I apologize. I missed an important bit of news from Sunday August 24th; I'll blame it on the fact that I generally don't blog on the weekend.
Apparently, Sunday was the "National Go Topless Protest" day. According to their website, gotopless.org, gotopless.org is a "...US organization, claiming that women have the same constitutional right to be bare chested in public places as men.". Apparently, on Sunday, great numbers of women were expected to go topless across the USA to protest the gross inequity in the law and demand that their rights granted under the 14th amendment of the Constitution be acknowledged.
For your information, according to the website, Maitreya Rael is the spiritual leader and founder of gotopless.org. To many of you, this name will be meaningless, however, I just had to find out more about this person who I naturally assumed was female, especially since the surname seemed so familiar. Maitreya Rael is, in fact, the founder and spiritual leader of the International Raelian movement whose real name was Claude Vorilhon. He was a former French auto racing journalist and professional race car driver. who had a life-changing experience. In 1973, he had an encounter with a human being from another planet; this extra-terrestrial being named Yahweh gave him details about the origins of the human race and how the future was to be organized. All of this was being done in preparation so that humanity would welcome their Creators, the Elohim, without fear. The roughly 70,000 Raelian members are now in the process of preparing to build a $37 million Embassy complete with a UFO landing pad for the Creators who are expected to return before 2035. To read more, you can find their website here and their news website here. The Raelians have also founded Clonaid; they are very focussed on cloning human beings and claimed to have cloned the first human back in February 2004 which they named "Eve".
If you want more information about Rael and would prefer to watch rather than read, here's a YouTube video explaining the movement.
Anyway, back to the story at hand. Sorry for the distraction from the original intent of this posting but I thought it would be best to put the organization behind the topless protest into perspective. Let's just say that the Raelians were the last people on earth that I would have expected to be the backers of the "National Go Topless Protest" day!
According to the gotopless.org website, their protest is held in August in celebration of the August 26th, 1920 constitutional amendment date when women were granted the right to vote. As well, in 1970, Congress designated August 26th as "Women's Equality Day" as a reminder of women's equality.
Here's a quote from their website that I particularly like:
"How are we helping men? GoTopless is also committed to helping men differentiate between nudity and sexuality. If the presence of a topless woman in public triggers a sexual impulse, it can easily be controlled in the same way men control themselves when they see a woman wearing a mini skirt or revealing ample cleavage. Men manage to appreciate these things while still showing respect! Choosing consciousness above hormones leads to a peaceful, respectful society providing additional freedom and beauty."
While I admire the sentiment and the effort that the group is making, as a man, I'd have to say that the battle between hormones and consciousness has already been fought....and the hormones won easily. Sorry ladies, it's just a fact of life. I wish I could say otherwise, but it would be a bald-faced lie. In fact, most men regard a pair of geometrically pleasing breasts in the same manner that the children of Hamlin regarded the piper; we'd follow them pretty much anywhere.
As for the day of protest, according to the Guardian, about two dozen women showed up at Venice Beach, California along with a scrum of male photographers (no surprise there). According to the New York Daily News, dozens of women showed up at Central Park in New York City where, surprisingly enough, it has been legal for women to be topless in public since 1992! Protests were also planned for Miami Beach, Chicago, Denver and Columbus, Ohio among other cities. I thought that Columbus was a rather odd choice but apparently, in Ohio, breasts are not considered "private parts" so exposing them is not considered indecent exposure. For my Canadian readers, Ontario became legally "top free" in 1996 thanks to a criminal court challenge by Gwen Jacob. There is even a Canadian association that helps women who encounter difficulty going without tops in public places in Canada. The website for Topfree Equal Rights Association (TERA) can be found here.
I'll be following this story next August, hopefully this time, before the protest happens.
...and while men do have the constitutional right to be "top free", quite honestly, there are many, many men who should resist the temptation to take off their shirts in public as some things are best left to one's imagination...if that.