Dozens of feminists fighting for “gender equality” marched topless through downtown Denver on Sunday – including one woman who brought her six-year-old son along.
Autumn Hammond, who was participating in the city’s “Go Topless Day” for the very first time, told Fox 31 that while onlookers may gawk at the parade of flesh, there’s substance behind the protest.
“I believe in equal rights, and it’s not just about being topless. Breast feeding is a stigma. It’s sexualized. It’s all that. Women should be allowed to be free just as much as a man,” she said.
And she’s got an answer for critics who feel that young children shouldn’t be exposed to the topless activists.
“There’s other people that cover their children’s eyes,” Hammond said. “My son’s here. It’s a family-friendly event.”
One spectator interviewed by Fox 31 said that while he is skeptical that the topless protest will lead to any sort of “legal advances,” he does find the whole thing “interesting.”
“I’m used to that,” Hammond said, in reference to the people who show up just for the view.
“The gawking is just mainly because they don’t know and it’s been so hyper-sensationalized and that’s why there’s so much stigma and why we do what we do,” she added.
it is legal to go top less in most of the US. Going topless has been challenged and won many times. This map shows green states where it's legal. pic.twitter.com/v1Do5vYwGn
— Where Do I Fit (@Where_Do_I_Fit) August 5, 2019
According to a map from GoTopless, an organization that advocates for “toplessness equality,” most states and cities in the U.S. afford women some degree of “topless freedom.”
The topless protest debate and the battle over traditional stigmas
Spearheaded by feminists, the sex-positivity movement has gone well beyond combatting “slut shaming” to celebrating overt displays of female sexuality. And in the culture at large, celebrities such as twerk superstars Iggy Azalea and Cardi B exhort women to celebrate their raunchiness as a form of liberation and empowerment.
However, conservative critics have bemoaned the weakening of traditional gender norms, including female modesty. And some feminists have agreed, warning that their lascivious counterparts are playing into the hands of the patriarchy.