Go Topless Day shows Canadians fine with public nudity

| August 26, 2013 | 1 Comment
go topless day

Go Topless Day in Vancouver Sunday.

Go Topless Day in Vancouver draws more spectators than protestors

Can female breasts be “separated from sexuality?” That was a question posed by a handful of Go Topless Day protestors, nude breasts on full display, in Vancouver Sunday afternoon.

Judging by the reaction of Beacon News readers to Go Topless Day and the topic of bare breasts in public, Canadians are not all that concerned about female public in the village square.

The women marched, or rode in a pink 1963 Cadillac, down Robson Street to the Vancouver Art Gallery, where they made speeches demanding freedom for women to bare their breasts in public. Several men wearing bras also participated in the Go Topless Day march.

Not surprisingly, the women attracted quite a bit of attention, with throngs of shoppers whipping out their cameras and smartphones to take photos and video of them.

Go Topless Day is a publicity stunt organized by goofy UFO cult the Raelians that was held in 45 cities around the world.

go topless day

Sexologist Dr. Trina Read.

Sex therapist Dr. Trina Read says women’s body image and sexuality is a very complex topic.

“As much as I am glad someone is starting this conversation and want women to have a healthier body image by seeing what an average body looks like, realistically I believe it will be many generations before women going topless will find acceptability,” she told Beacon News.

Edmonton Beacon reader Christie Mawer agrees. “I wouldn’t walk around bare chested at Costco, but at a beach or in my yard, why not? If we saw more boobs, they wouldn’t be so shocking,” she said. “So many cultures in the world have no problem with topless women. European women go toplesss on the beach with no issue…”

Dr. Read says that Canadians aren’t necessarily uptight about female nudity or sexuality, but we live with some very restrictive social expectations of of what it means to be a ‘good girl’

“When a woman overtly shows herself to be confident in her sexuality there is always pushback from society. Think of the stir Girls Gone Wild, or Fifty Shades of Grey (Miley Cirus at the latest MTV VMA awards) caused,” said Read.

“The systemic good girl/ bad girl complex is too entrenched in our society for women to find acceptance in going topless.”

But cultural expectations about female breasts may be changing, albeit slowly.

“It’s her body, it’s her choice on all subjects to do with her body,” said Calgary reader John Wheeler.

“Canada is, in my opinion, by far too restrictive on this subject. Europe is so far ahead of us and leaders in female public toplessness,” says Ed Kreutz of Calgary. “I encourage all women to empower themselves and enjoy the freedom that toplessness brings.”

On the subject of can the female breast be separated from sexuality, Dr. Read says there is too much taboo in our culture for it not to be sexualized.

“Think of the controversy when new moms want to breastfeed in public; or the uproar when Janet Jackson’s nipple was exposed; or how marketing campaigns sexualize the female body on turn her into an object,” she said.

Several Beacon readers noted the degree to which North American society accepts violence in movies, seemingly ok with graphic depictions of death and mayhem, but reacts strongly against nudity or sex.

“Breasts have a natural, healthy function (quite aside from sex also being healthy and natural) – murder and bullets, not so much,” says Calgarian Greg Johnston. “Yet we treat violence casually, and treat breasts and intact bodies (especially women’s bodies) generally as unseemly.”

But not everyone is eager to see more naked women – or men – in Canadian public spaces.

“Women’s breasts are dual purpose – they are utilitarian, giving sustenance to infants and they 100 per cent play a role in sexuality. Or do we have to deny that now?” asks Sue White.

Humour was a common response to the topic of bare female breasts.

Ron Wood thinks toplessness is hardly the most pressing issue, nor is the right to bare one’s breasts the most important human right, but if women want to be naked in public, “I would add that winter is coming.”

“Why do people wear clothes anyway? we were born naked,” argues Bruce Bonham of Ancaster, Ont. “Why does everything have to be controlled all the time? We even think we can control the environment. And the government controls what, when and where we do things. enough already. Let’s get naked.”

 

 

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  1. June Miller says:

    When I was a child I was allowed to go topless Just like my brothers until I started growing breasts and Then I wasn’t allowed to and it made me angry. It wasn’t until I was in my 20′s that I discovered that my breasts weren’t the issue. Its The way male brains are hard-wired. Men are aroused simply by visual stimulation so simply looking @ a woman’s breast they can be aroused, seeing them bare is just adding fuel to their fire. So unless we can change their hard-wiring we must accept that breast will never be sexually free.
    Not that I don’t take every opportunity to be topless: )

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