More on the GoTopless Asheville rally: pics and opinions

by Jennifer Saylor on August 23, 2011

It started as a protest and became a gender equality rally attended by a mostly-male crowd watching 50 women take their shirts off. Men can do it. They can too. Toplesssness is legal in Asheville, as we all learned when about a hundred naked breasts were revealed in an downtown event some called tasteless and others brave and beautiful.

Blogger Max Cooper of Dark Topography had one of the most compelling and interesting takes on the event in his own wrap-up and revealing photoset.

One by one, women began exposing their breasts to good-natured applause from the crowd. It was an all-out, feel-good, feminist blowout. You know what I’m talking about. Dove commercials, self-esteem seminars, and every ‘women of all shapes and sizes’ platitude you’ve ever heard could not prepare you for the wallowing we were doing in our own sacred femininity. 

But then something happened. A girl took her shirt off like all the rest, except that this girl was actually drop-dead gorgeous.

 

A Dark Topography: National Go Topless Day (aka: Boobfest)

WARNING: POST CONTAINS BOOBS.
 [a link to the full gallery of photos is at the bottom of the post]
 The Asheville Citizen-Times reported that local women would be observing National Go Topless Day (pronounced “boobfest”) downtown this afternoon. Go Topless Day illuminates the grinding injustice that is the unequal privilege of men to bare their upper torsos in public.

The guy from the creepiest shot in Max’s Dark Topography set (click the link above) appears again.

A GoTopless.org commenter on Dark Topography acknowledged that the protest was indeed affiliated with the Raelian Movement. According to Wikipedia, ”The Raelian Movement teaches that life on Earth was scientifically created by a species of extraterrestrials, which they call the Elohim.”

Here’s the comment:

Gotopless only has one comment: REPRESSION BREEDS OBSESSION. Your article is a perfect recount of this equation. If Asheville men were used to seeing women’s breasts everyday like they do women’s legs, there would be no frenzy over topless women. A hundred years ago, the sight of women in skirts above the knee would have caused the same behavior.

 

 

Yes, Gotopless was founded by spiritual leader Rael, see the following link for a neutral recount of this philosophy that led to Gotopless.org: http://www.gotopless.org/news.php?extend.56

The Citizen-Times didn’t see it that way. Its “report card” editorial feature gave the event an “F.”

“F is for foolish, the most charitable description we can apply to Sunday”s topless protest and the massive crush of gawkers who turned out. Asheville kept the weird all right, as more than 2,000 people packed downtown to watch a handful of women protest for their right to bare their breasts in public, which turns out is not at all illegal under North Carolina law. Sunday”s protest was one of several organized nationwide by a group that contends that laws and social stigma against women going topless in public are unfair. This is the definition of a nonissue.”

 

Report Card for Aug. 23

The Report Card issues grades A through F, and incompletes where necessary, to a variety of news items in this space. Got an idea that makes the grade? Send it to JBuchanan@CITIZEN-TIMES.com . A to reports emerging out of Tripoli that Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s rule over Libya may at last be coming to an end.

Meanwhile, intern buzzed continued into Monday and Tuesday, and BlogAsheville was down briefly due to bandwidth overload due to hits on a GoTopless roundup post. A photoset on Image Asheville received eight thousand hits in 12 hours.

Many of the YouTube videos of the rally were removed due to the nudity they contained. Flickr didn’t seem to have the same problem.

Flickr photoset of GoTopless Asheville: contains female nudity, NSFW.

In Asheville, our rallies make national news and have drums, naked breasts, men in coconut bras and rebel flag bikini tops, and a lingering hint of a religious cult that believes in aliens (and knows that nothing drives online attention like bare breasts).

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