Should it be legal for women to be topless in public?

Should it be legal for women to be topless in public?

  • Yes

    Votes: 26 76.5%
  • No

    Votes: 8 23.5%

  • Total voters
    34

jbutler

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I had occasion today to give advice on this topic in New Jersey (yes, my job is sometimes interesting; no, the person asking wasn't topless) and it didn't take long for me to find a 2011 decision which cited the "governmental interest in safeguarding the public's moral sensibilities" as the justification for permitting male, but prohibiting female toplessness. This rationale strikes me as laughable and I'm honestly pretty shocked that the appellate court would rely on such nonsense as recently as 2011.

As many of you likely know, it's legal in NYC for women to go topless (link NSFW; yes, I'm at work, but it's legal research, so suck it) and I would imagine the same is true for many other places. The mostly likely source of prohibition against "lewdness" are municipal ordinances, so the law is able to be tailored to local standards of decency (though I'm skeptical whether such standards are meaningful or could even be agreed upon in today's communication environment).

I wonder what the general attitude is as to whether female toplessness should be prohibited. If you think it should be, what is the justification? And those out there - of which I'm sure there will many, this being the internet - who simply take the position, "boobs good; laws bad," consider whether you'd honestly vote to permit female toplessness in your community.

Like so many other issues dealing with sexuality, it will come down for some to the question, "What about the children?" to which I would respond, "What about the children?" I found my dad's Playboys and I'm not a completely deviant sociopath as a result.

I'm all for boobs, but my justification for permitting female toplessness is more grounded in the rejection of the position that the state has the authority - or even the ability - to "safeguard the public's moral sensibilities."
 

Mr Tree

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First of all, you have to ask? [emoji41]

There is an interesting moral question here. If a man isn't nude if he doesn't wear a shirt why is a woman? It's not like her genitals are exposed. There is an interesting parallel to women being forced to wear a burka in Islamic society.
 

Milo013

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Party poopers . . . guess that means showing the backs of my Playboy Kems is out, too, right? Keira was there . . . BRIEFLY. She disappeared after you posted. Must be your fault. THANKS.
 

Ben

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Voted yes - although you would be hard-pressed to find a question remotely within reason along the lines of "should xxx be legal?" to which I would say no.

Governments should never have authority to legislate morality. To me this is akin to legislating religion - a man's code is his own.

However, I don't really see how you could argue that female toplessness should be legal but full nudity in public (male or female) should not. Would I say that full nudity should be legal? Yes. Do I really want it to happen? Not so much... :eek:
 

courage

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I voted yes bc lol @ the government protecting moral interests on what is an individual choice and community standard. But I have concerns regarding the impact on important local businesses, er, strip clubs, and also being exposed to racks that I could not unsee.
 

Milo013

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Governments should never have authority to legislate morality.

Governments legislate morality all the time . . . otherwise murder, rape, assault, etc. would not result in jail time. Try again . . .

However, I don't really see how you could argue that female toplessness should be legal but full nudity in public (male or female) should not. Would I say that full nudity should be legal? Yes. Do I really want it to happen? Not so much... :eek:
Agree with your last comment. I try to be as libertarian as my Canadian sensibilities will allow, but the notion of Governments not being allowed to legislate morality is a non-starter. We are well past that mile marker . . . the only question now is, how many exits before we get off?
 

Shaggy

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voted yes... what's the big deal. I have two young sons... toplessness (for women) is only viewed as inappropriate because we have deemed it so. If it were explicitly allowed... would much change? Maybe certain beaches would become "topless," but generally not much would change.
 

courage

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I think there'd be change. More tattoos, corporate sponsorships. The beginning of the end. :p
 

jbutler

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Agree with your last comment. I try to be as libertarian as my Canadian sensibilities will allow, but the notion of Governments not being allowed to legislate morality is a non-starter. We are well past that mile marker . . . the only question now is, how many exits before we get off?
legislating morality is shorthand. his point - because i have been authorized by Ben to speak for him on all matters - is that government acts properly when it prohibits acts which bring harm to others (and arguably oneself, though i know this isn't Ben's position). government does not act properly when it prohibits an act from which no reasonably demonstrable harm will follow.
 
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Ben

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legislating morality is shorthand. his point - because i have been authorized by Ben to speak for him on all matters - is that governments act properly when it prohibits acts which bring harm to others (and arguably oneself, though i know this isn't Ben's position). government does not act properly when it attempts prohibits an act from which no reasonably demonstrable harm will follow.
Was working on reply, and failing to make any sense. Societal imperative to protect itself, blah blah etc.

Close enough. You're hired. ;)
 

Milo013

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legislating morality is shorthand. his point - because i have been authorized by Ben to speak for him on all matters - is that government acts properly when it prohibits acts which bring harm to others (and arguably oneself, though i know this isn't Ben's position). government does not act properly when it prohibits an act from which no reasonably demonstrable harm will follow.
I figured that it was something of that nature . . . but too many folks do not understand the short hand. It is why they look at Libertarians and think, "those are the 'anything goes' whackos." Nuance is lost on them.
 

grandgnu

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If your argument is government imposing morality is wrong, let the boobies fly, then as Ben said, what about full nudity and the exposure of genitals? Would that not also be government imposing morality and how would you argue against letting everyone just run around naked at shopping centers, restaurants, etc?
 

jbutler

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i'm a bit over how big a hard on the internet has for louis ck, but since most people's position on this sort of thing comes down to how it impacts their children (and often, implicitly, down to how they are completely incapable of communicating with their children) this is certainly applicable here:



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If your argument is government imposing morality is wrong, let the boobies fly, then as Ben said, what about full nudity and the exposure of genitals? Would that not also be government imposing morality and how would you argue against letting everyone just run around naked at shopping centers, restaurants, etc?
it's legal now for people to walk around without a shirt on, but i can't remember ever seeing a barechested dude sitting across from me at benihana and causing me to lose my appetite. private businesses are allowed to exclude or admit anyone they like regardless of the law. i don't think we need the government to institute a no shirt, no shoes, no obamaphone policy.
 

grandgnu

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it's legal now for people to walk around without a shirt on, but i can't remember ever seeing a barechested dude sitting across from me at benihana and causing me to lose my appetite. private businesses are allowed to exclude or admit anyone they like regardless of the law. i don't think we need the government to institute a no shirt, no shoes, no obamaphone policy.
Ok, so then you would not oppose someone being fully naked in public also?
 

jbutler

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Ok, so then you would not oppose someone being fully naked in public also?
depending on the person, i would oppose the hell out of it. i just don't think it should be prohibited by law.
 

grandgnu

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depending on the person, i would oppose the hell out of it. i just don't think it should be prohibited by law.
Alright, if you don't oppose full-on nudity in public then I can't argue your acceptance of women going topless. Could give new meaning to the term "meat-up" though! :rolleyes:
 

guinness

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In college, one of my watering hole locations was Brattleboro, VT. It's legal to be nude in public, male or female, any age (very liberal town, first established town in VT). Whether or not its right, I dunno. I think I have no judgement on the matter. Brattleboro did put a 30 day ban some years ago because a group of teens were holding nude hula hooping contests in the center of town, but that got voted away (back to nude'n).
 

Poker Zombie

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When I first heard this question, circa 1990, I opposed the idea, because I've seen pics of nude beaches, and the topless women were the ones you didn't want to see topless. Today, I am far more sensible. It is legal in NYC, and I have never seen topless women strolling about (though I have seen videos of it happening). The % is low, and likely always going to be low. You rarely see men strolling about topless unless it is at a beach, pool, park, or a football game during a blizzard. Already it has been deemed more or less acceptable to breast-feed in public, and I simply don't tend to look.

My only concern with fully nude is with cleanliness. Pants give us a barrier when a bus passenger or the dude in front of you on an escalator sharts.
 
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fish72s

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I don't have a problem with it but I'm sure it will never happen.
The bra lobby is just too strong.
"Big Bra" will never let it happen:)

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AKA "DD".
 

bergs

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My only concern with fully nude is with cleanliness. Pants give us a barrier when a bus passenger or the dude in front of you on an escalator sharts.
This is my only problem with not having restrictions regarding nudity - if I'm on a bus, I don't want someone's genitals rubbing up against me sans clothing. Otherwise, I couldn't care less.
 

manamongkids

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My vote is for men with huge moobs to wear bras, or as cosmo kramer would call it. The "Bro"
 

ChipEnvy

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Some things can't be unseen. I think the racks I don't want to see far outnumber the boobies I wouldn't mind seeing.
 

jbutler

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Some things can't be unseen. I think the racks I don't want to see far outnumber the boobies I wouldn't mind seeing.
there are plenty of people i don't even want to see clothed (most people i guess now that i think about it), but i'm not asking the government to criminalize ugly.
 

Meddler2

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What a relief. For a minute there I thought this was a poker chip forum.
 
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