Recently a case was tried in the 10th Circuit court to determine whether or not anti-toplessness laws are unconstitutionally discriminatory.
The court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and decided that yes, laws against female toplessness are indeed unlawfully discriminatory.
This is of course a cause for celebration among the nudist community, right? After all, we are finally breaking down some of the legal barriers which reinforce taboos against the human body. This is a good ruling for all who want more freedom.
Not so fast.
Scroll through the social media pages of many of the police departments in the states effected by this ruling (the court only has jurisdiction over 6 states) and you’ll find that instead of celebrating the end of oppression and inequality most people are instead buckling down and fighting for more oppression.
The main argument in the case was that the law unfairly targets women by making it unlawful for them to do something men are legally allowed to do. So of course, much of the opposition has said “Men should learn how to wear shirts 24/7 like women have.”
Lots of people would rather have police out there arresting men as well as women for taking off their shirts (non-discriminatory but oppressive) instead of allowing ANYONE to take off their shirts in public (non-discriminatory AND NON-oppressive).
This is the kind of nonsense we get when we move law away from protecting property and persons from actual harm and start making laws protecting people’s feelings.
Laws against simple nudity are themselves oppressive. But these folks want to go back to a time when men were required to have full body coverage bathing suits and women were having their skirts measured to make sure they were “decent”. This is anything but progress.
If we want true equality under the law, we can either accept the fact that the human body, male and female, is harmless in itself. Body parts are not inherently dangerous to expose. And just because some people find them “disgusting” that does not make it so.
What’s next, requiring close toed shoes and gloves? After all, some people find feet ugly, and hands carry lots of germs.
Of course, the court’s decision is not as cut and dry as we would like. The court only struck down the ban on toplessness in one Colorado city. Further, another federal court in the Midwest has upheld a similar ban in Chicago. In order to overturn bans nationwide either each city or state would have to be sued or the Supreme Court would have to get involved.
It’s an uphill battle out there folks. Not just legally, but socially. It’s my hope that this blog will at least work a little on the social side.
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