Topless Women in Public!!!

This Thread has a lot of references to women’s bare breasts being “legally considered” nudity whereas a man’s bare chest is not. I know that this is actually not true in a few areas in the United States. Some places have the laws written to specify that a topless woman can not be prosecuted for indecent exposure and, in fact, is free to be as topless in public as she wants to be.

Can anyone give a comprehensive list of the jurisdictions in the United States where a woman is free to bare her breasts in public?

It is also my understanding that, in these places, even though a woman does have this right, very few women ever chose to exercise the right. Can folks elaborate on this as well?

I don’t know if it’s legal to be topless and female there, but Rochester (N.Y.) has a long feminist fistory, and several years ago a lot of women were going topless to make a point about sunbathing and about toplessness in the arts.

As CalMecham mentioned, in 1992 the New York Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court, decided People v. Santorelli, a case about women being topless in Rochester. The court decided that the law prohibiting a woman from exposing her breasts was unconstitutional on equal protection grounds because men were not similarly prohibited. Note that shortly after the Santorelli case, the New York courts upheld the public lewdness laws that restricted women from appearing topless in public to promote adult entertainment. Also, where male toplessness is prohibited (e.g. Village of Southampton), female toplesness can be likewise prohibited.

Because of the women in Rochester, it has been legal for women to go topless in the state of NY since 1992.

Some other places where its legal: State of Maine, Moscow, Idaho, D.C., and the Province of Ontario.

I saw at some point in the news an item that said that in a locale where toplessness was illegal, a young female had to wear a top after the time her breasts began to “drop”. If we could rely on common sense, many/most of us would have no problem with defining that, but it opens up other questions. Does it make any legal difference if we speak of a mature woman whose breasts are small enough to not “drop”? If a jurisdiction forbids toplessness, just how is the law written? (And can’t you just imagine Justices Thomas and Scalia wading in on this?)

It’s okay in California as long as the person is breast feeding.

BTW, that’s for babies, I assume.

I live in Moscow, ID and I have never seen a women in public topless. :frowning:

I live in Moscow, ID and I have never seen a women in public topless. :frowning:

Out of curiosity, given that they have the right go topless, how often do women in those locales exercise that right in a casual, non-social protest mode?

Public female toplessness - the issue uniting radical feminists and radical mysoginists :smiley:

I don’t have a cite, but I’m pretty sure that exposing a breast for the purpose of brestfeeding is also legal (or cannot be restricted) in New York State.

There is no public female toplessness in Rochester, NY. Of course, the fact that our four seasons are winter, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday may have something to do with that.

No topless women on the streets of Manhattan either. :frowning:

No toplessness in Georgia. The state legislature, seeking to ban nude dance clubs, once crafted an ordinance that was so vague that the state supreme court had to throw it out on the grounds that it would have made it illegal to change a baby’s diapers.

Add Austin, TX to that list.

But usually you don’t see women topless except at the pool at Zilker Park.

A year or two ago, though, a small crowd of women marched/stood topless on 6th street. IIRC, it was a protest of the fact that a girl was given an IE citation for baring her breasts during the Mardi Gras festivities.

Yes, it may be legal for women as well as men to go topless in Ontario, but the only time we see female toplessness is at the nude beaches and during the Pride parade.

And never during the winter. :slight_smile:

I’ve seen some topless sunbathing in Central park.

orono maine they found some women not guilty of public nudity when they were totally naked. I have no idea if the laws have been rewritten since then (last year).

the way was written so that reproductive organs could not be shown and the lawyers argued that no reproductive organs could be seen on a naked woman. yeah. it was stupid, it was some drunk streaker girls… but they got out of it with that defense.

Not true, Sunspace, I seem to recall a protest in Ottawa where two women skated down the canal naked(this was winter, of course, otherwise they wouldn’t have been skating).

Remind me never to date a woman from Rochester.