Define Female. Define Breast.

OC April 2016 blog
Ocean City, Maryland, April 2016. Maryland legal language is clear. Nothing defines the female breast differently than the male breast, but so far I have not received my normal assurances of legality from any Maryland police agency. Ocean City Police and Ocean City Beach Patrol officers did last year agree with me that the legal language does not forbid female bare-chestedness, but the police stopped short of giving me a written statement of agreement. I’m working on it. Nevertheless, I have spent many afternoons on Maryland beaches without negative interaction. This week for example I spent two quiet hours of a warm evening reading near the tideline.

Any earnest conversation of topfreedom and female bare-chestedness will eventually turn to how we define femaleness and femininity.  Women should be modest, so say some…and going bare-chested is not ladylike.  Immodesty is fundamentally, to some, a crime.

One of the more absurd aspects of laws criminalizing female bare-chestedness or nipple exposure is how they attempt to define gender and femininity generally and the breast or nipple specifically.

Delaware ran into this in 2010 when a group of transgender women went bare-chested on Rehoboth Beach, exposing their “enhanced” breasts, as law enforcement described them.  After some markedly uncomfortable time in the media spotlight, Delaware finally ruled that “female-looking breasts” could be exposed, but only by people with male genitalia.  People with female genitalia, even with “male-looking breasts” or in the case of mastectomy patients, no breasts at all, still cannot go bare-chested.

Seattle made an “exception” in 2012 to allow double mastectomy patients to use city pools without wearing tops.  Because presumably, according to this line of thinking, a double mastectomy, by removing breasts, removes femaleness?  Which creates, presumably, maleness?  Which then allows for that breast to be shown in public?  It’s a troubling viewpoint when you really sit with it.

In New Hampshire, during this winter’s trial which ruled in favor of female bare-chestedness and the reactionary and failed attempts by some state legislators’ to criminalize the female breast, this question of gender identification caused several conversations to stumble.  The prospect of asking police to first identify who was male and who was female (Cup check?  Gloved hand?  Strip search?) before deciding which particular breasts were legal or illegal caused more discomfort among lawmakers than the thought of just allowing everyone equal freedoms.

Discussions of age are also a source of legislative discomfort, that whole girl/woman conversation.  When someone argues that female breasts are inherently sexual, ask them at what age those breasts start being sexual?  Then sit back and watch them squirm.  14?  You find 14 year-old girls’ bodies sexual?  12?  8?  No one will want to admit to anything under 18 (because porn defines our sexual standards, right?)  But then ask them to simply allow all female breast exposure up to the age of 18 and they look like they are caught in headlights.  You can see them struggling with the fact that they do sexualize teen girls, and the thought of a 17 year-old girl bare-chested at the pool fries their brains.  Otherwise they wouldn’t be calling for the criminalization of the breast at all.

To people who point out the obvious, that monsters and predators exist, that we must protect girls from rape, you don’t stop the predator by limiting the freedoms of the perceived prey.  That creates a presumptive victimhood that preemptively forgives the predator some degree of his or her crime and gives any perceived potential victim a share of the responsibility for all future victimhood.

On to the shape and size of the breast.  Some women have small breasts, some have virtually no adipose breast tissue at all.  Some women have very large amounts of adipose tissue, as do some men.  So for women with no adipose tissue, what about their femaleness makes their breasts more offensive or sexual than their similarly shaped male counterparts?  What about maleness makes a large breast less offensive?  What if a small-breasted transgendered female presents as conventionally male in dress and appearance and goes bare-chested?  Would we even know?  I assure you we wouldn’t, because it happens, and we don’t.

And of course there is always the fun game of defining which parts of the female breast are illegal.  Nipples, areolas, the area “below” the nipple/areaola… get your rulers out everyone!  In New Hampshire, there was some discussion among lawmakers in committee about how they might craft language to allow “cleavage” but disallow “topless sunbathing.”  It proved futile.  Miley Cyrus often speaks on this paradox of allowing women to show the “jug” but not the “nipple.”

All of these questions, while funny on the surface, bely a serious issue.  How do we define female?  How do we define legal (proper) feminine behavior?  X and Y chromosomes can exist in multiple configurations in all genders.  Intersexed people are born with sexual characteristics of males and females.  Human beings exist on a spectrum of gender and behavior. Where do we draw the line?  

Why draw a line at all?

Why not just treat everyone equally?


66 thoughts on “Define Female. Define Breast.

  1. Control freaks do not operate on rational thought like we do. Somewhere along the line, they were poisoned with the idea that women must somehow be oppressed – in the past, it was no voting rights and other nonsensical restrictions. As women eventually broke free of their unnatural bonds, about the only thing left for the controllers to exercise power over women was body coverage. Anyone out there know that many decades ago women had to be covered up at beaches and pools while the males were nude? It was societally accepted and nobody cared. Some girls and women resented being treated differently, but felt deep down it was a lost cause. Controlling women is not a recent phenomenon. Heck, even women are controllers, and they ought to be ashamed of themselves for depriving their sisters of freedoms that ought to be automatic and unquestioned. Even bras were man-made as cover-and-control contraptions, and, unless you’re doing high impact athletics with large breasts, bras aren’t good for you, and the restriction of sub-surface lymphatic flow is a cancer-provoker. Breasts are designed to be free, and their natural movement stimulates lymph flow, so much so that the occurrence of breast cancer in bra-free women is so low that it’s roughly the same as that of men. So it’s always been a matter of a board of self-righteous people, of both sexes, asserting control over freedom lovers. History will not be kind to those who just give in. Fight on for what we know is right. This, and future generations, are depending on us.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. “…Delaware finally ruled that “female-looking breasts” could be exposed, but only by people with male genitalia…”

    After I pulled my considerable heft off the floor, I had to re-read the above quoted passage. The only word I could come up with is not even a word, but more so a “phrase,” postured under the guise of an acronym…WTF??? I have no idea what type of thinking played a role in coming up with that frame of thought, but I have a good idea.

    As with the FTN (Free The Nipple) movement, I personally feel the whole concern is wrapped around persons thinking an Armageddon like response will happen. As soon as females (Women, Ladies, Girls) are allowed to freely go topless, legions of sex-crazed maniacle Men will immediately start running around with their junk erect and will in no doubt sexually harass all that sweet “fruit” hanging for plucking! Here’s the truth, and the simple foundation that the FTN movement was made on folks. Women only want to have the freedom to go topless w/o harassment (just as Males do), not that they are going to suddenly stop wearing a shirt/top each and everyday of their life! Oh, and newsflash, even if Women are legally (which there shouldn’t even have to be a written law!!!) given this same “right” as Men, many just won’t do it!

    Please, keep this blog alive and living! I look forward to all of your posts!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Another well-written, thought-provoking and, at times, funny article pointing out the serious and ludicrous sides of the top free argument to great effect. Keep up the great work!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We draw lines because drawing lines has given us a lot. I know who I am and what parts of the universe are me and not me because I draw lines. I can count sheep because I can draw lines. I know where one sheep ends and the next begins and without those kinds of lines, I couldn’t count sheep. In fact, I need to be able to draw a line between sheep and goats in order to count sheep. So that is where drawing lines came from.


  5. But it turns out that drawing lines is actually lying to ourselves about the nature of the universe. There are no firm lines between anything and anything else. Everything is gradients. Maybe it is easy to say that the DNA in my brain cells is me. But is the air in my lungs me? Is the oxygen dissolved in my blood me? When does that oxygen atom cease to be part of me? Any firm clear definition ends up being ludicrous in some situation or other. Of course, so do the concepts “female” and “male”.

    Legality doesn’t like the idea that categories are arbitrary but they are. Humans set themselves up to need categories. If I label myself “heterosexual male” then I better know what is female and what is male. If I accept that there are grey areas in between female and male then I will have to accept that the definition of heterosexual isn’t very clear either. Of course the advantage of living in a world made up of gradients between concepts is that you end up not being so focused on us and them and start to think of we as everything.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Brilliant. It proves the ridiculous issue of people who try to prevent things because they think it’s “wrong,” but they can’t define “wrong.” It reminds me of the people who want a Constitutional amendment against desecration of the flag. “OK, so I can’t burn a 50-star flag. How about a 48-star flag? How about a flag with no stars? How about red, white and blue bunting? And what about stores that sell paper plates with a flag pattern? Is putting potato salad on the flag considered ‘desecration’? What if I’m offended by a biker wearing a flag on his jacket? Is that illegal?”
    I’ve also read some of the legal statutes trying to define what constitutes an illegally exposed breast. It’s all so silly and ridiculous. Thanks for point it out in such a clear and rational way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for visiting and commenting. Yes, I have noticed a common reaction when one asks a person to define terms. It really frustrates people who are resisting some change to watch the house of cards crumble, the illusion of order created by “common sense” values. But ask them to define those common sense values and to justify them logically and of course they can’t. Because traditions are about logic. They are about emotion, and if the driving emotion is fear, than all the logic in the world will not alleviate an irrational fear. This is why I have set myself the goal of reducing people’s fears of female bare-chestedness. We just can’t have meaningful conversations if either party is panicked. Thank you again. Be well.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It is well supported by the science that moral reactions are not based on logic. Moral reactions are a form of aesthetic reaction. Sacredness is not something that liberals generally recognize but it is no more or less an aesthetic reaction than sympathy or loyalty or fairness. And just as sympathy can often support both sides of a moral conundrum so can sacredness because just as caring for one party may involve harming another, so one person’s sacred can be another’s blasphemy.

        I was bitten on the back by a tick last weekend. An arachnid known for carrying disease burrowed into my skin, intent on feeding on my blood. Needless to say I wasn’t thrilled. I didn’t notice it for an entire day so it was well and truly deeply set in by the time I found it. I had a doctor pull it out and kill it. Most people would consider it a dirty lowly creature. Some with a more conservative nature might even say that it is morally unclean, a “blasphemy upon our high and holy bodies which were made in God’s image”. I, on the other hand, see it as a sacred creature. I took a moment to mourn its death and had mixed feelings about my inability to tolerate the interaction with it.

        Each of us could pull forth logical reasons for it’s lowliness or sacredness. The fact that it carries disease, the fact that humanity’s intelligence is more highly developed than any other creature, the fact that the tick has the audacity to attack us despite our high level of development. Each of these could be used to logically support the idea that the tick is a blasphemous creature.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. … continued from previous comment.

        Yet I would point to a common trend in evolution. Predator’s become parasites, parasites become commensalists and commensalists become mutualists. We are the products of this trend. The bacteria in our gut without which we could not digest half of our food are mutualists. But we have even tighter mutualistic relationships than this. Our mitochondria have their own DNA, they were once separate creatures, probably predator’s which attacked our ancestors when they were but single celled creatures floating in the ocean. They became parasites and then set up shop inside us permanently and evolved through comensalism to mutualism. Even older are the nuclei of our cells which followed the same path.


      3. … continued from previous comment.

        The tick has taken the first step on the same path. It is merely a predator, dropping back off after it feeds, but its habit of burrowing into our skin so deeply is obviously an early stage of parasitism. And this to me makes it sacred.


      4. … continued from previous comment.

        If you are able to follow that logic and still find yourself unable to agree that a tick is a sacred animal, then you are not alone. You see all that logic comes after the fact. It is my rational mind trying to justify my aesthetic reaction. My deeply held emotional/aesthetic reaction to life and the complex interelations of life being sacred, move me to come up with a logical reason that I can try to explain to you. It is that way with all moral reactions. The sacredness of modesty and the sacredness of freedom both stand on the same ground.

        This is why Gingerbread’s approach to top freedom is so effective to my mind. Only the most conservative and closeminded person finds someone else’s sacred “cows” threatening. Once it is clear that freedom is Gingerbread’s sacred cow and she isn’t going to force her attire on others, people will back off, provided that she is not threatening to force her idea of sacred on them. If their subconscious feels that their own ideas of sacred might be discounted, taken away from them, not passed on to their children, then they will not accept top freedom.

        If I and a group of likeminded friends started screaming and marching down the street calling for tick sacredness, people would instinctively fear that we were demanding that everyone allow ticks to bite them. But if I had had the courage to simply allow that tick to feed on me and then move on, and then blogged about it, few would have felt threatened by it.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. See what I did there? You pulled off the tick analogy… beautifully… pun. ?

          No, but your analogy is valid, as they always are. Thank you. You give so much thought to this and other issues, I appreciate and value your contributions.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. I just want to let you know that ‘transgendered’ in reference to the trans men in 2010 should be replaced with ‘transgender’ in your third paragraph. The term is always an adjective, never a verb (much like ‘gay’, ‘queer’, ‘Black’, etc).

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I find that a lot of these issues — being transgender, being straight female but wearing {miniskirt | skimpy bikini | nothing above the waist | [fill in the blank]} — all boil down to a simple “Why should you care?” Of course, many will indeed care, and will gladly recite a list of objections (no point in reciting them here), but upon objective analysis, every one of those objections is based on misinformation, lack of information, prejudice, willful ignorance, or misogyny.

    I do fear for our movement. If we’ve learned anything from the ongoing circus of the (at least) U.S. political process, it’s that fear-mongering, misogyny, rape culture, and willful ignorance are powerful forces still, and are not going to go away anytime soon.

    But there is light among the darkness, a strong force of people who push back and have always pushed back against the forces of hate and stupidity. Our job here is to ensure that our movement is aligned with all other progress, not a distraction from it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I know right? The future president of the country showing mature for topfreedom by posing with a barechested woman just like it’s the most normal thing in the world. Believe me we all sat up and took notice when that happened. Good for him, and Canada. Thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes and then when he was elected Prime Minister it was like a weight was lifted from the whole country. I am not that big a fan but compared to our last Prime Minister, who made me feel ashamed to be Canadian, I am overjoyed to have him as our leader.

          Liked by 1 person

  9. The hypocrisy of political correctness has shown itself again. My head almost exploded reading this article. I live in a very “progressive” town and they are all on the LTBT bandwagon but when it comes to top freedom and social nudity they are staunchly against it even though state law allows women to go topless in public. See this issue is not about equality; it is about politics. Top equality and social nudity are about freedom and that does not serve a political agenda.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I believe that you have misgendered the hypothetical transgender people you wrote about. Transgender people are named by the gender that they identify with, not the one that they were assigned at birth by other people.

    A transgender woman is somebody who identifies and lives everyday life as a woman, but who was assigned some other gender at birth. She may have little breast development (as is common for people who were assigned the male gender), have developed additional breast tissue as a result of hormone therapy, and/or have had surgery to make her breasts larger. She probably spent some number of years living as that other gender before she fully understood her transgender nature. She may have genitalia that people commonly consider male, or may have chosen to have them surgically modified.

    A transgender man is somebody who identifies and lives everyday life as a man, but who was assigned some other gender at birth. He may have substantial breast development (as is common for people who were assigned the female gender) or have had surgery to reduce the size of his breasts. He probably spent some number of years living as that other gender…

    There are also people who are intersex: that is, their bodies and/or chromosomal makeup are in some way different from what we consider to be “normal” for one of the two sexes. (We’re now discussing sexes rather than genders: to oversimplify a bit, sex is biological and gender is identity.) That’s another discussion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for these clarifications. I appreciate you explaining these terms further. The situation I describe from Delaware involved to my knowledge people who apparently had male genitalia and were at the time of the incident presenting with what police and media described as “enhanced” and “female-looking” breasts. As to how this relates specifically to topfreedom, these people were allowed to bare their female-looking breasts (whatever THAT means) specifically because they had male genitalia. Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and write such a clear and informative comment.


      1. Those are definitely trans WOMEN, then. Not trans men. People are identified by their gender, not their parts.
        It’s critical for trans people’s well being (and how we’re treated in society) that we be referred to appropriately. I encourage you to correct this in the post to make clear that the problem with the enforcement is based on misgendering by law enforcement.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, will do. Thank you. Thank you both for helping me get this right. Though I think the fundamental problem with this situation in Delaware is that they treat anyone, regardless of sex or gender, unequally, not just in the misgendering of a person by law enforcement. If we agree that everyone is treated equally under the law, police don’t have to identify anyone’s gender. Right? I will change the language now. Will you let me know how it reads to you?


    1. I might have to write an article about this. But in a nutshell… read buried down low in the story what the real reason is, that social media and porn culture have created a fear in French women that they will basically be shamed for going bare-chested, and then read the lead of the story, which blames topfreedom advocates like Femen and Free the Nipple. Grrr. For French women, going bare-chested has always been more about fashion than comfort, freedom or equality, and that’s fine, but fashion changes all the time, constantly. Whenever something becomes ubiquitous, the avante-garde get bored and move on to the next thing. So of course the French would eventually stop going bare-chested, as soon as the rest of the world caught up to them. That’s their right. But the thing to remember is they have the choice still, they are allowed under the law to make the choice for themselves. After that, it’s just up to fashion and society. What are your thoughts on it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not sure why what is quite common throughout Europe, not just France, has not really caught on “across the pond” here.
        (By the way, I’m planning on going to Ocean City, Md., on May 30 and 31 (Monday and Tuesday). Any chance you’ll be there then?)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Probably not 😦 Mondays and Tuesdays are tough days. It’s an effort to get down there so I need an entire day free. I am still working hard to get some legal assurances in Maryland though. Making some progress, albeit slow.


    2. I read the Guardian on paper, and remember this being reported. However, a letter to the editor the next day said it was rubbish, and that at least on beaches in the south, the trend was going the other way, and people in an official meeting of some kind (I don’t remember the details, it was 2 years ago) were being distracted by women on and near the beach outside completely nude on a general-purpose beach. I think this was in Nice, but I’m not sure of that. The letter was from a public official in the town concerned, who seemed to think the whole thing was a joke.


  11. The amusing thing is indeed how the trans-gender issue exposes the illogic of binary gender rules. For instance, one would assume that, by the old rape-culture logic, any person who identifies as female would no longer pose a threat to other females, regardless of birth genitalia, but, if we’re extending the rape-culture logic to “prurient interest,” then lesbians would be a threat. In the extended scenario, would the only trans-gender “threat” be someone who identifies both as female AND as lesbian? If authorities are going to regulate all this, clearly we some indication of gender identity and preference on everyone’s driver’s license! Or maybe an app so that you can swipe your smartphone, like for payment at Starbucks, to gain entrance into any given locker room and get “reward points” for proper behavior? The other amusing thing is that it makes the particular configuration of one’s chest seem really inconsequential.

    But more seriously. “How do we define female?” We know it is part of a yin-yang continuum, so the only option is to let each individual (not a politician or birth registrar) decide where they comfortably fit along the spectrum. I can’t think of a good reason to try to be more or less male than I am, so why should I demand that of others? “How do we define legal (proper) feminine behavior?” We don’t. Like “Charlie”, we are all “feminine”. Without a binary reality, laws have no option but to be written in a way that what is “proper” applies to everyone. “Where do we draw the line?” The lines must be drawn on the basis of behavior and mutual respect and civility, not chromosomes, curly hair, hormones, knobby knees, adipose tissue, skin color or other legally irrelevant physical attributes. The good news is that legislators “caught in the headlights” are becoming less quick to mindlessly adopt old legal formulas referencing female body parts.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Beautiful comment. Thank you. As with all new norms, the fear factor will dissipate eventually, I hope, and people will feel their midbrain panic centers slowly calming, at which time we can have a quiet conversation about these vital issues. The transgender conversation really does make the conversation about male and female bodies feel meaningless, at times, which is a good thing from my perspective. Male and female bodies will have different health issues, and we should not lose track of that in all this line blurring, but for social and legal purposes, what is the point of differentiating? It really just makes no sense. But as a cisgender female acquaintance of mine once said to me (even as she voiced strong vocal support for topfreedom), men should be men, women should be women. When I asked her what that even means, she said, oh you know what that means. She said she felt most secure in “traditional” male/female roles. I think it will be important going forward to be compassionate toward people resisting this change. Their security structures are being rearranged and it feels vulnerable. In time society will normalize to the new dynamic. For now, for some, it feels scary, even though it’s not actually threatening. Great comment. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely right as usual. We must be patient. Physical gender has been a quick way to establish certain safety perimeters, so there probably needs to be a recognized procedural path to revise official gender according to gender identity (e.g. some US states allow updating of birth certificates). Of course this too is a rather other-worldly notion in countries where there is still no assurance that babies born physically female even get birth certificates. It is good to stay focused on social and legal issues. Medically, reproductive system distinctions make practical sense, although DNA and lifestyle distinctions are increasingly more significant for many health issues and interventions. Binary “‘traditional’ male/female roles” have a certain comfy heuristic and antipodal usefulness — like red/yellow helps define various orange colors — but neither red nor yellow invalidate orange, nor does orange threaten either red or yellow. Overall, I just think the idea of a “gender spectrum” helps make it all less “scary” and also helps to think more clearly about how best to respect everyone’s comfort and safety.


  12. Nice! I really love to see people bravely go where most are too afraid, timid or apathetic. You make people think … and yes maybe a bit uncomfortable … good!!! I have friends who have told me they would enjoy having the freedom to do what you are doing. They actually do have the freedom here in Montana … yet the perceived social norms still prevent many from living their lives as they would prefer. Your are a true pioneer … you should take great pride in your good attitude and courage … i am impressed! Jiggle on!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha. Thank you. The first answer is of course that it will never be viewed as normal until people do it until it becomes normal. There are soft ways to do it. Montanans value individual freedoms. Confidence will express that sentiment. As to me being a pioneer, thank you but I am in fact following in the footsteps of a lot of women who have come before me, all the way back to 1986. I’m having some success because of their efforts. Hopefully women following me will build in the same fashion. Thank you again. Be well

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Jeez! Put a freakin shirt on hippy! There is no war on boobs no war on women no war on free thinking except in your tiny tiny brain. If you feel so “free” why wear pants? Why not free the vagina? Btw, by doing this you completely absolve yourself from saying people are sexist for staring.



    1. So in the same sentence you tell me there is no war on women, you say I have a tiny, tiny brain… But with that said, I will respond to the question. I didn’t say there was a war on breasts or women. I said that American culture and law treats male and female bodies differently, that there exists legal and social standards that treat analogous parts in the male and female body differently, with no rational justification, and that unequal treatment creates a stigma about the female body that affects health, self-esteem and our autonomy. In a free country, as the US claims to be, a country that purports to aspire to equality, I’m calling out the fact that male and female breasts are not treated equally, and working to change that. The vagina and the breast are not equivalents. Currently man can freely go bare-chested, but they cannot bare their genitals in public. I’m comfortable with this standard, as long as it is applied to all genders equally. And as far as absolving someone’s behavior, this is the definition of rape culture. Staring is not a crime, of course, and if you bother to read my blog you will find that I do not label anyone sexist for staring. In fact, I’m not sure anywhere in my blog you will find the word sexist, come to think of it. I am not asking people to stop being attracted to breasts, or to avoid looking at them. I’m saying, let’s treat them like lips, hands and hair, all body parts that can contribute to sexual pleasure and arousal, but which we also understand are not inherently sexual. Hands have many states of being, depending on how the owner of those hands wishes them to be. Mouths, lips, same way. What’s more sexual… the mouth or the breast? Think of what people do with mouths during sex. But we don’t even take notice when someone has his or her mouth exposed in public. Somewhere along the way some of us have learned to treat the female breast as a some type of prohibited body part, and it seriously affects girls and women to be shamed over our breasts. It affects breastfeeding, self-esteem, and victim blaming. With that said, you are treading on victim blaming in your last sentence. Looking at someone is not a crime. But a woman’s attire does not imply her consent. A woman’s attire or behavior is not an excuse for someone committing a crime against her, including verbal harassment, inappropriate touching or making threats.


      1. That’s because they are not equal. Holy jeez! If you are too simple minded to know that despite what you think men and women are vastly different creatures then you are even more simple minded then I originally thought. Wether you like it or not men and women are vastly different. Physically anotmically, emotionally, mentally and ability wise. As much as your hippy brain would like to think otherwise being different doesn’t mean inferior, it just means different.

        I am now turning the tables on you…..stop the war on men!


        1. Are you under the impression that all of these insults are going to change my mind? Or anyone else’s? You do realize there are a lot of people reading your comments right? And that they are forming opinions about our respective maturity and intelligence? I’m comfortable with how my words reflect my character and intelligence. Would you care to elaborate on how men and women are different, as you say, “ability wise?”

          Liked by 2 people

        2. Steve, assuming for a moment that you are not a troll… Scratch that!
          – (new start) Steve, I will try to follow Gingerbread’s example and respond calmly to your concerns… Scratch that!
          – (new start) Steve, on behalf of all vastly different males, may I suggest you catch the next flight to Raqqa where you may find that at least some of the older men there share your view of women… Scratch that!
          – (another start) Steve, if “men and women are vastly different creatures,” how do you explain that, as a male, I so completely agree with Gingerbread and have so little in common with you?… Scratch that!
          – (yet another try) Steve, to help us better understand your strong feelings, especially anotmically, perhaps you could tell us about some of the women in your life, like your mother, wife, boss…. Scratch that!
          – (final effort) Steve, why don’t you like hippies? How old are you?… screw it! He’s not listening anyway.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Justin,
            You may find frustration in trying to hold a logical discussion with someone whose ignorance is unleashed upon the world daily not only by his inability to control his emotions, but worse, his delusion that his assaultive opinion is more valuable than everyone else’s. He feels his manhood threatened by allowing a woman to do what he has always been allowed, so he lashes out in a mean and arrogant way. He honestly thinks the readers here are unaware of the sometimes beautiful differences between men and women. Of course the name calling does vastly more to hurt his argument than does his lack of empathy.

            Liked by 1 person

  14. We started out on the original idea of “breasts are healthy”, and now, someone wants to ruin this flow with absolute horses___ . Some people have deplorable thought patterns, not remotely worthy of what the rest of us are committed to, and they should be deeply ashamed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Breasts are indeed healthy. Thank you as always for your support. While I of course find it frustrating to read vitriolic comments filled with insults and devoid of substance, I do want to emphasize how important it is to introduce the ideals of topfreedom, namely gender equality and body positivity and bringing an end to victim blaming, to the parts of our culture that have either never been exposed to the ideas or deeply oppose those ideals. As frustrating as it is to hear the insults and negativity, I ask that all of the real topfreedom supporters out there to continue modeling by example the power of civil discourse and peaceful but relentless progress. We are moving the line, truly, and to some people that movement feels very unsettling. The people who feel most afraid of this evolution are the ones who express the most anger, especially the anger that they can’t really elaborate or explain in rational messages. They are afraid and that’s enough for them to justify their outbursts. But if we weather the outbursts and show them that their fears are unfounded, we change the conversation permanently for the better. So as hard as it is, believe me I know, please remember that the only way to normalize female bare-chestedness is to make people comfortable (not afraid) with this new dynamic. It is working. I promise. We’ve had an incredible year. And we need the help of all our supporters to move forward. I very much appreciate all the emotion and investment everyone is putting into this.


  15. Excellent blog! Keep up the great work. Baltimore and MD in general needs more openness. Quick question, have you found any correlation between women with higher/larger cheek bones and larger nipples?


  16. This is such a great entry.

    I was struck reading this post how the core issues behind regulating bare breasts are the same issues behind the so-called bathroom bills:
    – the power of men to define just what is a “woman’s body”
    – the automatic sexualization of those women’s bodies by men, no matter their age or body type
    – the cognitive dissonance and resulting fear that occurs when said definition (read: sexualization) is shown to be fuzzy and arbitrary
    – ridiculous legal response to: assuage men’s cognitive dissonance; avoid men’s indecent sexualization of “non-women”; and maintain men’s control over gender roles.

    These are the issues we as a society are struggling with. How do we define gender vis-a-vis body? How do we deal with the hyper-sexualization of the nude body (and breasts in particular) in American culture? How do we arrive as a society at a less rigid, less shaming attitude toward bodies and gender and gender roles?


    1. Thank you for this wonderful comment. Welcome to the blog. I look forward to hearing more from you. Navigating cognitive dissonance will make a good topic for an article. I’m getting behind in my list! It’s been a very busy month for the blog. But I anticipate some opportunities for new articles soon. Thank you again.


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