(First and foremost, I won’t pretend to know the struggle that women face on a day to day basis with regards to inequality, nor do I speak on their behalf when discussing said matter. I do believe wholeheartedly that they should be given every right, power and privilege they deserve (as does every human being, male or female), but until some mysterious alien light beams down upon me from above, giving me the power to change the entire world with a single hand gesture, I can only think the way I think and comment on the things that I see. With that said, I present to you my thoughts on “Go Topless Day”.)
For the past few days, I noticed that most of the feeds on my social media mentioned the impending arrival of “Go Topless Day”. As I mentioned before, I’m completely for raising gender equality awareness, but I have to admit I was slightly confused when hearing the news. How could women baring their breasts change the way the world sees them? As I often do when I find myself naive on a particular topic, I took the time to do some research. I studied a little history on women’s rights, looked up a few laws in various countries regarding toplessness, visited several websites which promoted the “go topless” movement, found dozens of write-ups and hundreds of photos encouraging others to go topless in support of gender equality, and saw bare breasts…lots and lots of bare breasts. What I didn’t find, however, was an explanation as to how women around the world taking off their tops could possibly change the…
…then it hit me.
Right smack in the middle of my blind, stupid, male face, it hit me.
Bare breasts were so much more than bare breasts. How could I have not seen it before? It was so obvious! I consider myself a fairly intelligent person, so the fact that such a simple answer had eluded me so was baffling. Then, after a few seconds of quiet introspection, I realized why I hadn’t figured it out earlier.
Regardless of the fact that I was raised in 4-5 different countries with different cultures, regardless of the fact that I was raised by two loving, impartial parents, regardless of my personal belief that both sexes were created equal, the world had subconsciously planted a seed. It was a seed which said “A woman’s breasts are to be seen as sexual, erotic parts of the female anatomy that should be covered up at all times. Breasts are not to used to feed babies in public. Breasts are not to fall out by accident. Breasts are not to be bared when one is hot. And in absolutely no way is a woman’s bare chest to be considered neutral or completely normal, like a man’s.“
No matter how unbiased, objective and feminist I believed I was, deep down inside I was seeing women in exactly the same way that most of the rest of the world saw them…differently! Without even realizing it, I failed to notice that women aren’t removing their tops to raise eyebrows or stop traffic. They’re not holding up “Free The Nipple” signs to cause commotions and turn heads. And they definitely didn’t start the #GoToplessDay hashtag just to have a reason to throw parades.
They’re doing all of the above for one very simple reason…to be the same.