The annual Go Topless march will take place in Venice Beach and New York City on Sunday, demanding gender equality and exercising women’s rights to show their breasts in public.

GoTopless Day takes place every year the Sunday before Women’s Equality Day, the date when the women of the U.S. were first allowed to vote. The celebrations will gather supporters in Los Angeles, New York City, Burkina Faso, and many other localities around the world, with the sighting of huge balloons shaped like breasts and displays in support of the public acceptance of the women’s body. 2016 will see the 9th annual GoTopless Day.

Go Topless March
“On Sunday, Aug. 28, people in cities around the world are invited to stand up for women’s right to go topless in public,” said Go Topless Organization. Image credit: Edward A. Ornelas/Express-News.

Rights for all or for none

The argument is that “as long as men can go topless, women should have the same constitutional right or men should also be forced to wear something that hides their chests.” Although the claim has a logical basis, the perception of women’s breasts as something that should be covered comes from centuries ago.

Times can change as well as perception and ideas, which is why thousands of men and women will celebrate GoTopless Day as an effort to establish new grounds on what they believe should be the norm for baring breasts in public. Men who support the initiative are asked to cover their own breasts with bras.

Go Topless Day
Image credit: Go Topless.

“This is not a beauty contest. It is about freedom. We have support; there are many men who come to our events too,” stated a spokesperson for the Go Topless organization back in 2011.

Demonstrations have taken place in several states where baring breasts in public is deemed illegal. To circumvent this, protesters have worn latex nipples and pasties to partially cover them and avoid getting arrested, as women are not supposed to show their areola and nipples in public. Men are allowed to be bare chested in public places while women are not, which is viewed by activists as a moral and legal double standard.

One of the most important cities to recognize women’s right to be topless is New York City, as the movie ‘Free The Nipple’ displayed an immense support for the legalization of women being bare-chested in public. The movie featured prominent artists and outspoken persons for women’s rights such as Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Iggy Azalea, and Rihanna.

Topless map
The states colored in green are those that allow women to bare breasts in public. Orange states are ambiguous on their laws regarding the matter and red states deem the public display of breasts as illegal. Image credit: Go Topless Organization.

The GoTopless movement is propelled by the Raelian Movement, a UFO religion that suggests life on earth was produced thanks to an extraterrestrial race known as the Elohim, who led humans to believe that they were angels, prophets or gods.

Even if the state permits women to bare breasts in public, police can still arrest demonstrators under the charge of disorderly conduct, but in turn, protesters are encouraged to file a lawsuit for wrongful arrest if the only crime was to be topless.

To get in touch with the meeting places for participating in GoTopless Day, you can visit their official website

Source: GoTopless Organization