I read several articles about August 26th, which marked the 5th annual National Go Topless Day. This day strives to take steps in the topless equality between men and women. I was particularly interested in these articles, which I felt, though unbiased and balanced, did have sexist undertones. Women's breasts have been sexualized and are seen as private in America. Men in the articles seemed to support woman's rights to be topless. However, I felt that the general theme amongst the articles suggested it was for the benefit of the man's view and less the rights of the woman. The word “topless” itself can even be seen as sexist as men not wearing shirts are rarely ever referred to as “topless.”
I have lamented the inequality of not being able to bare my top on hot days before, so in some ways I feel empathetic to the movement. On the other hand, even if it was legal I do not think I would be comfortable baring myself anyways. Because nudity is still taboo in American, and the woman’s body is still displayed so sexually, I feel most men in the US would not react to public female nudity appropriately. This problem is something that is not helped by the mass media. When women's breasts are shown on TV and in the movies it is seen as an explicit scene and often in highly sexualized circumstances, which in turn further degrades women as mere sex symbols. So called “man-boobs” are ok to display but I feel women and the media have a long way to go before a woman going topless in public can be seen as normal.