I believe the organizers of this event had good intentions. However, it was not organized as well as it could have been, partially because it was far too announced by the media beforehand. Hence the excessive amount of immature / rude Males who gathered at the meeting location and followed all the way to the Old Port. "Hey Baby, take it off!" and "Pose for the camera..." were among many comments overheard throughout. Eventually, a couple of Women (who seemed to have forgotten what this event was about) were posing with Men and by themselves in glorified sexual poses for some amateur photographers amongst the sea of others with Cell Phones, Point & Shoots, Video Cameras and even Disposable Cameras. I would hope for next time that this would be more of a spontaneous event with more Females and Male supporters (not just there for a cheap, er, free thrill).
While I'm not
a fan of censorship in general I feel that it's necessary to censor the following individuals herein to prevent any of the photos falling into the wrong hands on the internet and/or being further distributed for reasons other than documentary purposes. I also decided to censor the Males featured within to make things equal :)
Related articles:'Topless' organizer reflects on falloutMarching for right to bare breasts, women faced with sea of camerasWomen march topless in Portland without incident
As a feminist this event bothered me for several reasons, but first I want to address why it WAS necessary to protest something that may technically be legal. Though it may be legal to bare ones breasts in public it certainly is not socially acceptable. What these women (though in my opinion unsuccessfully) attempted to do was to normalize this practice. This event was not meant to be a protest but rather a gathering of women asserting their right to be topless and de-sexualize the breast. Sadly that kind of thing cannot and will not be done in one single action. Since we were brought up in a patriarchal society that glorifies the breasts as purely sexual objects. Clearly when women take their tops off it gets a certain response (especially from heterosexual males) as these ladies learned that day. A more effect way of putting together an event like this would be to organize it in a flash mob fashion. Therefore they would NOT alert the media to their event since it is not a protest and not meant to cause a stir, but rather normalize the practice of women being topless it should not be news worthy. Instead have a group of women and men who support their ideas all meet in a secret location (perhaps downtown, perhaps a park etc.) and disrobe at the exact same moment, then go about their business as usual, if they were in a park say and all began to play a game or lounge around reading. Downtown perhaps they would socialize and hang out topless...etc. By causing a public scene as these young ladies did they not only mistakenly misrepresented what they were doing as a protest, they also brought out the creepers as we call them here in Portland. They also sensationalized exactly what they were trying to make "normal". I hope in the future it can be a better planned and thought out event with people and allies who truly believe in what they are promoting and are not just there to get naked and prance around to make a scene.
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