A date for your diary: Go Topless Day, August 26th

August 26th is Go Topless Day, when women all around the world will organise marches to coinicide with what is, in the USA, Women’s Equality Day.

The Go Topless movement have a website here where you can read more about where you might find a march near you.

Essentially, the US declared August 26th, in 1971, to be Women’s Equality Day, women in the US having been grated the right to vote, on that date, in 1920 (the 19th Amendment to the US constitution).

We, women, still have a long way to go in achieving full equality in certain aspects of our lives, wherever we live. In some places, women still don’t have the vote, such as Brunei or the United Arab Emirates. Saudia Arabia still doesn’t allow women to vote, but that will change in 2015. In Saudi Arabia, women ‘can’t’ drive for a variety of reasons. While the practice can and does occur, particularly in rural areas, generally the practice is frowned upon to the point where it doesn’t, in the main, happen. Women in Saudi have segregated buses in some places, with separate entrances to them, and some bus companies refuse to take women at all. I strongly advise you read the wiki entry on women’s rights in Saudi.

But before we should become too smug about our very enlightened ‘western democracies’, consider the attitudes to breastfeeding in public around the globe. Here, it’s those ‘western democracies’ who often lag behind. Those ‘western democracies’ have often shown scant regard for the right of a mother to feed an infant in the way nature intended.

Facebook has a ban on photos of breastfeeding mothers, declaring it to be ‘offensive’.

Western media outlets go faint at the very idea of bare breasted women on, say, news programmes, but have no such problem with images of rockets being fired into villages of certain locations around the world where our so-enlightened western democracies wish to impose their values on others.

Only this past week, I witnessed UK one news programme that was heavily edited to exlcude ‘naughty bits’ from the streak for Tigers around London Zoo (we posted on this event here) yet had no such problem showing row upon row of corpses in a Cairo mosque during Egypt’s ongoing violence. What, exactly, is the more upsetting image?

So it’s clear there’s a lot of hypocrisy and double standards involved, particularly in the aspect of breasts.

Again, our enlightened western democracies have, for decades, used photos of topless women (‘Page 3 girls’ in the UK, although there are variants around the globe) to help sell newspapers, while hypocritically thundering on about sexual assaults when it was their own papers who overly sexualised the female breast.

And our own beloved SL isn’t beyond criticism. Bloggers and stores alike often seem to suffer from nipple-phobia. Skin designers carefully construct their project, taking time and care to make nipples as lifelike as possible (and there’s as many nipple/areola types as there are skin tones!) and then stick pasties over them in their own stores so we can’t see the full and proper effect.

To highlight the ridiculous aspect of top-freedom, males are being asked to accompany their female significant other on the marches, and wear one of their partner’s bras or bikini tops! 😮

As ever, we’re delighted to enter into the spirit of the campaign, which we fully support.

Perhaps, on August 26th, we shall see you go about your daily SL top-free, in support of the campaign, or perhaps encouraging your significant other to wear a bra in support of it!

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Ella