Topfreedom  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Topfreedom is a cultural and political movement seeking to advance gender equality by the recognition of the right of women and girls to be topless in public on the same basis that men and boys are permitted to be barechested. In addition, topfreedom advocates seek recognition of the right of nursing mothers to openly breastfeed in public, and of women to sun bathe topless. In North America, the Topfree Equal Rights Association assists women who have been charged for being topless, while GoTopless organizes demonstrations to protest against the legal and public attitude to the inequality. In Sweden, Bara Bröst is active in advancing topfreedom, as is Topless Front in Denmark.

Social and legal attitudes

Indecent exposure, public indecency

Many societies consider women who expose their nipples and areolae as immodest and contrary to social norms. In many jurisdictions a topless woman may be socially or officially harassed or cited for public lewdness, indecent exposure, public indecency or disorderly conduct. Topfreedom advocates seek to change community attitudes to breasts as sex objects or indecent.

Several countries in Europe have decriminalised non-sexual toplessness. Topless swimming and sunbathing on beaches has become acceptable in many parts of Europe, though the practice remains controversial in many places, and not common in most places. Many public swimming pools in Europe are owned by municipalities, which are treated as private organisations and allowed to set their dress codes.


Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding in public

In many countries around the world, breastfeeding in public is not unusual. During 2006–2010 and earlier, a number of news reports in the United States cited incidents where women were refused service or harassed for breastfeeding in public. In response, a majority of U.S. states have passed laws explicitly permitting nursing in public. The United States federal government enacted a law in 1999 which specifically provides that "a woman may breastfeed her child at any location in a Federal building or on Federal property, if the woman and her child are otherwise authorized to be present at the location." However, these laws generally do not apply to rules imposed by private organizations or on private property, such as restaurants, airlines, or shopping malls.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Topfreedom" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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