Anyone know about the U.S. laws for women going topless? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 21 Old 08-21-2009, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I"ve heard that in Canada, women can now go topless anyplace where this is okay for men (I guess while driving, walking, playing outdoors, and swimming).

Even though I don't think I can muster up the guts to wear just Dh's swimming trunks to our public pool (I now wear his trunks with my old top 'cause I lost my bottom-part when we moved) -- I find myself wondering, if people got used to seeing women only covering up as much as MEN do at the pool -- maybe they would stop being so shocked and upset about public breastfeeding.

I was wondering: does America have different "indecent exposure" laws for women than for men? I'll see what I can find ...

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#2 of 21 Old 08-21-2009, 10:27 PM
 
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I've wondered this myself. While I would be tempted to try to push the issue, I'm still a product of my own culture and can't bring myself to try. I don't mind NIP but if my lo pops off to look around I'm quick to cover up.

My dh has bigger boobs than me and he can go around topless. I don't get why its indecent for me and not for him.

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#3 of 21 Old 08-21-2009, 10:30 PM
 
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I found this. It doesn't make me want to try. Women who are convicted of "indecent exposure" by doing the same things men can do have to register as sex offenders. http://articles.latimes.com/2005/jan...l/me-topless22

Here's more. http://www.007b.com/topfreedom.php

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#4 of 21 Old 08-21-2009, 10:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
I"ve heard that in Canada, women can now go topless anyplace where this is okay for men (I guess while driving, walking, playing outdoors, and swimming).
This is Ontario only. We have 9 other provinces and 3 territories. Although I did read something about B.C. and maybe Manitoba? Although I don't believe it's quite the same as how they have it protected in Ontario.

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#5 of 21 Old 08-21-2009, 10:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Belle View Post
I found this. It doesn't make me want to try. Women who are convicted of "indecent exposure" by doing the same things men can do have to register as sex offenders. http://articles.latimes.com/2005/jan...l/me-topless22

Here's more. http://www.007b.com/topfreedom.php
Wow! I really like the "topfreedom" ideal of making it so commonplace to see women's breasts, that breasts would no longer be such a profit industry.

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#6 of 21 Old 08-21-2009, 10:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is Ontario only. We have 9 other provinces and 3 territories. Although I did read something about B.C. and maybe Manitoba? Although I don't believe it's quite the same as how they have it protected in Ontario.
Oh! Thanks for clarifying!

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#7 of 21 Old 08-22-2009, 11:13 AM
 
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#8 of 21 Old 08-22-2009, 01:30 PM
 
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I was in Sweden a few years ago and my poor US cultured ears could hardly believe it when I was told that women could go topless at the beach and swimming and such and nobody would even take a second look. As well as children being allowed to go naked until the age of 12 because, well because they are still children! Wow... I would really love to see our country more "de-sexualized" in this context, viewing women as more than sex objects and children as they are, children. What a freedom for breastfeeding!

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#9 of 21 Old 08-22-2009, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was in Sweden a few years ago and my poor US cultured ears could hardly believe it when I was told that women could go topless at the beach and swimming and such and nobody would even take a second look. As well as children being allowed to go naked until the age of 12 because, well because they are still children! Wow... I would really love to see our country more "de-sexualized" in this context, viewing women as more than sex objects and children as they are, children. What a freedom for breastfeeding!
This sounds wonderful!

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#10 of 21 Old 08-22-2009, 04:55 PM
 
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I was in Sweden a few years ago and my poor US cultured ears could hardly believe it when I was told that women could go topless at the beach and swimming and such and nobody would even take a second look. As well as children being allowed to go naked until the age of 12 because, well because they are still children! Wow... I would really love to see our country more "de-sexualized" in this context, viewing women as more than sex objects and children as they are, children. What a freedom for breastfeeding!
It sure does sound wonderful, along without the sterotypes of women who choose to go topless.
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#11 of 21 Old 08-23-2009, 01:01 AM
 
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In Ohio (my home state) there's always been a major deal about women's rights to go topless. For the most-part, I don't think anyone does it, except for the days of major events on the waterfront in Columbus, like Jazzfest-- but that's usually because You'll have the anti-topless groups protesting on one street, and on the next there will be a huge nurse-in, and then the group that wants to uphold the "equal rights to go shirtless" wandering around as well. After the fest, it all seems to go away until the next year.


ETA: It's legal to go topless in Ohio, unless something's changed in the recent past.

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#12 of 21 Old 08-23-2009, 08:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, if you think about it, men don't really go shirt-free all that often. Mainly while swimming, and if they get hot working in their yards or maybe while playing casual sports at the park.

Basically just whenever they are hot and sweaty and feel like taking their shirts off, and aren't at work or in some business that requires shirt and shoes before they'll serve you.

I volunteered for a week one summer at a church youth camp, and one night I got a turn to go out on the campground, and wanted to go into the gym where one of the male counselors I knew was playing basketball.

One of the head counselors saw me going in and stopped me and said they don't let female counselors in there at night, because sometimes the guys like to take their shirts off so it's not really suitable for women to be in there.

I wouldn't have been offended by the sight of a shirtless male -- but I think she was concerned that some of the guys might feel uncomfortable. So it just needed to be for guys only.

This seems like a reversal of the attitudes I encountered with regards to breastfeeding, with this same denomination years later when I became a mom.

The Superintendant for the children's programs didn't feel it was suitable for mothers to nurse their babies in the church nursery, unless they went into the back room (where the babies were put to bed if they fell asleep); she suggested I should go into that back room and turn the roching chair so I'd be facing the wall.

She felt this was necessary because sometimes men or teenaged boys volunteered to help in the nursery.

So ... camp gymm's off-limits to women just in case men want to remove their shirts ... and church nursery's off-limits to openly-nursing mamas just in case a man is volunteering.

Either way, women are expected to do all the bending. Of course, part of the submissiveness doctrine (as I've heard it) is that women are designed to be more able and willing to adapt than men.

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#13 of 21 Old 08-23-2009, 08:12 PM
 
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Around here shirtless men are common place in summer. The only time you see them put shirts on is if they are going to work (sometimes not even then) or places like stores and church. I cant count the number of times I have been going to the store and watched a shirtless guy put his shirt on at the door.

It dosnt bother me at all to see shirtless men and it wouldnt bother me to see shirtless woman. Nor would it bother me for my kids to see it.

 
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#14 of 21 Old 08-24-2009, 09:39 AM
 
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Around here shirtless men are common place in summer. The only time you see them put shirts on is if they are going to work (sometimes not even then) or places like stores and church. I cant count the number of times I have been going to the store and watched a shirtless guy put his shirt on at the door.

It dosnt bother me at all to see shirtless men and it wouldnt bother me to see shirtless woman. Nor would it bother me for my kids to see it.
Same here. Men walk up and down the streets shirtless and sit in the trucks putting on a t-shirt (sleeveless and the armpits ripped all the way open).
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#15 of 21 Old 08-24-2009, 10:23 AM
 
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OP I don't know the answer to your question, but just want to share an interesting thing that happened just a couple of weeks ago. My children go to a small in-home daycare, and one steamy day our provider's husband was mowing the lawn with his shirt off while the kids were still there. A couple of the kids (6 and 3-year-old sisters) were scandalized, and thought he was being inappropriate. Apparently, these girls father never goes shirtless, and that was a strong enough message to make them think the rules are the same for men and women. I'm not sure how my provider handled it with the girls' parents.
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#16 of 21 Old 08-24-2009, 11:03 AM
 
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Ten years ago I visited Tanzania (East Africa). The people there are a mixture of Muslims, Christians and other religions - but all embrace modesty. A woman's thighs are considered to be the most "scandalous" part of her - so wearing a conventional American bathing suit would be like basically being naked to their eyes. Women's breasts are almost always covered, but they are not quite as strict about it; you might get an incidental flash when she bends over and it's no big deal (and probably breastfeeding, though I didn't see/notice that there).

What was interesting to me was that men adhere to nearly the same modesty standards. I never saw a man wearing shorts, not once. Always pants. Many men wore long-sleeved shirts, though a few wore short sleeves. Certainly never sleeveless, and never shirtless. This is equatorial Africa, so it was hot - though of course covering from the equatorial sun has sensible health benefits. I saw some dock workers once, loading a ship without any wheels much less machines, just carrying the loads on their backs. The most grueling work I'd ever seen first hand - ever. They all wore shirts and pants.

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#17 of 21 Old 08-24-2009, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Re: men going by the same standards as women: my husband kind of does. He'll sometimes go shirtless in the house when it's just us -- but if a visitor comes over he'll put a shirt on. I think he always has a t-shirt on when he's mowing.

At the pool, he wears his trunks (when I'm not wearing them, LOL) -- but if he had a top that they'd accept in the water, he'd wear that too. Not for modesty but because he burns so easily. He tried to wear a t-shirt with his trunks one time and they said he couldn't because the cotton somehow messes with the pool chemicals.

Even if I could overcome my modesty and bare my breasts at the pool, I would probably not do it for too long because of how easily I burn, and the fact that my breasts have never been exposed to sunlight. I'm very fair and skin cancer runs in my family.

I would just mainly like for it to be easier for women to breastfeed. Even though my youngest is now 4 and public breastfeeding doesn't come up for us much any more, I think of my own daughters when they are mothers, as well as all the other mothers and babies.

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#18 of 21 Old 08-26-2009, 01:13 AM
 
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Ok, so I have heard people say that in North Dakota (maybe other states too, I don't know), breasts are not included in the indecent exposure law. So what does that mean? ND was not in the list of places where going "topfree" is legal, so is there some other law that prevents me from going topless in ND?

Um...besides the law of cold? : Lol.

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#19 of 21 Old 08-26-2009, 02:40 AM
 
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At the pool, he wears his trunks (when I'm not wearing them, LOL) -- but if he had a top that they'd accept in the water, he'd wear that too. Not for modesty but because he burns so easily. He tried to wear a t-shirt with his trunks one time and they said he couldn't because the cotton somehow messes with the pool chemicals.
Get him a rash guard. Made of out swimsuit material, has UV protection built in and looks cool. Sounds like he'd love one!

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Oh my God....women are the COWS of PEOPLE!! --Reese, Malcolm in the Middle
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#20 of 21 Old 08-26-2009, 11:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Get him a rash guard. Made of out swimsuit material, has UV protection built in and looks cool. Sounds like he'd love one!
Sounds like a great idea!

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#21 of 21 Old 08-26-2009, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Um...besides the law of cold? : Lol.
LOL, maybe that's the reason why it never came up!

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