikini tops on beaches across America. Along with pole dancing as exercise and porn marketed toward women, the topfreedom movement stands as yet another part of women’s lib that men can really get behind—or in front of, as the case may be.
National Go-Topless Day wasn’t organized by the National Organization for Women or Equal Rights Advocates, however. Rather, it is a product of the Raëlian Church. For the uninitiated, this is a flying saucer cult founded by a French auto racing journalist named Claude Vorilhon, currently known as Raël. Sadly, for supporters of topfreedom, this puts Go Topless Day in the same category as other Raëlian pet projects like establishing embassies for alien life forms and cloning.
Yet, while men might perk up in their chairs at the notion of topfreedom, consider the whole story. Topfreedom isn’t the right of supermodels to bare a perfect pair in public. It’s the right of all women to walk around with the twins uncovered. Nude beach veterans know that many of the women who want to walk around topless are the ones you least want to see walking around topless. Just as there are way more droopy man-boobs than perfect pecs in the world, the same can be said of the ratio of better-when-covered breasts to gorgeous globes.
There’s also the small issue of learning a whole new way to look at women. It’s hard enough to remember that a woman’s eyes are “up here” when she’s wearing a troublesome tube top. Imagine how hard it will be to concentrate when the tube top is gone.
Oddly enough, all this talk of topfreedom might be moot anyway. There are several places, even entire states, where female toplessness is actually legal. Women may freely walk around topless in Texas and Ohio, as well as South Beach, Portland, Oregon, and our nation’s capital. To date, there are not mobs of women jiggling down the streets in these areas. (As far as we know, anyway. If we’re wrong please clue us in.)
Still, the biggest reason a man might oppose topfreedom is so close to prudishness that it makes us blush a bit to mention it. Isn’t it better when something is left to the imagination? Do we really want to rob future generations of the electric excitement experienced when removing a woman’s bra and seeing bare breasts for the first time (live and in person as opposed to on the Interwebs, we mean)?
We know this: that is way too big a question to leave up to the Raëlians.