Image courtesy of GoTopless.
This Sunday, the girls are coming out. August 24 marks the 7th annual GoTopless Day, and 60 cities around the world will bear witness to a wave of demonstrations in the name of female equality as women march in protest for the right to air out their areolas.
For those who are unaware, women have a pair of things on their upper torsos called breasts. They are often used as tools for seduction or as nourishment for infants, but most of the time they are just there. Breasts come in a variety of sizes, are often unwieldy, and society dictates that, while in public, they remain caged in these uncomfortable contraptions called bras, also known as the shackles of the patriarchy.
But the women’s rights organization GoTopless believes that if men can peel off their shirts in public without inciting puritanical shock, women should be able to walk around with their breasts unencumbered by the confines of clothing. The group is staging topless protests worldwide to raise awareness about the issue. This year marks the first time a GoTopless demonstration will be held in San Antonio.
Local organizers are planning a march downtown at the corner of St. Mary’s and Navarro Streets this Sunday at 1 p.m. Women are encouraged to come out and celebrate their bodies and femininity in solidarity for what GoTopless claims is the constitutional right to bear breasts.
“Equal topless rights for women is a constitutional right,” said a New York GoTopless organizer in a press release. “The 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution specifies equal rights for everyone. That includes the right to expose body parts common to both genders, including the chest and nipples."
Here in Texas, the topless movement is exposing what they claim is a constitutional hypocrisy by setting their sites on the Second Amendment. An image promoting upcoming rallies in Austin and San Antonio on Facebook points out the disparity that the right to bear arms is necessary to protect families but that breasts are seen as a threat to children. Last month in Austin, two bare-chested women staged a counter-protest during a demonstration by the open carry advocacy group Come and Take It Texas. To say that it didn't go over well is putting it mildly.
GoTopless rallies have been held in Austin for the past five years and have attracted anywhere between fifty to seventy demonstrators, according to a local organizer. It remains to be seen how many will show up to support topless equal rights here in San Antonio and whether they will be confronted by law enforcement.
The organization’s website claims women are allowed to publicly expose their breasts in the State of Texas. Indeed, the Texas Penal Code does not expressly prohibit breasts in its public nudity and indecent exposure laws, but women who walk around as God intended could be arrested for public lewdness, indecent exposure or disorderly conduct if the public considers the very sight of breasts offensive. And while GoTopless considers Austin a "topless tested" city, a little thing called the San Antonio Municipal Code is an obstacle toward giving this city that honored distinction. The public nudity portion of the code expressly forbids exposure of "any portion of the female breast that is situated below a point immediately above the top of the areola."
These types of laws are what GoTopless aims to strike from the books, but until they're repealed, potential protesters may find themselves in legal trouble.