||| Loanna Raptis/ Portsmouth Herald |||
Since the beginning of the country, America has always taken a modest approach to the human body covering up as much skin as possible in the name of modesty. Well, some believe its time to get rid of the double standard when it comes to men being able to expose their chest but women can't.
Three women are challenging a New Hampshire city ordinance that prohibits public nudity, including women's chests, and they are taking it to the state's highest court. Heidi Lilley, Kia Sinclair, and Ginger Pierro were all three written citations in Laconia after going topless at Weirs Beach over Memorial Day weekend.
Pierro was doing some yoga on the beach while her two friends were sunbathing when they got ticketed. Some people at the beach complained about their exposed chests prompting a police officer to demand they cover up. When the girls refused they were arrested and taken to jail.
The girl's attorney's filed a legal motion to have the case dismissed but it was denied, so now they are appealing the case in the New Hampshire Supreme Court. Their court hearing is February 1, 2018. The three women are arguing that there's no state law forbidding female toplessness and that the ordinance is discriminatory since men are allowed to go bare-chested but women aren't.
Lilley says, "The law in the state of New Hampshire is that it is legal for a woman to go topless, so we’re trying to get the town of Laconia to recognize and to stay with the state. The town ordinance, in our opinion, is not constitutional. We’re hoping the Supreme Court will see that."
The women are a part of a group called the Free the Nipple movement which is comprised of a global campaign that promotes women to have the freedom to bare their nipples in a public area if they choose. A U.S. District Court judge ruled in October that a public indecency ordinance in Missouri didn't violate the state constitution since it let men go topless but not women.
On the other hand, a U.S. District Court judge blocked the city of Fort Collins, Colorado from enforcing a law against women not being able to expose their breasts or nipples to the public. Legislators in New Hampshire drafted a bill that would make it a crime for women to expose their breasts in public.
Supports of the bill say that allowing topless women at public beaches could lead to topless women at little league softball games and are only protecting the children. Opponents say that a ban based on one sexes nudity and not the other violates the state constitution.
Personally, I think the stigma around nudity of both sexes is just a reminder of our past way of thinking where Quaker women couldn't even expose the smallest bit of cleavage. I also think 'protecting' children from female breasts is idiotic, not only to all children have them, but many babies relied on breasts to feed in their early years. They are a part of reality and something that should be celebrated and not condemned.
The government shouldn't be getting involved and dictating what you wear on your body and if you're offended by nipples than that's your problem. But hey, that's just my opinion, #FreeTheNipple!
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