Men have all the fun when it comes to wearing clothes on the top half of their bodies. They can stroll along the beach with their shirts off without a worry in the world. But if a woman does the same, she could end up with at ticket or maybe even jail. Controversy has been surrounding the issue for decades.
But there are more liberties that women could take that they realize.
Each state has their own laws about public nudity, but in recent decades more and more states are allowing women to go topless. A movement challenging the law, is demanding that women have the same rights as men. There will always be disagreements on this issue, whether it be moral, sexual, or religious grounds.
So how do you keep track of it all? The organization GoTopless, which advocates for “toplessness equality” in the U.S., has put together a map illustrating the different state laws throughout the U.S. The green indicates that there is a small degree of “topless freedom,” but it does not mean that it’s legal.
Local municipalities may ban or allow the practice in opposition to state law, and California is listed green despite the fight in Venice Beach. Orange states have “ambiguous laws;” and red states, female toplessness is illegal.
Even in states that permit topless freedom, the police could still arrest citizens for disorderly conduct. In New York City, where it’s technically allowed, police officers have arrested women simply for going shirtless in locations where it would be permissible for men to do the same, the New York Times reports. “Simply exposing their breasts in public,” police were warned in 2013, doesn’t amount to a crime.