Inequality between the sexes isn't always as obvious as it once was (we're now allowed to own property and vote, like the human beings we are) but that doesn't mean that the fight for equal rights is over. There are plenty of subtle ways that women experience sexism, and one of them has to do with having to cover up things that guys rarely get asked to - like our chests. Now women in New York are fighting against such an archaic, accepted societal rule by - what else? - going topless.
For the past two weeks, women in Times Square have been shedding their bras in favor of body paint, armed with signs like "Women's breasts are family friendly!" in order to protest this double standard, which is exactly what this whole "let's hide our boobs" thing really is. Despite the fact that toplessness has been legal in New York for 23 years, it's still considered "indecent" by the general public. Not so with guys, of course. Would you freak out if you saw a dude running through the park sans-shirt? You probably wouldn't even bat an eye - in fact, a movie could have 200 shirtless guys and still garner a G-rating. Meanwhile, society has sexualized women's breasts so much that seeing a woman's uncovered chest is considered obscene.
You don't have to want to strip off your clothes in public in order to agree that those facts are pretty messed up. Think about how stars like Miley Cyrus and Rihanna have been censored on apps like Instagram for sharing photos of themselves sans-nipple coverage, while pretty much every male celebrity ever gets cheered for sharing their own shirtless selfies. (Looking at you, Biebs.) There's nothing wrong with displaying your body in whatever way you choose, but why is it just women who are hypersexualized to the point where their nipples cause global panic?
The topless protesters in Times Square are standing up for women everywhere with their shirtless campaign, and there's absolutely nothing obscene about that. Sometimes a nipple really is just a nipple, you know?
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