Topless Women in Public Not Breaking the Law, Says NYPD
Topless Women in Public Not Breaking the Law, Says NYPD
By Hannah Ridge / policymic.com
May 17, 2013

Ladies of New York , you are free to walk bare-breasted through the city! New York City's 34,000 police officers have been instructed that, should they encounter a woman in public who is shirtless but obeying the law, they should not arrest her. This is a good step towards gender parity in public spaces.

This decision means that breast exposure is not considered public lewdness, indecent exposure, or disorderly conduct. It also notes that, should a crowd form around a topless woman, the officer should instruct the crowd to disperse and then respond appropriately if it does not. Relative coverage is no longer a factor.

This policy shift comes after several years of litigation and protest. In the 1992 case People v. Ramona Santorelli and Mary Lou Schloss, the New York Court of Appeals ruled in favor of two women who were arrested with five others for exposing their breasts in a Rochester park, holding the law void as discriminatory.  The ruling was put to the test in 2005, when Jill Coccaro bared her breasts on Delancey Street in New York, citing the 1992 decision, and was detained for twelve hours. She subsequently successfully sued the city for $29,000.

In 2007, Go Topless, a national organization supporting gender equality in shirtlessness laws, established Go Topless Day. Dozens of women protest – often topless – in thirty cities around the United States, promoting equal rights to be shirtless. Protests usually include chants of “Free your breasts.  Free your minds” and a song “Let ‘em Breath” to the tune of the Beatles’ “Let it Be.”

While some who have witnessed these events have suggested that "[t]his is extreme liberalism and why America’s in decline” or “[i]t’s degrading to women,” others have been supportive. One man even said he would encourage his wife to join them.

Though bare-breasted women might shock the sensibilities of some in the public, it is encouraging to see the police responding positively to gender bias, even on such a seemingly small scale. After all, no one thinks twice about a man shirtless on a summer day. However, the female nipple or chest is still considered “lewd.” By reminding its officers of this, the NYPD is publicly declaring that it will no longer perpetuate unconstitutional gender discrimination, a standard to which all law enforcement should be held and a decision for which it should be applauded.

Footage of the protesters can be found here (NSFW)  

 

Wondering what else is on this site? 

You can use this image to share the Wall of Films on Facebook

The Top 100 Social Change Documentaries

Top 10 Films that Explain Why OWS Exists

4.2 ·
4
Trending Today
Thich Nhat Hanh: How We Can Learn to Love Our Enemies
5 min · 4,494 views today · This is a short excerpt from Peacemaking. I often think about this story when I think about the kind of activism I would like to bring into this world. I want to help build a...
How a Lack of Touch Is Destroying Men
Mark Green · 4,382 views today · Why Men Need More Platonic Touch in their Lives
Real Underground Kingdom That Has Existed for Millions of Years Went Unnoticed, Until Recently...
Kid Krunk · 3,991 views today · 28 Stunning Photos Of The World’s Largest Cave
I Am Not Your Negro (2017)
3 min · 3,828 views today · In his new film, director Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished - a radical narration about race in America, using the writer's original words. He draws...
The Coming War on China
John Pilger · 3,734 views today · A major US military build-up – including nuclear weapons – is under way in Asia and the Pacific with the purpose of confronting China. John Pilger raises the alarm on an...
The Charter For Compassion
2 min · 2,453 views today · The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated...
Murdoch and Trump, Sitting at the Tee, S-C-H-E-M-I-N-G
Frankie Boyle · 1,936 views today · Say what you like about Donald Trump but he's already done things people said were impossible, like made Twitter worse. Looking back, the Harambe situation is the closest...
Simple Social Experiment Shows We Are More Than The Boxes People Put Us In
3 min · 1,782 views today · We live in a time where we are quick to put people in boxes. Maybe we have more in common than what we think?
How Wolves Change Rivers
4 min · 1,711 views today · When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the United States after being absent nearly 70 years, the most remarkable "trophic cascade" occurred. What is a...
"The Myth of Time" - Martin Luther King Jr.
3 min · 1,685 views today · Excerpt from MLK Jr.'s last sermon, "Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution". Delivered at The National Cathedral on March 31, 1968 (4 days prior to his...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 1,428 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
A Hauntingly Beautiful Short Film About Life and Death
5 min · 1,297 views today · The Life of Death is a touching handdrawn animation about the day Death fell in love with Life.
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,242 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Surviving Capitalist Depression
Michael Emero · 1,175 views today · We live in a toxic society filled with toxic people. Even the ones with the best hearts- including ourselves- have been raised in ignorance, with disinformation. Our examples...
Hans Rosling Brilliantly Explains Complexity of Population and Resource Issues Using Simple Tools
3 min · 831 views today · Let me show you the world, says Swedish academic Han Rosling as he demonstrates the dynamics of population growth, child mortality and carbon dioxide emissions. The challenge...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 615 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
What It Really Means to Hold Space for Someone
Heather Plett · 523 views today · How to be there for the people who need you most
What Would It Take to Stop the Raids?
CrimethInc. Ex-Workers Collective · 477 views today · Responding Effectively to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Attacks
The Price of Certainty
7 min · 391 views today · It’s alarming to see how polarized politics have become in the United States. The wider the gulf grows, the more people seem to be certain that the other side is wrong...
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action · 329 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
Load More
What's Next
Like us on Facebook?
Topless Women in Public Not Breaking the Law, Says NYPD