Over the last year or so, a campaign has started on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, called Free the Nipple has pushed for gender equality and is taking the internet by storm and generating many publicity stunts, peaceful protests, and court cases challenging city and state laws on the matter.
While men and women may be different in many ways, we both share the same appearance…except our nether regions. However, men and women have one major part of the body in common. Nipples. So, why has one been censored and the other is as normal to our culture as bare feet?
Lina Esco, founder of Free the Nipple, says the movement does not advocate women being topless all the time, its goal is simply to change public perception of women’s bodies and to highlight the blatant gender inequality.
The movement points out everyday occasions that a woman might casually remove her top such as sunbathing at the beach, in the park, or in her own backyard, breastfeeding her child, to cool down in extreme heat, or simply to change from one shirt into another.
In the 1930s, going shirtless in public was as shocking a sight for men as it is for women today. It was not until 4 men walked through Coney Island bare-chested to bring attention to the issue that public opinion swayed.
Currently, it is illegal for women to be topless in public in 35 states, and in 5 of those states women are not allowed to breastfeed their babies in public. There is not a single law on the books in America saying that men can’t.