Cassidy Speaks on Breasts and Equality

CassidyIf you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know Cassidy Nicosia was the trailblazer for topless equality in Keene with her walk down Main St. in 2009. She posted the following thoughts as a comment on the recent Topless Tuesday thread, and I thought her words deserved to be heard as a guest blog post:

I don’t understand why people think bare breasts are so “wrong”. The human body is beautiful, and if men are allowed to walk around topless, so should women.

My breasts are not pornographic, and not made for the eyes of lovers. They are a harmless, life-giving part of my body. I am biologically engineered with breasts to feed my child, not to gain attention from suitors.

Society has perverted what women’s breasts are seen as to enforce puritanical thought processes. The idea that woman is inherently a temptress, and all actions by her are to lure in the unsuspecting, innocent male. That’s ridiculous. And we need to stop teaching our children this; enforcing these narrow-minded ideals, and using the gun of the government to get what we want. Anyone should be able to look at a woman topless in public and barely think about it, the same way it is with men. It happens, and it’s not a big deal.

Men who think this is “wrong” are obviously insecure with their testosterone levels, and are offended that breasts don’t belong only to them. If a woman would willingly take her top off in public, it’s not a private ownership of his partner’s body. Sorry boys (yes, you cannot call yourself a man if you fear breasts), but women don’t belong to men anymore, and that’s not about to change. Get over your insecurities, all your traditions, and prejudices, and throw them out the window. (Pssh, and y’all call females emotional…)

Women who fear breasts are submissive cowards. Your body belongs to you, and only you. You can feel free to do what you want with it. Same with anyone else out there. Women who feel they lack control in their own lives (such as in a relationship, where they have been conditioned to be submissive), try to control other people’s lives. Why don’t you teach your children that breasts are wonderful (wherever they might be)? They fed them when they were infants (if you breastfed), and are a beautiful part of the human body.

Breasts may be an attractive feature of the body, but no more so than a pretty face, or well-toned arms. That purpose is secondary.
I hope my son will see breasts while he’s out walking around town when he’s older, and just say, “Whatever.” It’s not a big deal.
Murder has always been wrong, and will always be wrong.

If you think bare breasts are wrong, you’re an ignorant asshole.

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65 Comments

  1. Brodie

    "If you think bare breasts are wrong, you’re an ignorant asshole."

    Really? You would insult the beliefs of others by resorting to name-calling? I would hope liberty activists would be about respecting the beliefs of others. It should not be about whether one is offended by seeing boobs. It should be about the fact that it is so called public property. And it should also be about whether one would be willing to use force to enforce one's beliefs on others.

    Reply
  2. Ian

    I don't agree with name-calling, but I can understand why she would say that. You might feel anger too if people were telling you that you could not enjoy a nice sunny day with your shirt off, simply based on your gender.

    Reply
  3. Brodie

    @Ian

    That is the thing. It is not about gender. It is about showing sexual organs (I would say genitalia, but some think boobs are not genitalia) in public. If she feels anger about not being able to go topless in public, she should feel just as much anger about people being offended if she did not wear any pants or underwear in public. And you should feel just as much anger about people being offended if you went completely nude in public.

    Again, as I have stated in other threads, I think the human body is beautiful. I also think there are things that are private and personal, and I doubt that offending others about something that is so trivial (I doubt most women want to go topless in public) is the best way to go about bringing about liberty.

    Reply
  4. dalebert

    Don't care for the name-calling at the end, but up to that point I think this was brilliantly written.

    Men's breasts are structurally the same as women. All it takes is a bit of hormone to cause them to shape differently and possibly produce milk. So if breasts are genitalia, then shirtless guys are going around flashing their comparatively tiny genitals at people. Is it okay to show your genitals if they're small enough?

    Reply
  5. Cassidy Nicosia

    @Ian: Thanks for the post. Haha. Brad told me you put this up, and I was like WTF.

    @Brodie: There's a major difference with women going topless and complete nudity, and if you don't understand that, you need to do some serious thinking.

    Genitalia are on our bodies for one purpose – sex. Breasts are not. Breasts only have to do with sex as much as men have made them. Breasts feed young, as they do for all mammals. And genitalia allow all mammals to have sex. That is the purpose, uncontrolled by man. I find it quite insulting actually, that you equate breasts with a vagina or penis. If I had two different genitalia on my body, I'd either feel extremely lucky or like a freak. They're not the same. At all. Just because you have breasts doesn't mean you can have children or even sex. And vise versa.

    They are not sexual organs. Genitalia are sexual organs.

    Dictionary.com (Medical Definition):

    genitalia gen·i·ta·li·a (j?n'?-t?'l?-?, -t?l'y?)

    pl.n.

    The reproductive organs, especially the external sex organs.

    My breasts are for feeding my child, not for men and sex. Sorry if you don't like that, but it's the truth: not just for me, but for all women.

    @All: Sorry about the comment at the end. I try to contain myself – I held out for as long as possible.

    Reply
  6. Ian

    Cassidy, if you'd like I can excise the last part. I won't do it without your permission though.

    Brodie, just because YOU can't stop thinking about sex when you see breasts doesn't mean they are sex organs.

    Reply
  7. Brodie

    As far as I know, most women get pleasure from having their nipples/boobs rubbed/played with/kissed. As such, they are generally sexual in nature. So, in my opinion, this really has nothing to do with liberty. It just has to do with trying to offend people. You might as well go have sex in the park and fart in public. It would be just as productive for liberty, which would not be much, and may turn people away, IMO. I could be wrong. Or do you all know a lot of women that want to run around topless? How about fat people? Do you like to see them topless? If not, I guess you must just like to discriminate against fat people, right?

    Reply
  8. dalebert

    "As far as I know, most women get pleasure from having their nipples/boobs rubbed/played with/kissed."

    So do I and I'm a guy. There's sensitive erectile tissue in everyone's areolaes. You just now learning this?

    Reply
  9. Paul

    <blockquote cite="Cassidy">I don’t understand why people think bare breasts are so “wrong”. The human body is beautiful, and if men are allowed to walk around topless, so should women.

    There's certainly nothing inherently wrong with it. It's a social convention, and is arbitrary, just like any other.

    <blockquote cite="Cassidy">

    My breasts are not pornographic, and not made for the eyes of lovers. They are a harmless, life-giving part of my body. I am biologically engineered with breasts to feed my child, not to gain attention from suitors.

    Yet, many people have grown up and lived their whole lives is a society that views breasts as sexual, and so do they. There's nothing inherently wrong with people who view breasts this way, it's just different.

    <blockquote cite="Cassidy">

    Society has perverted what women’s breasts are seen as to enforce puritanical thought processes. The idea that woman is inherently a temptress, and all actions by her are to lure in the unsuspecting, innocent male.

    That's baloney. You're ascribing beliefs to others that they simply don't have. If anything, I would say most view men as more sexually aggressive, and women as more innocent.

    <blockquote cite="Cassidy">

    That’s ridiculous. And we need to stop teaching our children this; enforcing these narrow-minded ideals

    It's not a narrow minded ideal, it's just a social convention, like the notion that crew cuts are businesslike, and mullets are not.

    <blockquote cite="Cassidy">

    and using the gun of the government to get what we want.

    Certainly that's wrong.

    <blockquote cite="Cassidy">

    Anyone should be able to look at a woman topless in public and barely think about it, the same way it is with men. It happens, and it’s not a big deal.

    There's nothing wrong with having this preference about social mores. Others should try to tolerate those like you, who do not view breasts as sexual. Can you tolerate the fact that some will continue to view breasts as sexual? Or, must everyone agree with you, for you to be happy?

    <blockquote cite="Cassidy">

    Men who think this is “wrong” are obviously insecure with their testosterone levels, and are offended that breasts don’t belong only to them.

    I think you're again ascribing very unfair negative characteristics to others, simply because they don't share your views. I don't think toplessness is inherently wrong — but I do view breasts as sexual, because that's the culture I'm from. I would intentionally try to avoid topless women other than my wife, because it's a level of intimacy I've reserved for only her.

    We just have different views, and perspectives. That's ok. We can tolerate eachother – I should not attempt to make you conform to my views, and you should not attempt to make me conform to your views. We should seek to accommodate each other, when possible.

    <blockquote cite="Cassidy">

    Sorry boys (yes, you cannot call yourself a man if you fear breasts), but women don’t belong to men anymore, and that’s not about to change.

    Again, you're constructing this entirely false straw man in your mind. I don't fear breasts — I don't fear genitals either, I just view them as intimate. I certainly don't want to "own" women.

    I think the demonetization of those who are different is both dangerous and entirely too common these days.

    <blockquote cite="Cassidy">

    Get over your insecurities, all your traditions, and prejudices, and throw them out the window. (Pssh, and y’all call females emotional…)

    That's a fairly arrogant thing to say. I wouldn't suggest that you must throw all your perspectives out the window, and adopt mine.

    <blockquote cite="Cassidy">

    Women who fear breasts are submissive cowards.

    Again, you're constructing a false, demonized version of others in your mind. My wife doesn't fear breasts, she views them as reserved for intimacy. That's ok. It certainly doesn't make her a coward.

    <blockquote cite="Cassidy">

    Your body belongs to you, and only you. You can feel free to do what you want with it. Same with anyone else out there.

    That's right. And if a woman decides to keep her chest private, that's also her right. It's wrong for you to try to force everyone to adopt your views, or toss insults at everyone who doesn't share your perspective.

    <blockquote cite="Cassidy">

    Women who feel they lack control in their own lives (such as in a relationship, where they have been conditioned to be submissive), try to control other people’s lives.

    No, they just don't share your viewpoint — and your actions are impinging on their ability to live their lives according to those views. It's a natural and inevitable kind of conflict in society. Both sides should attempt to accommodate the other.

    And once again, you're insulting people because they don't share your views.

    <blockquote cite="Cassidy">

    Why don’t you teach your children that breasts are wonderful (wherever they might be)? They fed them when they were infants (if you breastfed), and are a beautiful part of the human body.

    They do teach them that they are wonderful. They just teach them that they are private. And why don't you stop trying to control how other people raise their kids? I wouldn't suggest that you must teach your kids something different than what you believe.

    <blockquote cite="Cassidy">

    Breasts may be an attractive feature of the body, but no more so than a pretty face, or well-toned arms. That purpose is secondary.

    I hope my son will see breasts while he’s out walking around town when he’s older, and just say, “Whatever.” It’s not a big deal.

    And I respect your choice about how to raise your son.

    <blockquote cite="Cassidy">

    If you think bare breasts are wrong, you’re an ignorant asshole.

    I don't share your views, but I don't think that makes you an ***hole. We just have different perspectives.

    There is a lot of ignorance displayed in this post, however.

    Reply
  10. Ryan

    Funny, my neck is the most sexually arousing part of my body, by this logic does that make my neck genitalia?

    Reply
  11. MaineShark

    @Paul: There's so much I could take apart, but let's try just this:

    "There’s nothing wrong with having this preference about social mores. Others should try to tolerate those like you, who do not view breasts as sexual. Can you tolerate the fact that some will continue to view breasts as sexual? Or, must everyone agree with you, for you to be happy?"

    Now, let's change that a bit:

    "There’s nothing wrong with having this preference about social mores. Others should try to tolerate those like you, who view blacks as inferior. Can you tolerate the fact that some will continue to view blacks as inferior? Or, must everyone agree with you, for you to be happy?"

    I'm going to assume that you don't happen to be prejudiced against blacks. If that is the case, do you view the second paragraph the same as the first? That is, when the same arguments are made about a different prejudice, do you think the arguments are just as legitimate as when they are made about a prejudice you happen to hold?

    Reply
  12. MaineShark

    (if someone with powers wants to delete the first, inaccurate copy of this, please do)

    @Paul: There’s so much I could take apart, but let’s try just this:

    “There’s nothing wrong with having this preference about social mores. Others should try to tolerate those like you, who do not view breasts as sexual. Can you tolerate the fact that some will continue to view breasts as sexual? Or, must everyone agree with you, for you to be happy?”

    Now, let’s change that a bit:

    “There’s nothing wrong with having this preference about social mores. Others should try to tolerate those like you, who do not view blacks as inferior. Can you tolerate the fact that some will continue to view blacks as inferior? Or, must everyone agree with you, for you to be happy?”

    I’m going to assume that you don’t happen to be prejudiced against blacks. If that is the case, do you view the second paragraph the same as the first? That is, when the same arguments are made about a different prejudice, do you think the arguments are just as legitimate as when they are made about a prejudice you happen to hold?

    Reply
  13. Paul

    Hating other people is not even close to the same as viewing a certain body part as sexual.

    If you wanted to use a comparable example, you could ask, do I tolerate the idea that some people may find feet, or earlobes sexual? Yes, I do tolerate that.

    Reply
  14. MaineShark

    I didn't say anything about hatred.

    I'll take it from your attempt to distort what I said rather than answer the question as a "no" answer – ie, that you hold your prejudices sacred, but when the exact same arguments are applied to some other prejudice, you view them as illegitimate.

    The term for that is "hypocrisy." If it's legitimate to complain about racism, then it's legitimate to complain about sexism.

    Reply
  15. Brodie

    Again, how is a woman going topless really helping the liberty movement? It is against social norms to pick your nose. So you going to go do that in public too, to make it more acceptable to society? I just don't get why you all feel such a need to change social norms, that don't really do anything for liberty.

    Reply
  16. Paul

    You really seem to have trouble conducting a polite conversation. Try toning your rhetoric down, and speaking civilly.

    I misread what you said, as "hate" blacks. So, here's the correction:

    Viewing people as a certain race (or gender) as inferior is not even close to the same as viewing a certain body part as sexual.

    Reply
  17. MaineShark

    @Brodie: For starters, folks still get attacked and threatened over this. Attacks against innocent people by government thugs are anti-liberty.

    @Paul: I haven't said anything impolite to you.

    And you haven't explained your claim. How is one prejudice that you hold, different from another prejudice that someone else holds?

    Reply
  18. Paul

    To view a person as inferior, or to hate a person, for attributes they were born with, is immoral.

    To view a particular body part as sexual conveys neither hatred nor disdain. If a majority of women suddenly wanted to start viewing my feet as sexual, I wouldn't conclude that they now view me as inferior. Actually, I'd probably take it as a complement. Depending on my wife's opinion/preference, I might go along with it, and treat them that way (e.g. stop wearing sandals), or not.

    Some women like having their breasts viewed as sexy, or sexual. Some don't. Some want to keep them private. Some don't. I think people should try to live the way they want to, let others do the same, and not have conniptions and start spewing insults when everyone else doesn't share their personal preferences.

    Reply
  19. MaineShark

    You haven't made any argument as to what difference supposedly exists between the one prejudice and the other. You just keep repeating your claim that they are different.

    Your "some do and some" don't argument doesn't make any sense. Some do view blacks as inferior. Some don't. What of it?

    I want to know why you think that your prejudice is somehow different from another prejudice, and deserves respect that the other prejudice does not.

    Reply
  20. Brodie

    Yes, that is anti-liberty, but really, how many women want to go out topless? How many would really go out topless even if it was not offensive? I really doubt it would be that many, as such, it is not really helping the liberty for very many people. And is that really worth the possible consequences, of alienating a lot of people, including other liberty loving people? Why not focus more on economic freedoms, like selling food at the 420 events without a license?

    Reply
  21. MaineShark

    I know a lot who would.

    I know a lot who otherwise are fairly anti-liberty, who think body freedom is important.

    Showing that Freestaters aren't only about guns and low taxes, but actually care about a wide variety of issues relating to personal freedom, would go a long way to winning some of them over.

    The 420 events and the topless events are gaining attention from folks who've probably never even considered questioning the government.

    Reply
  22. Paul

    It's not prejudice at all. Here's the (non legal) definition of prejudice:

    2 a (1) : preconceived judgment or opinion (2) : an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge b : an instance of such judgment or opinion c : an irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristics

    I don't have a preconceived opinion at all, let alone an adverse, or hostile one. I just, personally, view breasts as sexual. That's the way my wife and I have grown up, and decided to conduct our marriage — she would object to me viewing other womens' breasts, because that's something we've reserved for between us.

    Some married x-rated actors apparently keep kissing just between them, but not sex. Some don't have any restrictions. I'm sure, for some unusual couples, looking at other people's feet is considered infidelity.

    It's a personal decision we've made. I wouldn't try to jam my lifestyle down other people's throats, and they shouldn't jam theirs down mine.

    Reply
  23. MaineShark

    "I don’t have a preconceived opinion at all, let alone an adverse, or hostile one. I just, personally, view breasts as sexual. That’s the way my wife and I have grown up…"

    You don't have a preconceived opinion. You just believe things because that's how you were raised.

    You don't believe that breasts are sexual because of some careful anatomical and scientific research. You believe it, by your own admission, because that's just what you were told to believe as a child, and you won't question your beliefs.

    That, Paul, is the /definition/ of prejudice.

    Reply
  24. Paul

    No, I just quoted you the definition of prejudice. It involves preconceived judgments or opinions — usually adverse or hostile ones.

    As I said, when I say that breasts are sexual to me, I am not expressing an opinion, belief, or judgement about their inherent nature. I am describing to you my personal, subjective, response to them.

    Of course it's a product of my culture. I am sure many of your reactions to particular gestures or behaviors, as well as your tastes, are based on your cultural experience as well.

    I find you difficult to speak with, because I feel you display an inability or unwillingness to understand the position of others, to listen well, or to engage substantively and thoughtfully.

    I'd be happy to answer any objections or questions others may have.

    Reply
  25. Kellen

    The argument about feet is only relevant if you consider police officers getting involved and stopping you from exposing your feet because some consider it sexual. IMO this is no different than laws requiring women to cover head to toe.

    Reply
  26. bil

    Nice to see the forum has gotten away from civil discourse and reverted to namecalling and hyperbole.it must be the warm weather.Repeatedly mocking and belittling anothers beliefs seems like a funny way to advocate for a change.It seems to be a trend. —bil

    Reply
  27. MaineShark

    @Paul: You seem to understand that prejudice involves preconceptions. But you can't seem to grasp that your own preconceptions are prejudices.

    You have a "preconceived judgment or opinion" about breasts being sexual. To you, breasts are always sexual. The context of the situation is irrelevant. The individual owner of said breasts is irrelevant. You see breasts, and immediately associate them with sex. Your response is automatic and lacking in critical thought. You don't see breasts, consider the situation, and reach a specific judgment each time. Breasts are automatically sexual to you.

    That – is – what – a – prejudice – is.

    "I find you difficult to speak with, because I feel you display an inability or unwillingness to understand the position of others, to listen well, or to engage substantively and thoughtfully."

    I understand your position perfectly well. Like the majority of the population, you have certain prejudices, and are blind to them. You act on them without realizing you're behaving out of prejudice.

    A racist might see a black man and automatically feel a sense of danger. You see breasts and automatically feel that they are sexual. In both cases, it's a matter of pre-judgment, rather than critical thought. You don't see breasts and think to yourself, "hmmm, why are these breasts exposed? what is going on here? is it something sexual or something else?" – your response is automatic.

    That is what it means to be prejudiced. If you do some honest introspection and try to understand what's going on, maybe you'll realize why your behavior is so upsetting to others, and why Cassidy would react so strongly.

    Reply
  28. Brodie

    "I know a lot who would."

    And what percentage of the female population would that be?

    "I know a lot who otherwise are fairly anti-liberty, who think body freedom is important."

    And what percentage of the female population would that be?

    I would guess that close to 100% of the population would do business without a license, if they did not feel threatened to get one by the government.

    "Showing that Freestaters aren’t only about guns and low taxes,"

    Right. There are issues like freedom to travel without a license, freedom to do business without a license, freedom to build a store in a residential area, freedom to send your child to whatever school one chooses, etc., etc. There seems to be a lot of issues that are far more important than a few women being able to run around topless.

    "The 420 events and the topless events are gaining attention from folks who’ve probably never even considered questioning the government."

    From what I have read, it sounds more like they are getting together to pass legislation making it illegal for women to run around topless. And just like no one will fight for copyright protection rights for the porn industry, I doubt anyone in government will care to back up women running around topless. It sounds like a big fight on your hands for really nothing. After it is all said and done, women will still, for the most part, have their tops covered in public.

    Reply
  29. cyberdoo78

    As a nudist I understand the uncomfortable feelings people feel when they see someone displaying more of their body then they are used to, since I was raised to believe that human body was dirty as a child, and have evolved to the point where I'm comfortable about my body and not wearing clothing.

    While I believe I have the right to display my body on my own property, I respect the rights of other owners of common property(of course my solution is like everyone else's and that is to make all property private property), if I am using common property that belongs to other people(regardless if I like that it exists or not, which I don't), I understand that conflicts will arise and that we as liberty loving people ought to be the first ones to jump to solve these conflicts not incite or cause them to continue.

    No one would argue that if the central square was private property with a rule for or against toplessness that anyone would be allowed to violate the rule imposed by a private owner. Nor would any one argue that a private piece of land owned by two, twenty, or forty people without a rule against toplessness would be mean that you have a right to create conflict and are without obligation to at least try to solve it(the logic being that when two parties are in conflict they have an obligation to solve that conflict between themselves and failing that to call upon a third party to resolve the conflict.).

    Dale has compared this to a gay rights issue, such as two people of the same sex have the right to be affectionate between the two on common held property. Again the problem is common held property, not the right to be gay, topless, or in my case nude. If someone who commonly owns property with you asks you, to do something, such as put your top on, not kiss in public, not be naked in public, and you object to it, then you have a conflict, and obligation to resolve that conflict.

    Dale, if this is akin to equal rights for gays, then what about the equal right for me to burn my wooden crosses in front of Christian's houses(read not on their property but on the public property in front of them.) Would you not be offended if people held signs in the park with slogans like 'queers go home' or 'gays go to hell'? I'd be as offended as you would be because I hate bigots.

    Breasts are part of the human being, they are there, like it it not, they will be there forever(barring evolution where men can have kids as well as women), and some religions practice that toplessness is the same as nudity and it is offensive.

    This issue is important(as my issue to be free to be nude in public), how it is handled is also important. Offending people's 'religious convictions' is not a good way to handle it.

    But, you are sovereign, so be sovereign, but without my support in this way.

    Reply
  30. David

    @ paul: You said "for attributes they were born with, is immoral." In regards to race. Well a woman is born as a woman. She has no control over how her breasts develop or how you view them, she was born that way! If you see them as sexual then that is your own internal belief and your beliefs have no right over anyone else's rights.

    @ brodie: Liberty is not for the majority its for the individual! If one woman wants to go topless that is her right! She is not taking anyone else's liberties by going topless. The social rule that says men can but woman cant is one sexist and two anti-liberty. Remember we live in a republic. The rights of the individual out weights the opinions of the the majority. By thinking about the majority when you are speaking of liberty is not liberty, it is tyranny.

    Reply
  31. Paul

    The extreme arrogance and intolerance of some people is really disturbing. Such people discourage my hope for a peaceful society.

    It is similar to the very worst of the bible thumpers, who hold that their preferences and views are God's Truth ™, and they will not tolerate dissent. These people hold that their preferences and views are Reason ™. They cannot imagine that other reasonable people could disagree, or hold different views. They can't imagine that sometimes, there is no one right answer for everyone.

    To be turned on by breasts is not the same as viewing black people as inferior or dangerous. To even suggest this is beyond absurdity. It is not hateful. It does not make one person less than another. Call it a mild irrational fetish, if that will sufficiently stroke your sense of superiority.

    My wife and I, in our lives, have decided that breasts will be sexual, for us, because we want to live that way. Now why don't you mind your own damn business, and stop trying to force everyone into your cookie cutter mold?

    Liberty lover my ass.

    Reply
  32. Paul

    <blockquote cite="david">You said “for attributes they were born with, is immoral.” In regards to race. Well a woman is born as a woman.

    Absolutely. I think sexism — to dislike women, or view them as inferior — is just as wrong as racism.

    <blockquote cite="david">
    She has no control over how her breasts develop or how you view them, she was born that way! If you see them as sexual then that is your own internal belief and your beliefs have no right over anyone else’s rights.

    I agree, it's my own internal belief, and I don't have any right over anyone else's rights.

    I'm just trying to suggest that we tolerate those who are different, and try to get along — rather than attempt to force each other into our mold.

    For some unknown reason, this is a controversial stance among supporters of "liberty".

    Reply
  33. Ian

    I'm not trying to force anyone into a mold by enjoying a day in the park with no shirt.

    Reply
  34. Paul

    I don't think you necessarily are, Ian. Some, here, have stated attitudes of intolerance towards any perspective other than, "breasts are non-sexual, and I support them being displayed in public/I'll display mine in public".

    Read cassidy's post above, for example (although it wasn't mainly her comments that I was objecting to). She's not just explaining her preference for toplessness, or her opposition to the use of the state, she's stating her attitude towards anyone who does not share her personal perspective.

    <blockquote cite="Cassidy">
    Men who think this is “wrong” are obviously insecure with their testosterone levels

    <blockquote cite="Cassidy">
    you cannot call yourself a man if you fear breasts

    <blockquote cite="Cassidy">
    Get over your insecurities, all your traditions, and prejudices, and throw them out the window.

    <blockquote cite="Cassidy">
    Women who fear breasts are submissive cowards.

    <blockquote cite="Cassidy">
    If you think bare breasts are wrong, you’re an ignorant asshole.

    Along with implications that all men who view breasts as sexual want to own women.

    This is intolerant and hateful. How about a statement like this:

    <blockquote cite="What I wish cassidy had said">
    I believe breasts are non-sexual organs. I like to take my top off on hot days, because it's comfortable for me. I know there are those of you who will continue to view breasts as sexual, and that's ok. I'm sure we can live peaceably with each other, and tolerate each other. I hope you'll respect my desire to take my top off in the summer, and I'll try not to do so in a way that's especially confrontational or offensive to you.

    If conflict is created by our differing viewpoints, I hope you'll come to talk to me first, so we can try to peaceably work out an arrangement that's acceptable to both of us.

    This is the kind of attitude that we need, for a peaceful, tolerant, and diverse society.

    Reply
  35. bil

    Paul-thank you for the comments.It seems to me that there is a certain element of freedom loving people cramming their own personal beliefs down everyone elses throats,and any opposing opinion[and that is all any of this is] is derided and mocked.I wonder how much actual freedom there would actually be if they got their way.'Liberty lover,my ass'.I will have to remember that,you have some fire behind the thoughts.I look forward to meeting you in June. —bil

    Reply
  36. MaineShark

    @Paul:

    Prejudice is prejudice.

    Expecting others to respect your prejudices is no different from a racist demanding respect for his prejudices.

    I'll respect your /right/ to have them.

    But asking him to respect the prejudices you hold is attempting to put a positive obligation on me.

    Sexism is alive and well, and stating that women's breasts are sexual but men's breasts are not is certainly a sexist attitude. Your prejudices don't deserve respect. Asking me to pretend they do is asking me to be dishonest.

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  37. Brodie

    <blockquote cite="">@Brodie Liberty is not for the majority its for the individual! If one woman wants to go topless that is her right! She is not taking anyone else’s liberties by going topless. The social rule that says men can but woman cant is one sexist and two anti-liberty. Remember we live in a republic. The rights of the individual out weights the opinions of the the majority. By thinking about the majority when you are speaking of liberty is not liberty, it is tyranny.

    You completely missed my point. My point is, that there are much more important matters for liberty than being able to go topless. What a worthless cause to make conflict over. It is akin to trying to get people to not be offended over farting in public. It seems pointless, and probably harmful to liberty, to me.

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  38. MaineShark

    To some, there is no more important matter.

    You don't get to dictate others' priorities.

    I, personally, think that the right to keep and bear arms is the most utterly-critical aspect of liberty. All this concern about healthcare and taxation and whatnot is just a distraction. Everyone should work 24/7 on my project of eliminating all laws that restrict the ownership and carry of weapons.

    Hear that, everyone? Get hopping!

    Reply
  39. bil

    Maineshark-You finally have a post I agree 100% with!And I just thought you were annoying!:)Now I will have more to think on.In my opinion it is one of the most important principles we will be dealing with,and is closely tied into the governments control issues,and the progress toward the police state/corporatocracy.Washington didn't use the right to free speach to fight the British,he shot them!(Bumper Sticker,not an original thought) —bil

    Reply
  40. Cassidy Nicosia

    There is a crazy amount to respond to, so I'm just going to try and make this clear and concise.

    Sorry for the long time to wait for a response, I don't have my own computer.

    @Ian: It's really not important to erase it. Damage done.

    I don't think everyone should have the same opinion as I do – and I don't think a woman should walk around topless if she doesn't want to.

    What I think is we should evolve from this narrow mindset that says breasts are sexual. They have been considered sexual for a lot shorter amount of time than not.

    @Paul: If you and your wife agree that her breasts are for intimacy, that's fine, and none of my business. But that is between y'all, and has nothing to do with anyone's breasts.

    And could you please read what you wrote before typing? You'll look a lot more intelligent.

    I said, "Women who fear breasts are submissive cowards."

    You said, "My wife doesn’t fear breasts, she views them as reserved for intimacy. That’s ok. It certainly doesn’t make her a coward."

    If she doesn't fear breasts, then I wasn't addressing that statement to her.

    ——–

    I would never go topless on private property where it was not wanted – I don't have that right, and wouldn't try to take it. But, while "public" property still exists, I may walk around baring breasts, and that is my right.

    Some of y'all are taking this too damn personally, as well. If you view breasts as sexual objects, you can do that. I may think you're wrong, but as long as you don't apply your definition to what's on my body, I don't care. My breasts belong only to me, and I define them. Same with all other women. If a woman wants you to see her breasts as sexual, that is also her right.

    In my comments, I was not addressing my anger towards those who see breasts as sexual, but to those who fear breasts. Mostly, these people happen to not be so intelligent, and I wouldn't expect them to be smart enough to hang around the FreeKeene forums. Trust me, this wasn't a personal attack, this was irritation at the people in the article, the way it was biased, and comments on it.

    Yes, it was pointed at those that teach their children that the human body is dirty. That, I believe, is extremely wrong. And if you do that, and think it's right, we should meet face to face and have a debate on the issue. I mean, you can raise your children how you want, it truly is none of my business. But I do have the right to inform you my thoughts about people like that.

    Any issue brought to the table will turn people away from liberty. And to equate being topless in public to farting is fucked up. Truly. My goal never was to offend anyone, but I knew it would happen. That's their problem, not mine.

    I'd prefer to not see fat people topless, but I'm not going to tell them they can't, and it's not something they can't control. Women are born with breasts, it's part of our bodies. You have to work to make yourself fat. And it bothers me, because I don't understand how someone could let themselves get like that. To me it's a self-respect issue, I guess. I don't dislike fat people, but it bothers me that they could allow themselves to get like that. But, moving on.

    There are plenty of places around the world where women go topless, and it's not a big deal. Society is not to that point in America, but the more women realize, it's okay if it's a hot day and I want to take my top off, the closer it will come. And if you boys don't learn to agree with it, you could at least learn to enjoy it. 😛

    Reply
  41. Oldsig

    Where I live (Ontario, Canada) it is legal for women to be topless in public. There were cries of indignation when the law was first passed and predictions that hordes of women would be running around showing their breasts. In truth few women do so even those who strongly believe in the right and it is really no big deal for those who do. It is an individual decision. In fact there is a news show out of Toronto (Naked News) who frequently do man-on-the-street interviews while topless. Many fashions of today, especially swimwear place emphasis on the breasts and in many cases expose just about everything other than the nipple. This of course draws attention to them and raises curiosity about what is hidden. It is my experience that when fully exposed breasts are commonplace (yes, I am a nudist) the curiosity abates, the exposure becomes natural and the woman is seen more as a whole person. Believe it or not when this happens people spend more time looking at one another's faces than their bodies. Fear of the breast is not rational and I have heard stories of discrimination against women breastfeeding even when most of the breast is covered. Society will not fall apart simply because a few women choose to be topless in a non-sexual way and for those who equate breast freedom with sex that is your problem not the woman's.

    Reply
  42. Paul

    <blockquote cite="Cassidy">I said, “Women who fear breasts are submissive cowards.”
    You said, “My wife doesn’t fear breasts, she views them as reserved for intimacy. That’s ok. It certainly doesn’t make her a coward.”
    If she doesn’t fear breasts, then I wasn’t addressing that statement to her.

    I know that's what you literally said. The implication was that those who do not personally choose, or appreciate public toplessness, are "afraid" of breasts. After all, no one's going around proclaiming that they're terrified of breasts — that's your judgment of their motivation.

    If we wanted to raise our kid with the same attitude towards breasts that we have — that they are reserved for intimacy — we would not want our kids viewing topless women in public. That does not make us cowards, ***holes, or anything else. It just makes us different.

    It also doesn't mean that you can't go topless in public — my preferences/needs don't matter any more or less than yours. It just means that we'll need to learn to get along — and hopefully, both of us should be interested in accommodating each other, when possible.

    <blockquote cite="Cassidy">Yes, it was pointed at those that teach their children that the human body is dirty. That, I believe, is extremely wrong.

    You do realize, that to teach a child that certain body parts are private, is not to teach them that they are dirty.

    <blockquote cite="Cassidy">
    My goal never was to offend anyone, but I knew it would happen. That’s their problem, not mine.

    You don't need to act in such a way as to never offend anyone. But, I think it's important to show concern for the wants/needs of others.

    Saying "it's your problem" seems very callous.

    <blockquote cite="Cassidy">
    There are plenty of places around the world where women go topless, and it’s not a big deal. Society is not to that point in America, but the more women realize, it’s okay if it’s a hot day and I want to take my top off, the closer it will come.

    Sure, and that's fine. The question is, do you desire to be conflictual with those who don't share this perspective, or not? Would you view it as something unfortunate for a more conservative person to be made uncomfortable by your actions, or something desirable, to be sought out?

    Would you consider it a good thing for them to be able to live their lives according to their values, even as you live your life according to yours? This is what tolerance means.

    <blockquote cite="Cassidy">
    And if you boys don’t learn to agree with it, you could at least learn to enjoy it. 😛

    I don't think my wife wants me to enjoy looking at other topless women, but thanks ;).

    I think this last post, of yours, showed a lot more consideration for those who are different, and I appreciate it :).

    Reply
  43. Paul

    I think there's nothing wrong with reform of social mores, as some here seem to be interested in, but I think it needs to be addressed with a very different attitude and approach, than is used for other activism.

    Tolerance and mutual respect is not possible when a person has a gun to your head. For this reason, it makes sense for opposition to immoral laws to be more directly confrontational.

    When you (general you here, not any individual) work to reform social mores, a directly confrontational approach is inappropriate. You are seeking to convince others to change the personal choices they have made about their lives.

    A person does not have a right to use aggressive violence against you. They do have a right to make life choices you don't share. Change in this arena needs to be based on tolerance — with a focus on convincing others, not confronting them.

    Reply
  44. Paul

    <blockquote cite="bil">
    Paul-thank you for the comments.It seems to me that there is a certain element of freedom loving people cramming their own personal beliefs down everyone elses throats,and any opposing opinion[and that is all any of this is] is derided and mocked.I wonder how much actual freedom there would actually be if they got their way.’

    Yeah, this is what I'm concerned about. I don't think it's a majority attitude — but I do think we each need to be careful of it, and to not let ourselves slide into this way of thinking.

    In a free society, lots of very different people with very different opinions, priorities, and preferences, should be able to live alongside each other, and seek to tolerate/accommodate each other.

    Here's a good test, I think: Picture your perfect free society. If it's populated with clones of yourself, there's a problem.

    <blockquote cite="bil">
    Liberty lover,my ass’.I will have to remember that,you have some fire behind the thoughts.

    Yeah, there's enough intolerance everywhere else I look … it's frustrating to see it here.

    <blockquote cite="bil">
    I look forward to meeting you in June. —bil

    Yeah, same here 🙂

    Reply
  45. MaineShark

    "You do realize, that to teach a child that certain body parts are private, is not to teach them that they are dirty."

    Why else would they be private? Folks hide what they are ashamed of, not what they are proud of.

    "You don’t need to act in such a way as to never offend anyone. But, I think it’s important to show concern for the wants/needs of others.

    Saying “it’s your problem” seems very callous."

    It /is/i your problem. No one makes you feel any emotion. Your emotional reactions are yours. You own them, and /you/ are responsible for them. This situation is entirely one of personal responsibility. No one causes you to feel offended, except you. I'm offended when I see someone walking down the street without a gun on, but I take responsibility for my reaction, and don't try to blame others.

    "Would you view it as something unfortunate for a more conservative person to be made uncomfortable by your actions, or something desirable, to be sought out?"

    The word "conservative," at its most basic, relates to an opposition to change. That's the root of any conservative thought process. Blind opposition to change is detrimental to society, and those who practice it should be uncomfortable if a society is healthy and dynamic. (Liberalism is marked by desire for change in all things at all times, and is equally out of place in a healthy society, where change is a result of rational thought, not blind actions and reactions)

    "When you (general you here, not any individual) work to reform social mores, a directly confrontational approach is inappropriate. You are seeking to convince others to change the personal choices they have made about their lives.

    Change in this arena needs to be based on tolerance — with a focus on convincing others, not confronting them."

    When – in the entire history of the world – has that ever actually worked? For hundreds of years (at least), men and women wrote stirring and convincing speeches about racial equality, and convinced only those who already agreed with them. Some folks planned a bit of confrontation and refused to sit at the back of the bus, and there was massive social change.

    Gandhi pretty much ended the era of colonialism by /confronting/ the social forces that drove it.

    Real social change is nearly impossible to bring about by anything other than directly confronting the issue and making folks uncomfortable enough that they actually need to pull their heads out of the sand and thing about it.

    Reply
  46. Lpviper

    This is really a powerful statement, this whole thread, about social conventions and how they shape people's opinions about things.

    If Cassidy says her breasts are not private and may be viewed by anyone, then that is a statement of fact, not an opinion, and her right to display her body in any method she fancies should be respected. If you personally disagree with her method of display of her body, then you don't have to look at it. That is your right. If Cassidy is walking around without a shirt on on 'public property' and you don't like it, then what you need to think about is why it is that she and you both 'own' that land but are at cross purposes about its use. It would seem that the problem is not Cassidy's behavior but instead the entire 'public property' concept.

    Now, on the other hand, women who consider their breasts to be 'private' and so keep them hidden should also have their right to privacy respected. One would not tear the shirt off the breast hider, nor force a shirt onto the breast shower.

    Brodie's assertion that this issue is not important to the cause of liberty may be a bit much. Are other concepts and principles more important? Sure. But I have to point out that without the 'public property' debacle, this would not be an issue. Appropriate levels of body exposure would be determined by, and rules set by, private property owners. This could result in more or less freedom of exposure for individuals, that's hard to predict.

    I guess my big point is, real private property ownership would fix this mess by making everyone responsible for what goes on on their own lands.

    Thanks

    Reply
  47. Paul

    I really don't want to get into this with you again, but I'll respond to a couple statements, for the sake of others who may be reading.

    <blockquote cite="MS">Why else would they be private? Folks hide what they are ashamed of, not what they are proud of.

    Because they want to keep it as something special, not to be shared with just anyone. Do you cover up your genitals? Does that mean you're ashamed of them, or think they're dirty? You wouldn't go around showing everyone a very personal love note. Does that mean you're ashamed of it?

    Think, please, before posting. You ask a question that you obviously haven't taken any time to consider yourself. More importantly, please show a modicum of tolerance to those who are different than yourself.

    <blockquote cite="MS">
    It /is/i your problem. No one makes you feel any emotion. Your emotional reactions are yours. You own them, and /you/ are responsible for them. This situation is entirely one of personal responsibility. No one causes you to feel offended, except you.

    Decent, considerate people care about the feelings of their neighbors. I obviously don't share certain viewpoints with you, but if I were living near you, and somehow causing you great discomfort or offense, I'd want to sit down and try to work something out.

    If you care about a person, you care about their well being and happiness. To say, "that's your concern" in response to someone's feelings, is to communicate indifference and callousness to them. Try it in any relationship, I dare you. When your wife expresses feelings to you, which you think are unfounded, say, "That's not my concern. Your feelings are your problem".

    Call the homeless shelter before you do it, though.

    <blockquote cite="MS">
    I’m offended when I see someone walking down the street without a gun on, but I take responsibility for my reaction, and don’t try to blame others.

    Really? That's offensive to you? Surely you recognize that there will always be people who choose not to open carry. I suspect this is a facitious statement, but if it's true, I'd like to understand the reason for your offense.

    <blockquote cite="MS">
    Some folks planned a bit of confrontation and refused to sit at the back of the bus, and there was massive social change.

    Yes, every belief or social convention you don't personally share is akin to racism. That's a great attitude.

    What's more, this was a law they were opposing. I expressly said confrontational approaches are reasonable when it comes to immoral laws, or other aggressive violence.

    <blockquote cite="MS">
    Gandhi pretty much ended the era of colonialism by /confronting/ the social forces that drove it.

    Viewing breasts as sexual, or choosing to keep them private, is a personal life preference/choice, and not akin to violent subjugation of an entire nation. But thanks for that.

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  48. MaineShark

    "Do you cover up your genitals? Does that mean you’re ashamed of them, or think they’re dirty?"

    No. It means I'd get arrested if I don't. Otherwise, I don't give a hoot. If I have a gun on, I'm dressed. Everything else is dependent upon weather and laws.

    "You wouldn’t go around showing everyone a very personal love note. Does that mean you’re ashamed of it?"

    The note? Yes, why not? The words on it, on the other hand, are ideas, not objects, and not part of the context of this discussion.

    "Think, please, before posting. You ask a question that you obviously haven’t taken any time to consider yourself."

    Just because you come up with a puerile response that you think is the epitome of intellect, does not mean that someone else hasn't thought through things you haven't even considered. Your pride is your undoing…

    "More importantly, please show a modicum of tolerance to those who are different than yourself."

    I tolerate most anything. Except intolerance.

    "If you care about a person, you care about their well being and happiness. To say, “that’s your concern” in response to someone’s feelings, is to communicate indifference and callousness to them. Try it in any relationship, I dare you. When your wife expresses feelings to you, which you think are unfounded, say, “That’s not my concern. Your feelings are your problem”.

    Call the homeless shelter before you do it, though."

    My wife and I maintain healthy communication in which we accept ownership of our own feelings, rather than accusing each other. It works extremely well.

    "Yes, every belief or social convention you don’t personally share is akin to racism. That’s a great attitude."

    There are social conventions that have nothing to do with prejudice. Like holding doors, or helping old ladies cross the street.

    Conventions based on prejudice, like racism and sexism, all have prejudice in common, however, and all deserve to be opposed.

    "What’s more, this was a law they were opposing. I expressly said confrontational approaches are reasonable when it comes to immoral laws, or other aggressive violence."

    That's asinine. They were /using/ opposition to a law in order to attack a social convention. If the social convention had not been changed, the law would still stand. The law was changed because they woke folks up to to reality of their prejudice, making them face the fact that "separate but equal" was anything but. Only once the social convention was weakened could any legal challenge get through.

    Apply similar to your comments regarding Gandhi; colonialism ended because social conventions changed, demanding its end.

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  49. Paul

    I like what LP said, and agree with it. I think it's a good analysis of the situation from the standpoint of rights. One can still behave wrongly, however, while operating within one's rights. I'll focus on this, as an example:

    <blockquote cite="LP">

    Now, on the other hand, women who consider their breasts to be ‘private’ and so keep them hidden should also have their right to privacy respected. One would not tear the shirt off the breast hider, nor force a shirt onto the breast shower.

    Agreed, certainly. But, how about intentionally exposing one's chest in the face of a chest-hider, in order to make them uncomfortable? Don't you think this would be inconsiderate and unkind behavior?

    The chest hider, and the chest shower, should try to accommodate, and tolerate each other. They should each view it as a good thing, not a bad thing, for those who are different than they to be able to live their lives according to their chosen preferences.

    I'm not a hindu, for example, but I'm not going to go find a hindu and munch a nice juicy burger right in front of them. I care about their well being, even if I don't share their beliefs. I want them to be able to live life the way they choose.

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  50. thinkliberty

    Paul,

    How about intentionally hiding one’s chest in the face of a chest-exposer, in order to make them uncomfortable?

    Don’t you think this would be inconsiderate and unkind behavior?

    Shouldn't people just do what makes themselves most comfortable? If you want to wear a shirt — wear one. If you don't want to wear a shirt — then don't do it.

    Reply

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