Dirty old men are the latest to join the feminist campaign to lift government bans on going topless.
We are informed by Courtland Milloy in a Chicago Tribune op-ed (“Topless bans aim to
protect, but some question who needs protecting,” June 22, 2017) that women have a right to expose their breasts in public just like men. It’s a matter of equity.
According to Millroy:
Successful court challenges to these kinds of obscenity laws [banning toplessness] are being spearheaded by groups pushing for gender equity in a broader sense — equal pay for equal work and women being able to control their own bodies, including how they present themselves in public.
That inequity says Brenna Helppie-Schmiede in a 2015 issue of the DePaul Journal of Women, Gender & the Law, makes topless bans harmful, outdated and unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. Explains Millroy:
“Female breast censorship … perpetuates heterosexual male definitions of eroticism, contributing to the sexual and political subjugation of women,” Helppie-Schmieder writes. “It enforces dangerous body image issues [and] deprives women of the choice to be comfortable.”
Dirty old men totally agree. Men’s and women’s breasts are the same–two of each, and each with a nipple. Just because some are equipped to nourish infants doesn’t matter in the equality department because, well, men and women are the same.
Dirty old men, of course, reserve the right to stare at all breasts–men’s and women’s, covered and uncovered. By law, they should not be discriminated against in their right to look where they want to look. Laws prohibiting hostile sexual environments do not apply to the stares of dirty old men because breasts are not objects of sexual gratification, but a “proxy for stereotypes.”
Isn’t it hypocrisy to demand the right to go topless while demanding the right not to be gawked at? Shouldn’t we also lift bottomless butt bans, because they’re all the same?