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Updated on Wednesday, September 9

#21262

OMG: Topless bike ride Sept. 18... 'cause men are evil and women should be able to go topless whenever they want oh wait they already can

42 comments

  1. Everyone is welcome at the Topless Bike Ride. It has nothing to do with anyone being evil and everything to do with showcasing the rights of everyone.

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    1. It's just that some people are a little more equal than others.

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  2. Are you complaining about seeing boobies fag?

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    1. We don't want to see feminist breasts, those are the worst

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  3. Q: Can men go topless without being stared at, mocked, or have sexually aggressive comments or actions made towards them?
    A: Yes

    Q: Can women go topless without being stared at, mocked, or have sexually aggressive comments or actions made towards them?
    A: No

    Do you see the difference yet?

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    1. If a guy goes topless, you can bet he would love it if girls stared at him or made sexual comments, that's probably why he's going topless. You think if a guy with a nice body biked by a group of girls they wouldn't all stare and say how hot he is?

      You think obese people should go for a topless walk because people stare and mock them for being fat? That's the kind of logic you're using, it's stupid.

      Do you want to walk around at home topless, in front of your roommates, friends, family? You can do that. What is the whole point of this? People need to come back down to earth.

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    2. Q: Do women have secondary sexual characteristics on their chest that have played an erotic role in many human cultures for thousands of years?
      A: Yes

      Q: What about men?
      A: Not so much.

      Oh yeah, you're right. There is a difference here.

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    3. 3b, good thing we aren't living thousands of years ago anymore. There's no reason for it, so let's make a change.

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    4. 3.c, I think you'll find the distinction between male and female chests has been an ongoing concern across many human cultures for the past several thousand years and is not something that happened thousands of years ago and has since ceased to continue or matter.

      This is not the same as saying "there's no reason." The underlying reason for distinguishing between male and female toplessness is that we have, again, for a very long time, viewed breasts as sexual. And we continue to do so. That sexualization is a feature of nearly all women's sex lives, it is depicted in great art from every century, it changes how we dress, it features in the relationship between mothers and daughters through puberty. These facets of life form our identity. To fundamentally alter perceptions of the female body in this way would change who we are, and I suspect not for the better.

      Change all the motivating factors and female toplessness will be accepted as normal. Women may well lose a dignity without erasing a substantial difference in the process, but no matter to you I'm sure. For the time being, thankfully, such protests amount to little more than eccentric youthful activism.

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    5. 3d, please do tell, I'm dying of curiosity here, what would we lose if we stopped sexualizing breasts? A lot of other features indicative of good child-rearing ability that were considered very attractive once no longer are today, why not breasts too?

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    6. I feel like my answer--we'd get an unnecessary fundamental shift of identity, deeply rooted in culture and existing relationships--was stated clearly enough in my comment.

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    7. Put another way, why take a valued part of your body with deep meaning in many aspects of life and attempt to squash all that with indifference? It seems clear to me that sexualized breasts are more worthy of celebration than non-sexualized breasts.

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    8. Okay 3g, I see what you're getting at, but in the meantime it's hot out and I want to minimize the clothing on my body while out running, without every random man I pass 'celebrating' as I go by.

      Gender alone shouldn't mean I get stigmatized for doing a particular activity in a certain way.

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    9. To 3d and others. Go to a nudity allowed event like in Washington or Oregon. Once you see a few hundred breasts in a non-sexual setting you really don't sexualize them anymore (in non-sexual situations).

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    10. People who are saying "breasts have been sexualized for thousands of years!" clearly aren't anthropologists. The sexualization of breasts is a Western stigma, and a fairly recent one too (within the last couple hundred years). Pre-colonial First Nations and modern uncolonized indigenous women went and do go bare-chested just like the men. It was not seen as a sexual thing.

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    11. 3.i, right, in that context they become desexualized. And overall that's a change I'd prefer to avoid.

      3.j, the sexualization of breasts is not exclusive to western cultures, not even close. I never said that the sexualization of breasts was universal, I said it has been pervasive across many human cultures for a long time, which is true. Breasts are also sexualized in our culture right now, and that perspective features in our art, our relationships, and in our identities.

      I think the value lost by desexualizing breasts outweighs the ability to take my shirt off on a hot day.

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    12. 3k, I'm afraid we're gonna have to agree to disagree here. I think desexualizing breasts is a value gained, whereas what you're calling 'values lost' I see as the backwards ideals of a bygone age. Clearly, we're not about to see eye to eye on this.

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    13. That we wouldn't see eye to eye was clear from the start. I was simply articulating a dissent against a progressive position that is often felt but left unsaid.

      There is value in human difference and in all our particular histories, our relationships and culture make us who we are and we should tread carefully when blotting such stuff out. To suggest otherwise is to embrace humanity in the abstract and to be indifferent to real people living actual lives.

      Surely we can learn from the fools who treated their past with indifference. Jacobinism only works for immortals.

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    14. The funny thing, 3m, is I largely see the world the same way you do - what you said in your second paragraph there is a sentiment I have felt my whole life, and will probably continue to feel for most of my life.

      Where we disagree, I think, is where the line should be drawn. I'm a humanist with a firm belief in egalitarianism. My belief is that when a practice or attitude - no matter how rooted in culture and history it may be - results in actual people being ostracized, stigmatized, or treated unfairly through no fault of their own - then that practice/attitude has to change.

      That's where my stance on this comes from - I think sexualizing breasts in today's day and age does more harm to women trying to make their way in the world, than it does good to the rest of society. So on balance, it's something I think would be better off changed.

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    15. Men and women have different bodies and the social norms surrounding dress are universally particular to sex. That's no accident of culture, it's not unfair treatment, it's not ostracization. Topless protests aren't a revolt against different treatment in general, they're a revolt against an important dimension of female sexuality as realized in most cultures.

      The fact that we are subject to one set of norms--of male or female norms--instead of another is arbitrary, true, but neither is inherently more desirable and erasing differences instead of emphasizing equal standing is pointless hubris. The fact that specialized norms exist at all is inevitable, decrying the difference amounts to frustration with the human condition, more so than with our culture.

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    16. Alright 3o. Thank you for staying civil, and taking the time to express your views concisely. I understand your perspective, and the place it's coming from, a bit better now, even if I still don't agree with it (the honest truth is that I don't have strong feelings on it either way; I just don't think our social structure will come crashing down around us if people stop caring about bared breasts). So thanks, at least, for not being an internet troll.

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    17. I don't see how sexualizing breasts stigmatizes women, that seems to be a bitch stretching it. I have never met a woman who said "oh, I wish I could have been topless in public".

      If you're on the topic of egalitarianism, what about men paying for dates, and having to pay more for car insurance, and not being able to get into the club for free? Men and women are inherently different and unequal.

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    18. ^ *bit stretching it*, not bitch! lol

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    19. @3.p, likewise. It's been fun.

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    20. @3q The problem is that sexualized breasts don't just stigmatize topless women; it's an issue for women in all forms of dress. For example, I have some dresses that I really love but I can't wear most places because they emphasize my breasts and, when I wear them, I get ogled (which is an uncomfortable experience). It's even worse when I have to be self conscious at work and fear being made to change or sent away because my boobs are too prominent (even if I'm wearing a turtle neck).

      As for being "different and unequal" in the realms you described, the whole "men-paying-for-dates" thing is left over from when men were making the majority of all money. There's no psychological or biological cause. These days, most women would be totally cool with paying or splitting the bill; I myself enjoy paying for my boyfriend when we go out.

      Getting into the club for free is also something that men have created and maintained. Club owners know that men will visit their club if women are there; it's a simple business decision. If men didn't go to clubs to meet women or if they went just to dance, women wouldn't get in for free.

      As for car insurance, making men pay more is just another sound business decision for insurance companies. Many studies show that men (especially young men) tend to drive in riskier ways and get involved in more accidents than women do. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/general-statistics/fatalityfacts/gender
      So, it would seem that men are screwing themselves over in this whole gender divide thing.

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    21. "These days, most women would be totally cool with paying or splitting the bill"
      Definitely not true, unless you'e in a long term relationship. I've been called a jerk for not paying a $5 parking pass (because I didn't have cash, just my debit card) when the girl was the one driving (her own car) and is the one who choose to park at a place that charges.

      So, what you're saying is you only believe in equality if the cause is biological? Men and women are biologically and psychologically different, there will never be equality there (and good thing too; I do not want to date a women who is like a man).

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    22. 3u, Some girls are going to be basic bitches. Some dudes are, too. You can't escape that. I'm talking about the majority.

      And you have that backwards. I'm saying that biological differences can cause inequality but, for the things that you complained about, a lot of that is not biological. Those aren't about men and women being treated differently because they are inherently different. I mean, your comment about not wanting to date a woman who is like a man is even evidence for a socially constructed difference; if a woman wants to be with you, she has to act as you think a "woman" should. This, on a mass scale, manipulates behaviour.

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  4. Because women out topless still get asked by police officers to 'cover up' because they're 'distracting.' Which happened this summer. In Kitchener.

    So yeah, breaking down stigmas and all that jazz. Nobody says you have to care if you don't want to. Nothing wrong with you if you don't. But there's no reason to treat the people who do care about it, scornfully.

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    1. Moot point. The police officer in charge was acting of his own accord and had to apologize. Selective bias.

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    2. The point is far from moot - it's literally the incident that sparked this. It's an awareness campaign, nothing more nothing less.

      Maybe it's not honestly all that necessary. Maybe women aren't unfairly stigmatized/sexualized when they walk around topless. But at the very least, this even isn't doing any harm.

      (I'm of the opinion that nobody should walk around topless, regardless of gender. Walking around without your shirt on - somewhere other than the beach - strikes me as bizarre and low-class.)

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  5. The Topless Bike Rally is happening this Friday the 18th at 3pm outside the UW PAC. Whether you think it's necessary or not women are still sexualized despite the fact that breasts are secondary sex characteristics, just like adam's apples and facial hair. The Topless Bike Rally is protesting this sexualization, that's all there is to it.

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    1. The Topless Bike Rally is happening this Friday the 18th at 3pm outside the UW PAC. Whether you think it's necessary or not women will still be nude from the waist up, so come on down, pitch a tent (if ya know what I mean) and check it out!!!

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    2. And 5a demonstrates why there is a need for change. Women going topless is regarded as a spectacle, the sole purpose of which is for the arousal of men, and that's wrong. I encourage protesters to bring pepper spray to douse the eyes of any men who come to ogle.

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    3. Two wrongs make justice, as we know.

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    4. I'll be that guy jerking off from the window of my office as I watch from a distance.

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  6. If breasts aren't sexual, does this mean I get to pat them the same way we pat each others backs, without being charged with sexual assault.

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    1. Touching anyone, male or female, in any way without their consent can be considered simple assault under Canadian law. Does that answer your smartass question?

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    2. "Touching anyone in any way without their consent" can be considered assault; might only be considered assault by an autistic pedant; would be thrown out by pretty well any judge without substantiating a more robust notion of assault, as commonly understood.

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    3. 6b, the point still stands. Breasts will be an uncomfortable part of your body for strangers to touch even if they aren't as sexualized. Think about armpits. Hell, a stranger pats me on the head after I tell them not too better be ready to get clocked.

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    4. Aren't AS sexualized? So you want them to be sexualized a little, just not as much?

      Someone pats you on the head even when you asked them not to - and punching them in the face is a totally appropriate response because they apparently 'assaulted' you first? lol

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  7. Women love it when I touch their boobs. A girl touching my chest doesn't really turn me on at all. Boobs can be used to sexually arouse a girl, so do girls just not want any of that anymore? If you're having sex, are you going to be like "hey, don't touch my boobs because sexualizing my boobs is causing a lot of problems for me and other women".

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    1. Erogenous zones are complex things, and they're different for everyone.

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