Here's where the discussion may be polite or heated,
sensible or something else. We've omitted all the comments
like "Great site!" because they're not really useful. Often
TERA has replied, and sometimes you'll see how.
Keep in mind that this page is in progress. We
have lots of comments but not much time to post 'em. Still,
send yours and we will try to include them.
Names are not indicated unless a commenter gives
permission. In some cases, you may wish to guess whether a
comment is from a woman or a man.
It's an insult
On roving 'round barechested
What about Texas?
Such a marginal isssue
A serious issue of women's
She's a bitch
Just a bunch of pervs
Time to grow up from prudery and
- 2004 August 19, from Elaine Edenfield in Atlanta,
Georgia, partly in response to a campaign to get the
Starbucks chain to allow breastfeeding in its stores
throughout the USA
Even though I'm childfree by choice, I want to voice my
opinion about why mothers should never be discriminated
against when they nurse babies in public or privately owned
places. I am related to several women who have breastfed
babies, and I have current and former co-workers who are or
were breastfeeding moms.
Breastfeeding protects against many diseases such as
breast cancer, ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, childhood
leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkins disease, heart disease,
strokes, obesity, inguinal hernias, osteoporosis,
respiratory infections, allergies, asthma, diabetes,
diarrhea, ear infections, ulcerative colitis, crooked teeth,
and lower IQ scores.
Breastfeeding moms who are diabetic can lower their
insulin intake. Breastfeeding helps moms avoid getting
urinary tract infections, and it also helps to contract
their uterus after the pregnancy is over.
Breast milk is free, while infant formula costs at least
US$1200 a year. Breastfeeding infants and toddlers will help
to prevent about 9000 deaths in the United States every
single year. When the USA improves its breastfeeding rates,
then we can encourage mothers in poor countries to
breastfeed their babies and toddlers. That will prevent
1,500,000 infant deaths in these countries every year.
Babies and toddlers should never have to eat their meals
in a bathroom, because it is unsanitary. Do you eat your
meals in the bathroom? If you are offended by the sight of
an infant being breastfed, then you should either put a
blanket over your own head, look somewhere else, or leave
Infants should never be required to nurse under a
blanket. Many refuse to. They can also get distracted and
come off the breast and look around. They don't realize that
an immature sexual pervert is going to be too easily
offended by the sight of a female breast.
Being offended by the female breast because people have
oversexualized it way past the point even of insanity is the
number one reason why some dislike breastfeeding going on in
their presence. If you are offended by women nursing babies
in public, then you should be shutting down the nude dancing
bars and adult book stores, prohibiting low-cut evening
gowns, banning pornographic magazines and movies that are
rated R or NC-17.
If you are offended by the sight of bare female nipples,
then you should ban male nipples from public view, because
they are the same body part. If you have a double standard
about this, then you are being very sexist. Grow up, people!
You are acting like a bunch of morons and you really need to
get a life.
I don't have a problem with breastfeeding moms who are
customers or employees of companies feeding their children
there---at Starbucks or any other business. Breastfeeding
moms could even be the owners of businesses such as
Starbucks, and it wouldn't offend me at all.
- 2002 December 15, from Jenny Kim in Kuantan,
I use my time to be topfree as much as possible. My
boyfriend accepts my decision. My younger brother saw me
once and didn't bother much about it.
In Malaysia there are a few places where topfreedom is
quite accepted, like on some beaches. For most of the
indigenous population, topfree is a common view.
Nonetheless, topfreedom is easier on beaches with a lot of
Western tourists. They just do it and nobody dares to
complain; but on public beaches where the local people are
numerous, it is not such a good idea.
I will go barebreasted when I'm at home with my female
housemates. They are supporting me because of the idea of
equality, even though at first they frowned upon my
decision. Then they started to go topfree a few times!
I think more Malaysian women will enjoy this freedom, as
Malaysia is a hot country. As long we are in a private
setting, no one can do any harm to us.
Women interested in topfreedom in Malaysia should
2001 November 11, from a
kayaking enthusiast in Saint Paul MN
I came across your site as a link
from from some naturist sites. I applaud your actions and
just wanted to pass along my support. While the world
certainly has more pressing issues at this trying time than
availability of nude recreational venues or topfree equality
for women, I feel there is little logic or historical reason
for what is clearly a sexist position of denying women the
same freedom men have on hot days or sunny days, to go
without a shirt (though I have had ultra-conservative
so-called Christians dress me down for going
"topless" in public places!).
The only real point here is that
women, just as men, should be the ones in charge of the
decision to bare the relatively innocuous but quite
beautiful parts of their bodies. Those who, for some reason,
think it's wrong or sinful don't have to do it (or look at
those who do), but they certainly should not be in a
position to tell others that they cannot do so.
My life mate and I often go
kayaking in very private settings in the buff (completely
for me, topfree for her). We both feel the extreme freedom
of this setting and the great comfort afforded by the
absence of fabric over the upper body. Paddling a kayak with
clothing on is really a great restraint and actually darned
uncomfortable. I really wish we did not have to risk arrest
and significant fines and stigma for enjoying this
Please keep up the good
2001 August 19, from
Evangeline Godron (address below!), in response to the
ads on our photo
It's an insult to my civil rights'
integrity, seeing female nipples and areolas covered and
male nipples and areolas uncovered.
What's wrong? Mine got a disease?
Theirs clean and mine dirty? Whatever the rationale, I don't
think it is rational and I feel insulted to see the double
standard in magazines, on TV, and in other media. Someone
should picket the media for their double-standard
If you really think of it, if all
you see of a person is the nipple and areola, much of the
time you cannot tell if they belong on a female body or a
Has someone forgotten that it is
the diaper area that defines us as card-carrying members of
one sex or the other? Not the nipple and the
from Planet Earth, currently Canadian pinpointed
ON ROVING 'ROUND
2001 July 27, from Lynette
Browning-Brock in Birmingham AL
Rarely do I stand behind a feminist
issue---most seem to be about proving female superiority
rather than unilateral equality---but TERA really tickled my
fancy. I like it. It's a group with a single, clear-cut
agenda leading to one well-stated goal. Here are a few of my
"It's indecent!" In many societies,
women's bare breasts are considered functional, non-erotic
areas. I recall in particular a friend of mine who went on a
Christian missionary trip amongst Romanian gypsies; they
laughed when she wouldn't take off her shirt on a hot day,
but were offended and outraged by her shorts, which bared
her legs and outlined the shape of her crotch. Only in this
western country, it seems, will a bare-chested woman attract
any attention at all.
"A half-naked woman would be
harassed!" I think that statement speaks more on the mindset
of men in this country than for any concern toward a woman's
"Women's nipples are erogenous and
should be kept hidden!" Women's nipples may be no more
sensitive to sexual contact that many men's, and men are
allowed to walk about bare-chested almost anywhere. (It's
never the ones we want to see with their shirts off,
"Men don't want to see unattractive
women's breasts!" Sexist, true, but probably the heart of
the matter. See the parenthetical aside above.
"It will make children ask
questions!" What kind of questions could a child have that a
mature adult couldn't answer? Q: "Mommy, why doesn't that
woman have a shirt on?" A: "It's too hot for a shirt." Q:
"Mommy, why is that woman feeding her baby right out in
public?" A: "The baby's hungry."
"People will stare!" Well, this is
very likely true. People will stare. People stare at damn
near anything. They stare at cops on horseback and amputees
and women with quintuplets and large tattoos and antique
vehicles and anything they don't see every day. People are
some starin' fools.
If you're a woman topless in
public, people are going to look at you. Some will be
shocked and probably very vocal. If you can tolerate a
little eyeballing and gossip, keep it off, girl; keep the
movement going. If you can't, put your shirt back on. It's
as simple as that. Every little gesture helps, but if going
topless for any reason just isn't your idea of a good time,
As for me . . . this summer
 my husband set up a blacksmith's forge in the
backyard. All his friends came over to help break ground.
And I did too, of course. It was June in central Alabama;
humidity was almost total. "Do you guys mind?" I asked.
Nobody minded. I took off my shirt with the rest of them,
did my share of hauling rock and getting grubby, and had a
beer with my husband at the end of the day.
Shirt went back on when the
mosquitoes came out. We got the job done. It wasn't
2000 January 15, from a
man in eastern Texas
My wife is an avid believer that
women should have the same right to go without a top as men
do. She was wondering how to try to get this into
legislation in Texas, to see if she can get a law passed
making it legal, as did New York.
Thanks for writing.
The New York situation is not quite
what you imply. An appeal court there simply overturned a
law as it applied to banning women's uncovered
In Texas, an associate writes as
Texas state law does not
criminalize female breasts uncovered in public. Various
Texas cities have ordinances prohibiting the public
display of bare female breasts, but in the instances
where those local measures have been specifically
challenged, they have been struck down.
In the early 1970s, an enlightened
Austin city council removed from its ordinances any
mention of female breasts that are bared in public. The
justification was gender equality. It wasn't that they
specifically allowed it; rather, they stopped
specifically disallowing it. The distinction is
In Austin today, women can be
topfree in public legally, but few choose to do so. An
uninformed public and uninformed public servants often
make the experience an unpleasant one for women who are
bare chested in public.
I recommend that you get in touch
with the Chair of the Naturist Action Committee (NAC) of The
Naturist Society. He wrote the words above. It appears,
however, that the law is more favourable in Texas than you
City ordinances are often worded
badly and can be overturned, but this takes time, money,
energy, and courage---and preferably more than one person.
But if your city has no ordinance, you may have nothing to
SUCH A MARGINAL
2001 April 25, from
someone in Dallas TX
I find it sad that our intelligent
Canadian neighbors are fighting with the courts over such a
marginal issue. You and your country persons have allowed
government officials to register and confiscate your
firearms, leaving your women with no way to defend
themselves other than baseball bats and harsh language. You
are reduced to calling the police so they can clean up the
mess left by better armed criminals.
You are now left to squabble over
whether exposing a woman's breast s creates equality with
men. Even though I agree with your arguments, surrendering
basic rights to your government has led you to being treated
like disobedient children. I guess it's the difference
between being a citizen and being a subject.
Best wishes to you and your
Thanks for writing.
Canada is an independent country
with its own constitution, whose wording is, I think,
clearer and better than yours.
Some people think our issue is
marginal. It may be for them; it is not for the women
involved, and the issues are connected to matters of power
and control that are very big. Matters of legal rights are,
moreover, rarely marginal and cannot be determined by how
many people think they are.
A SERIOUS ISSUE
OF WOMEN'S EQUALITY
1998 May 13, from someone
I have just heard about your group
via the internet, and I am very glad to know that such a
group exists. Last summer, very close to where I live, a
young woman who was washing cars while topless in order to
raise money for a trip was forced to stop by police on the
grounds that while she was allowed to BE topless in public,
she was not allowed to make money from it. Apparently, her
labour in washing cars was negated by the fact that her
breasts were bare.
I am incensed and more than a
little alarmed by the lack of intelligent dicussion of this
issue in the media. I have written several letters to the
editor of the Toronto Star, but have not succeeded in
getting one printed.
I believe this is a serious issue
of women's equality. The fact that so many people believe
that sexual assault will increase if women are allowed to go
topless in public astounds me in light of the number of
experts who have testified, over and over, that rape is not
primarily a crime of sex, but a crime of power.
1997 September 5 and 9,
from someone in NJ
It is quite obvious to me that
women and men are as different as night and day. They should
not necessarily have the same rights because they are not
the same. Aside from the obvious--men cannot give birth and
men cannot breastfeed babies, women's breasts ARE sexual.
Why are there so many strip bars and why have so many women
felt the need to get implants? Mainstream does not separate
sex and nudity. The only people who are not sexually aroused
by bare women's breasts are homosexuals. I refuse to believe
that anything other than this is truth.
I'm certain that many many teenage
girls would be flaunting big time, especially when given the
opportunity to piss off a woman walking with her husband.
There is nothing positive about this. Lesbians and feminists
would also seek to offend and annoy.
There may be an extremely small
percentage of women who would do it without the intent to
upset anybody---but look who is out there doing it in the
streets so far---lesbians and hookers---both groups want to
I see nothing innocent about the
women who started this issue. One 19 year old punk--deviant
and defiant--who did break the existing law that most people
wanted in place and in another case one lesbian feminist
bitch in New York City who is working for the
Furthermore, the Bible, the Book of
Mormon, and the Koran all say that men are to be in
I see no reason why all citizens
should not have the chance to vote on this issue in a
democratic society. There should have been a referendum.
Miss what's her name in Toronto was by no means innocent.
She knew it was against the law and the fact that she was
hot is bull.She meant to be defiant. She's a
I see no way to work this out;
women are either naked in full public view or they're not.
There has to be a law to back this up, or are you talking
anarchy? I'm sick of feminist bitches constantly comparing
men and women and saying everything has to be equal.
Feminists have done great harm to the United
I think that "top-free" is just
your first step. You probably intend to have that extended
to nude in the future. I will do everything that I can to
make sure that you do not succeed.
It seems to me that the brat in
Toronto did break the law and the original judge did do
something about it and all was well. Evil has taken hold
upon the land for now, but it will not last.
JUST A BUNCH OF
1997 July 9 and 12, from a
You people are all just a bunch of
pervs with a stupid excuse! If every part of the body were
referred to as merely extra flesh, we'd all be walking
around completely nude. I'm 22 to boot. See, you don't have
to be an old geezer to have morals. Get your act in gear,
you bozos. This isn't a woman's rights issue, you morons.
This is a morality issue. You can't legislate morality, eh?
Yeah, well just remember that when I kick you in the teeth
and you try to make legal charges.
I would just like to apologize for
the tone of my letter that was sent the other day. I can
state what I think without calling people morons or
threatening to "kick them in the teeth." I have very strong
beliefs on this subject of toplessness. Obviously you do as
My goal would be to show that this
can actually be a form of bondage to women. The pornography
industry thrives in Europe. I call it toplessness because it
represents, to me, a step backward for women, rather than
freedom. You should know by now that people, especially
guys, are evil at heart. Otherwise, why all the pornography,
especially the S&M and other stuff we are starting to
see now? You as well as I must be tired of all this kiddie
porn people are doing. We want a feeling of freedom, but
"freedom" comes at a price.
The slide to a depraved society is
very subtle. For the sake of argument, I am willing to keep
my top on if anyone is offended, and if women would think
this was "equality" of some sort. We need to come to our
senses before it's too late. None of us can do this on our
own. Like it or not, we need Jesus Christ. Nobody who walks
with Jesus is ever disappointed.
TIME TO GROW UP
FROM PRUDERY AND LIES
1997 June 17, from a man
in London ON
I am not a naturist, neither
nudist, not a gay, just a straight, happily married father
of three. I am a European and a "new Canadian."
Considering a topless man as "non
sexual" and a topless woman as "sexual" is simply stupid and
proves only how limited in his mind the speaker is. Women do
consider a topless man "sexual"!!! It is only us---men---who
do not consider it "sexual" (perhaps except growing in
number gay community---and what about them? Would they also
agree with a topless man as a "nonsexual" one?).
Ignoring women's feelings in this
matter is simply unjust and discriminating!!! This alone, as
simple as logical, should solve the problem and allow women
topless in the same places men are allowed. This is simple
rule of justice. If we say that we are equal, and that our
rights are equal regardless the gender, then we should prove
it the same way other democratic countries did many years
ago. On beaches and in public pools of Italy, Germany,
France, Spain, Austria, former Yugoslavia, Australia, and
many more countries of the world, the problem of topless
women is not a problem.
What you see in a downtown of one
of metropolises of Europe: nobody cares or is excited by a
topless young student sunbathing just on the right from my
little daughter. People are reading books on the left, or
sitting and talking on the bench, or simply chatting (a
group of school kids). There is also a man passing through
the grass. Nobody is alarmed, nobody is hostile. Just peace
and hot summer day in Hamburg. And so it should
The problem of crime, and sex based
crime, is not related to topless issue. Moreover, allowing
topless girls to our parks and on the beach is most likely
to change our society in a most positive way. It is high
time to grow up from prudery and lies. Most of our kids
learn crime and cruelty from the screen of the TV. Show me
one day on TV without a murder on the screen! Show me one
news broadcast without murders as a main menu! This is what
we are teaching our kids! No one has ever seen topless
sunbathers fighting . . .
My German friends who visit us
ignore some of these stupid rules and simply change clothes
on the beach, or sunbathe topless---if they want, the same
way as thousands and millions do on the "old continent." If
we don't want tourists from Europe---banning topless on
pools and beaches is one of the best ways to "repel" them.
How silly of us. We should have made that change and allow
topless many years ago. Now it would be better for our own
sake to do it quietly, and rather pretend that this way it
was always here . . .