Rock Creek Park, Washington D.C. December 2015.
I have e-mailed this to every New Hampshire Representative at
Regarding New Hampshire House Bill 1525, which would amend the state’s indecent exposure law to forbid female breast exposure but not male breast exposure.
Dear New Hampshire Representatives:
My name is Chelsea Covington and I am writing to offer some thoughts on Representative Brian Gallagher’s House Bill 1525, seeking to amend the state’s indecent exposure statute to forbid the exposure of female breasts but not male breasts. New Hampshire law currently treats female and male breast exposure equally.
As you probably know by now, a social movement to normalize female bare-chestedness is gaining traction across the country. Representative Gallagher’s bill is a reaction to a peaceful action that occurred in Laconia, which has one of the few local ordinances barring female bare-chestedness in New Hampshire.
The first two articles in the New Hampshire Constitution clearly protect equality. Article 2, Natural Rights, reads, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by this state on account of race, creed, color, sex or national origin.”
You have each sworn an oath to protect this Constitution.
In defense of his proposed bill, Representative Gallagher was recently quoted in the Laconia Times as saying parents find it difficult to explain adult nudity to their children and are “entitled not to have an evolving standard imposed upon them.”
I pray that the deeply troubling sentiment underlying this statement is self-evident, but in case it is not, “evolving standards” have resulted in the emancipation of slaves, women’s suffrage, school desegregation and every other civil liberty citizens of our country enjoy.
To confidently declare that women’s social evolution ends here in New Hampshire is shocking, honestly.
Representative Gallagher says parents find adult nudity difficult to explain. Female bare-chestedness is not nudity any more than male bare-chestedness is. What parents in fact find difficult to explain is why men and women are still treated unequally in the United States. In time female bare-chestedness will be as normal as male bare-chestedness and no one will care anymore. Under House Bill 1525, men and women would be treated differently under the law. Explain that to your children.
Equality is inalienable. It is not the result of a popularity contest. It is not subject to a referendum. A majority cannot declare equality invalid, no matter how many “livid mothers” Representative Gallagher cites to justify his bill. If livid mothers objected to mixed race couples walking the street, would you make that behavior illegal?
In order to justify a vote banning female bare-chestedness but not male bare-chestedness, you must declare female breasts to be primarily sexual objects, like genitals, when in fact, breasts have no primary sexual function. Far less so than the mouth or hands, for example. The only real sexual function breasts have is to please the man looking at them, and that is learned behavior.
Voting for House Bill 1525 would be moving The Live Free or Die State away from gender equality at a time when the nation is paying attention to equality on all fronts.
Trying to envision what public bare-chestedness would look like conceptually is difficult. If you would like to see what it actually looks like, please visit my blog where I have posted unedited videos of me quietly and peacefully walking and riding my bicycle bare-chested in cities across the eastern U.S. I don’t protest, carry signs or shout slogans. I just walk. And you will find a public virtually unaffected by my appearance.
The movement to normalize female bare-chestedness celebrates equality, body confidence, anti-shaming and civil maturity, not wanton sexuality and exhibitionism. Women have been made to feel shame about our bodies for the entire existence of our great nation and we are standing up and declaring an end to it.
Will you vote to amend a law that enables equality in favor of one that mandates inequality?