The Ocean City Lawsuit Explained, a Bit.

OC Blog photo 2018
Ocean City, Maryland, Spring 2017. This photo was taken just before the Town of Ocean City passed the emergency ordinance addressing the “panic” officials claim bare-chested women would create on the beach.

 

So after a summer of patient deliberation turned into an autumn of patient deliberation, we have finally filed our civil rights complaint against the Town of Ocean City’s unconstitutional ordinance banning female, but not male, bare-chestedness.

Rather than rehash the story, which is easy enough to find on this blog and through a simple Google search, I thought I would instead do an FAQ about topfreedom and what parts of this lawsuit I can speak to for the benefit of supporters and detractors checking in here as a result of the recent news coverage regarding our lawsuit.

Please understand that I cannot answer certain questions, mostly the ones that require me to make legal arguments.  Lawyers are involved now… finally.  Thank goodness.  So with that said, welcome, or welcome back.  I’m excited to have this underway.

Q:  There are so many bigger concerns in the world.  Why is topfreedom important and why are you putting so much effort into this?

A:  At first glance, there probably do seem to be many more important struggles going on in the world than women having the right to go bare-chested in public.  But in the broader sense, the topfreedom movement has arisen over decades as a response to a society that has continued to blame women for rape and assaults instead of holding their attackers wholly responsible for their crimes.  Decades of using a woman’s attire against her during rape trials led to some activists removing their shirts and declaring, “Not even now.”  Meaning, not even when completely unclothed does a woman bear responsibility for being assaulted or raped.  The fact that this criminal responsibility has been so difficult to establish has driven and emboldened the topfreedom movement.  Topfreedom now also addresses other areas such as body shaming, body positivity, bullying, forced modesty, entrenched prejudice and gender stereotypes, bias in women’s health and so on.  And what that all means is that at its core, our lawsuit against Ocean City is about the single most important challenge facing American society today broadly speaking, namely… are we a society in which all people are governed by one set of rules, no asterisks, no exceptions?  Is the United States a land of equality or inequality?  Nothing is more important to the future of the United States.  Nothing.

Q:  What has taken so long?  The ordinance was passed in May… it’s January.

A:  Right?  This blog exists primarily to help other topfreedom activists or potential activists and supporters, of all genders, by sharing information and experiences as I have them.  So in that vein, here’s what took so long.  First, unless everything goes exactly perfectly, the law is very, very slow.  But that in itself does not account for the time between Ocean City’s ordinance and our filing this complaint now, all these months later.  First, Ocean City made their ordinance in a panic over a social media frenzy they perceived to be a big deal but actually wasn’t.  As a result, they drafted an amateurish, vague and short-sighted ordinance.  Not wanting to panic in return, I set about drafting a thorough response and seeking a lawyer who actually believed in the case.  It took me awhile to find an attorney who would take the case and in fact, the one who eventually did, Devon M. Jacob, a civil rights attorney from Pennsylvania, actually found me.  I had already approached the ACLU who offered to potentially help another attorney but declined to take the case as the primary attorneys themselves.  That left me navigating between what ended up being six different attorneys all giving me wisdom and advice and tangible writing and research support, none of whom for various reasons could actually take the case officially, but all of whom ended up providing research and assistance which I provided to Devon for his research and writing.  Devon pitched the idea that we make a class action suit, which means a group of people objecting to the ordinance instead of just me, which I wholeheartedly agreed to.  But that meant tracking down a half-dozen women not just willing but able to join, and each time one joined, it meant giving that person the time and information needed to read, understand and ask questions about the complaint she was signing her name to.  We also went out bare-chested with each of them, to make sure they really believed in all this and to give them the opportunity to really know what they were getting into.  Six intelligent and earnest co-plaintiffs meant a lot of drafting and redrafting.  (It’s five now, one had to drop out for personal reasons.)  Then Devon received the drafts back and went to work on them and around we went again.  If it had just been me bringing this complaint, we would have been filed months ago.  But it was important to every one of us that we show this is not just one woman raising this concern, but that other women agree and feel the same.   Complicating matters was that Devon is licensed to practice in Pennsylvania, so he had to make arrangements with a local attorney to sponsor him for this one case in Maryland.  It is a normal thing for civil rights attorneys to do, but it takes time.  Long and short, finally, the complaint is filed.  It is well-written, contains accurate and thorough legal and social arguments, and gives us our best chance at success at the federal court level.

Q:  What happens if you win?  Or lose?

A:  This is one of the questions I can’t answer except to say we have asked for an injunction against the ordinance.  Whether it is granted or not will begin their respective chains of events, which basically both hopefully end up with equality in Ocean City and Maryland.  When it all washes out, I will try to make a definitive history of the thing.

Q: What about the children?

A: Exactly.  Each generation that grows up with the same entrenched stereotypes as the last further deepens the divides and inequalities.  Each generation of girls that grows up thinking they are inherently inferior to boys, and of boys that grows up with the belief they are inherently, legally superior to girls, deepens the divide.  Every image that sexualizes the female breast adds to the stigma that discourages mothers from breastfeeding and girls from feeling confident in their bodies.  Children are not upset by seeing female breasts.  I’ve been doing this long enough to assert that children are upset when their parents tell them to be upset, when they see their parents react with hostility, fear or anger toward a bare-chested woman.  Those children learn from their parents that men and women should be governed by different rules, laws and expectations.  I think about the children every time I do this work.

20170713_161431
Seen in the window of a community-based non-profit just outside Ocean City, 2017.  Superhero made stronger by being bare-chested, to the point he is literally wearing everything else except chest covering.  The bulging muscles, direct stare, crotch bulge, the hovering female head just above the bulge, the large and obvious nipples…this is an image a charity organization felt comfortable displaying in its front window, and why not?  It is perfectly normalized.  Put female looking breasts on it and see what happens…

Q: Why are you forcing your beliefs on me/my children/others?

A: We live in a pluralistic society, which means we live in a society of differences and compromises.  Our belief systems bump into each other constantly.  What I hear when someone objects to me “forcing” my opinion on them is, “Why aren’t you accepting my opinion of what your rights should or shouldn’t be without objection?”  People often only believe in free speech and open expression when the ideas expressed agree with their own.  When an opinion challenges or conflicts with their opinions, they feel it should be banned.  The Constitutions of the United States and of the individual states within the union guarantee me rights.  I am exercising them without apology.   I have a right to assert my equality in this country.  Women in many countries lack this right.  I do not take mine for granted and I do not intend to remain silent on the topic.  Treat men and women equally under the law.

Q: What gives you the right to go naked in public?

A: This is a one of those comments with multiple elements to unpack.  First of all, a bare-chested woman is no more or less “naked” than a bare-chested man.  But more than that, what I hear when someone asks me “what gives you the right to do” whatever, is that they are not making a legal query, but a moral one.  In other words, in places like New York and Washington D.C., what literally gives me the right to walk around bare-chested is the law.  But that’s not what they really mean.  They mean something more troubling.  They mean what gives me the agency, the power, the decision-making ability to make this act without considering the objector’s feelings?  But we never, ever ask this question of a bare-chested man jogging, mowing the lawn, hanging out at the pool.  Ever.  Men can make these decisions for themselves without being asked to consider the feelings of others.  It is not the same for a bare-chested woman.  It implies an expectation of modesty for women that does not exist for men.  And modesty can, among other things, keep a person from voicing other opinions too, like objections to harassment, assault, inequality and discrimination.  There’s a reason modesty is used against women.  And there’s a reason people fear immodest women.

Q: Don’t you see that by going bare-chested you are asking to be raped?

A: I’m not.  In fact, I’m not asking for anything.  I’m demanding that I not be raped, and that if I am, that my attacker is punished to the fullest extent of the law, as supported by a society that affirms gender equality in practice and principle.  I’m asserting that a woman’s attire, or lack thereof, shall not be used against her to explain why someone chose to attack her.

Q: How are you paying for this lawsuit?

A: Our attorney, Devon M. Jacob, is representing us on a contingency.  If we win, he will petition the court for legal fees, to be determined by a judge and paid by the defendant.  If we lose, he doesn’t make any money.  He believes in the cause, in our chances, in our legal standing, and stepped up and volunteered to take the case.

Q:  Admit it.  You’re just seeking attention. 

A:  Yes and no.  The attention-seeking that I am doing is represented by this blog, not in my walking bare-chested.  Ideally, I wait for a world in which anyone of any gender can be bare-chested without drawing attention.  There are places in the world like this now.  But yes, I made the conscious decision when I started the blog to seek attention for the cause.  I knew it would mean scrutiny and criticism, but I think that scrutiny is important to transitioning toward actual gender equality.  Each time a person sits with the idea of equality it becomes a little less shocking to the system.  My goal is to make my blog unnecessary.

Q:  What if Ocean City becomes a topless mecca?

A:  This is a humorous question to me, and is often uttered by officials in whatever city is trying to make female bare-chestedness illegal.  I understand what they are doing.  They are trying to incite panic by invoking this image of topless crowds to mobilize people to voice their objections. But if you really sit with the sentiment, what it really means if all of a sudden a place is crowded with bare-chested women is that a lot of women wanted this freedom, and Ocean City or whatever place was denying all those women equality all this time.  The reality is that the social transition will be very gradual.  But the effort to paint a picture of this sudden tidal change is really quite disturbing to me because it means that if women actually want this freedom in large numbers, that makes it even more scary!  I find that hard to swallow.

Q: If Ocean City becomes topless, what is to stop women from going topless at the Little League park or school functions?

A:  Whatever stops men from doing it.

Berlin LL 2 2017
Berlin, MD Little League, July 2017. Berlin is the neighboring town to Ocean City, through which travelers from the west enter the Maryland beaches. The players on the field are 9 and 10 years old. This gentleman spent the entire weekend bare-chested without complaint.
Berlin LL 2017
Berlin, MD Little League fields, July 2017. Likewise, this well-muscled, evenly tanned, statuesque man walked proudly bare-chested around the ball fields all weekend in a very visually pleasing way, if I may say so. No one asked him to think of the children. Certainly not the moms admiring his chest… or the dads.

 

Q: Why won’t you admit men and women are fundamentally different? 

A: I will.  Some men can’t lift heavy things and get emotional when they are upset.  Some women can lift cars and are stoic as stones.  Every individual on the planet has a unique skillset, regardless of gender.  Drawing the lines at gender feels arbitrary to me.  It’s just uncomfortable for some people to feel that line is not as sharp as they psychologically need it to be.  Men are men and women are women, they say.  Only, they aren’t.  I don’t deny that men and women can be different, but women and women are different, and men and men are different.  I don’t see where we should treat any of these differences, individually or generally, unequally under the law.  One set of rules for all.  Then we don’t have to worry about where we draw the line.

Q:  Why won’t you admit that men are just hardwired to view the female breast as sexual?

A: It’s not the attraction I object to.  I think breasts are pretty too.  It’s the next part… namely that because men are “hardwired,” they aren’t responsible for their behavior.  They are.  The vast majority of men control themselves every day.  The ones who don’t should be held accountable.  It should not be a woman’s job to control a man’s behavior and she should not bear the responsibility when he can’t.

Q:  How can I help with legal fees?

A:  I’ve had a lot of people offer to help with legal fees.  Right now, we don’t have any.  If that changes, and if they become untenable, I will consider reaching out.  But it is important to me that people understand we are not suing for money, only to stop the ordinance and others like it, and that we are not using this as an opportunity to raise money.  With that said, our heartfelt thanks to those who have offered.

Q:  How can I help?

A:  It has been very helpful having readers forward me news updates.  I can’t possibly keep track of it all, and having the collective eyes and ears of the blog’s readership helping me has been huge.  Words of encouragement have been wonderful, of course.  It is especially helpful to hear from women, no matter how able or willing that woman is to go bare-chested.  But I have to say I love hearing from women who have gone bare-chested or would like to.  Also, we have had a lot of very intelligent people offer opinions, thoughts and research through my email breastsarehealthy@gmail.com.  Please feel welcome to share your thoughts with me.  This is a pretty new area of law for our geographical area, and there are so many cases and precedents and arguments and perspectives that affect the final outcome, and they are changing all the time, that having an army of people pondering how to succeed can only help.  I can’t always make a meaningful response (though I do try to acknowledge at least) but please know I read carefully every email I receive.

 

 

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130 thoughts on “The Ocean City Lawsuit Explained, a Bit.

      1. Another point: You may want to illustrate the double-standard women on OC beaches have to endure with the male/female double-standard tennis star Serena Williams suffered recently. Staying with tennis, and more to the point, I’d also illustrate the double-standard women face by reminding the court of the French tennis star who was penalized recently for changing her shirt on the court while men can go shirtless without penalty.
        BTW, what is your name? I’ve never seen it posted anywhere online.

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        1. Serena Williams didn’t endure any male/female double-standard officiating by the umpire. The very same umpire has given warnings to male players such as Djokovic, Nadal, and Murray too. More importantly, the umpire was 100% correct in giving the warning because Serena’s own coach admitted on sideline coaching which was against the rules and the reason for the warning. If anyone is at fault, it was Serena’s coach who should bear the blame. Not the umpire for following the rules and doing his job.

          I do agree that Cornet should not have been penalized for changing her shirt on the court.

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  1. I almost hear “Release the Kraken” in my head as I read this. And I mean that in a good way. If the current #metoo tells anything, is this delay worked in your favor. There’s sharp, very sharp focus now on equality and sexual harassment. Not planned I realize, but this works greatly in your favor psychologically.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. That’s a very well worded and thoughtful FAQ. I wish you and the other women, plus your attorney the best of luck with your case and all your future endeavours.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well said. I see you are trying to anticipate your opponents’ arguments. Just know that your cause is fine, your work is appreciated, and should you need financial help please put me on your list. I’ll see if I can get you letters of support from women.

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    1. Hey John. Thanks for checking in on my blog and for sharing your thoughts. For the record, I’ve never rubbed any of my progress in anyone’s face. I think that’s rude. I’m all for disagreeing civilly. Bullying and gloating don’t do much for me in either direction. I get no joy in gloating and I feel no insult when people try to bully me or gloat over my shortfalls. I put my position out there for public debate, I play fair, one side wins, one side loses, shake hands at the end and go on with life. So welcome to the blog, sincerely. I appreciate your time. You will find the comment section of this blog to be pretty well-behaved and mannerly. Feel free to share your opinions, I just ask that you do it with respect, which you will receive in return. At least from me. I can’t control other people of course, but my readers have certainly shown themselves to be mature and considered people. Just keep in mind that the federal part of this lawsuit is just a part of this whole conversation, so if you do decide to gloat, like Sean Payton last weekend (“skol!”), just make sure you don’t do it too early… Take care. Be well.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. People with your intellect and sensitivity should be in leadership positions. I seriously think you should run for office somewhere. How about starting with Mayor how Ocean City Maryland?

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  4. Your wit shines through in this list of (all-too-)Frequently Asked Questions.

    Wishing you and the others co-filing nothing but the best in overturning this ridiculous ordinance! And it is “ridiculous” in the truest sense of the word: worthy of ridicule, and equally worthy of being challenged. Thank you for doing so.

    “My goal is to make my blog unnecessary.” This line, above all the rest, got a particularly emphatic “YES!” out of me. The work you’re doing is very necessary now. Here’s to a better tomorrow where it’s irrelevant, merely a bit of trivia in the history books. I often make the point that men once fought for their now taken-for-granted topfreedom, too, which is so ubiquitous that it’s used as an argument AGAINST our equal rights; I hope to still be around when our current struggle is an equally amazing “did you know?” factoid…

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  5. Thank you from Delaware for your time and sacrifice with this important cause. You are paving the way for our two young daughters to have a better future.
    If the day comes and you send out the call for assistance,,,Anyway my wife and I can help we will!
    We are with you!

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      1. For those of you out there that believe this case is silly or a waste of time, let me ask you this.
        Our little girls are ages 8 and 6 years. Half of the year when outside in our pool and at the beach they run around and play topfree.
        Someone please tell me exactly what “date” is it in the future that my little girls bodies become illegal? (Rhetorical)
        Then please explain to us, how we explain to them that their friends who are boys, Of the same age are permitted to continue to play topfree? (also rhetorical)

        Michael

        Liked by 2 people

  6. For the record Ms.Eline I don’t think breasts should be sexualized but I also don’t think a family resort should become a topless beach that’s what’s great about OCMD it has something to offer everyone. I’ve been going there since 1980 and I personally don’t believe a Maryland court or judge will pass something like this sorry but I’m a little aggravated that this is even news with all the shit going on in this world we have more important things to deal with since you couldn’t drop it I’m gonna be sitting patiently waiting and in a year or two when this finally goes to court and you have to take your ball and go home I’m gonna have a drink in your honor Dilly Dilly oh tell Michael and Jeff I said Hi

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  7. I was amused by your.rather myopic dissertation of the naked breast equality issue.
    I guess it’s popular,nowadays, to place men at the center of all problems and in a lot of cases I assume that is true, but not here,not this time.
    Many of your observations are true, for example, no children are not traumatized at the sight of bare breasts and yes the cycle will not be broken until change happens and yes,naked breasts are not an invitation to boreissh behavior.
    Although you never stated explicitly that men were the roadblock to women running free you also didn’t dissuade you’re readers from thinking that this was the case.
    I would venture to guess that if you polled men on this issue, nine out of ten would be in your corner. So at who’s feet does this issue really lay ? My earnest communication and observations tell me that it’s women who have the problem with bare public breasts.
    Consider this, many many women have insecurity issues especially when it comes to their relationships. Any woman who consistently believes that their man is capable of being unfaithful ,bare breasts of another women would make her crazy and feed that fear if her husband dare glance in the direction of bare breasts. Women are always comparing themselves to other women and insecure women are the ones threatened most by bare breasts not men.
    An aging women, where Gravity has taken its toll doesn’t feel any security with her husband or boyfriend being around perky young breasts even when covered much less naked.
    I wish you would correct, in the mind of you ur readers, where your issue really roosts and in doing so you may want to change the minds of all women.

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    1. Hi, thank you for writing. If you read back through my articles, you will find me discussing each of your points several times. I don’t expect people to have this encyclopedic knowledge of my writing, I’m just saying, I agree with you. And I’ve written these things openly. In fact, I have often written that I feel the vast majority of men are good, solid, well-behaved people already treating women appropriately and I mean that. And I have also said that I think a large part of the societal discomfort that exists around female bare-chestedness comes from women themselves, for a bundle of reasons that includes but is not limited to feeling vulnerable from a sexually competitive perspective. This whole topic is extraordinarily complex in ways, and so simple in others. I just would like to see us move a step forward, so the woman with the “sagging breasts” for example can take joy in her body too, and that “society” would allow her that space by retraining our eyes to know what actual, natural, realistic women look like, because we are actually allowed to see them, as we are allowed to see men. At any rate, I don’t know how much of my blog you’ve read through so I can’t really know what you mean by “myopic dissertation,” except to say I think I’ve proven my willingness to discuss this issue from multiple perspectives. Regardless though, my assertion remains… one set of rules for all people. That’s the bottom line for me, equality in the application and enforcement of law. What society does with those liberties is a whole other chapter, but for now, I’m working on creating a set of actual laws that applies equally to all. The societal pieces of this puzzle will be evolving for a century after the law equalizes. But they won’t evolve at all if we aren’t allowed to even try… does that seem fair?

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    2. The way you start this is somewhat unfair and uncalled for, which is a shame as otherwise you make some important points. Indeed I raised something similar in another blog here only yesterday. Read a few posts here they are well written and the comments are also even when changing.

      I agree (quite strongly) that allot of feminists material does have a strong women are good and men bad theme, I don’t like that and don’t agree with it. I didn’t think that here, I thought the posts and discussions are fair.

      I’ve not seen the specific items referred to in the reply, I don’t know how old they are and perhaps a reprise and a freshen up would be great. My view is it is a massively important issue.

      I’ve only ever witnessed one instance of a man behaving visibly badly toward a topples or naked woman (and he was brilliantly dealt with by the women) but I’m sad to say I’ve witnessed many more instances of what I’d identify as inappropriate behaviour from women.

      So to finish can I ask for two things. A debate on the points we make and perhaps you try and think a little more on how to open a discussion. Thanks.

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  8. In many ways the arguments in this case will resemble those made in gay marriage lawsuits.
    On the pro side the argument is one of equal protection (if a man can go topless why can’t a woman, similar to if a woman can marry a man why can’t a man marry a man). I wouldn’t waste time trying to use 1st amendment freedom of expression arguments as these have been continually shot down by the courts on numerous occasions in both topless and nudity lawsuits.
    On the con side the arguments will be similar … “yuk we don’t want to see that” or ‘what about the children’ or ‘goes against religious beliefs’, etc.. It may be beneficial for your attorneys to go over the transcripts of all the gay marriage court cases if they haven’t done so already. Wish you the best of luck and thanks for the updates!!

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  9. Thank you for your efforts. Equality is essential. And, principles are important.

    The Maryland Constitution, via Article 46, guarantees: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be abridged or denied because of sex.” Therefore, by law in Maryland, the right to be top-free may not be denied women, but not men.

    Regardless, women should always be treated the same as men. For everything. Always.

    Thank you again. Please let everyone know if/when we might be of help.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you, again, for composing an intelligent, mature blog post to explain the almost six-month wait between posts. Sounds like you have the right help, doing the right thing, the right way. As a couple of the commenters demonstrate, you will continue to have haters even if^H^H when you win.

    I will continue to talk seriously about the topic wherever and whenever I am able. And I haven’t forgotten about the mapping project! The #metoo movement may make this a very warm and busy summer, and we need a way to keep track of it all. (Anyone out there willing to help with a database and mapping project to keep track of local progress, please contact me.)

    Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s always good to hear from you. I hope all is well on your home front. Your contributions are always meaningful and helpful. Sorry for the gap in articles… I was working hard not to make mistakes…it’s hard to keep quiet! But hopefully the discipline pays off. Fingers crossed.

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  11. A well written FAQ that is clear and to the point. I think you have a reasonable chance to prevail especially now that there are precedence in other states and municipalities. In the Facebook post about the law suit, the majority of the negative comments seemed to be from women. I’ve noticed this phenomenon in the workplace too. Men rally around men much more readily and more effectively than women support other women. This might be changing slowly in recent years, but there’s a long way to go. Changing that mind set is really at the heart of what you’re doing I suspect. That’s a lot of freight for you to carry. Keep up the worthy fight.

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    1. Yeah, I agree. Though I do hear a lot of support from women behind the scenes, quite a lot, I think it’s hard for some women to voice that support over social media or in front of their families. I’m working hard to create a context of understanding on the issue so people feel more comfortable saying, you know, I kind of maybe agree with that woman in Ocean City…and not be laughed out of Thanksgiving dinner. Thank you for your time. Be well.

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  12. The New Hampshire Supreme Court will hear our case about equal topfree rights on February 1. Specifically whether cities and towns ordinances that ban women but not men from going topless are unconstitutional.

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  13. I hope the Fourth Circuit judges will finally right the 27 years of wrongs the nation’s judges have been imposing in infringing on women’s topless rights and our nudity rights, both of which are protected under the Free Exercise and Equal Protection Clauses of the US Constitution.

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  14. It was on the radio today that in UK (well England and Wales anyway) that it is 100 today years since women were given the vote.

    There was also some discussion on the Suffragists campaign of legal and peaceful protest that I had not heard of before and I thought of you.

    https://herstoria.com/suffragists-and-suffragettes-an-overview-of-the-votes-for-women-campaign/

    It was also interesting that there were comparisons drawn on the radio of the strength of the debate then and the strength of debate on gender and other equality that is growing today.

    Progress is made in small steps by people who put their head above the parapet.

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  15. This is david in Seattle. With respect to women being able to go topfree, I am not sure if it “helps” them or not in a way that is obvious to spot, but it is surely the case that some of them feel better with that opportunity/right. Also, it is not difficult to search a bit to read of horror stories of principals and staff at some high schools who have abused female students for actual or imaginary infringements of a dress code–where some of the alleged infringement was wearing a shirt and not a bra underneath. Such abuse of the young ladies is a distraction to education and demoralizing.

    If you win then the law goes out or they appeal and you folks try again on the next level up. If you lose, then, you may appeal . . . or sooner or later, you folks decide either to obey a bad law or disobey a bad law.

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  16. By the way, below is what may be an example from a school situation of very poor and irrational behavior on the topic of women’s attire. A young lady student was denied a ride home on the bus for wearing a blue shirt that was one shoulder on and one shoulder off. Being denied a ride home, she then remained at school till a parent picked her after work, which was around 5:45 p.m. and was several hours after the ending of the school day and also after school staff had left . . . Yeah, it is not like the kids at school are going to see a bare shoulder at prom or at exercise or swim class or at the beach . . . but apparently the bare shoulder, one of them, was so bad as to be a serious distraction on the way home of other student bus riders . . . whether it is this young lady wearing an off the shoulder shirt or our hero with the lawsuit and going topfree at times . . . it is not rational and reasonable to be overly concerned about the choice of the women or young ladies.

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  17. Chelsea- Thank you for the excellent updates and, especially, the FAQ’s. Fully understand and agree that you are limited in what you may be able to share insofar as the legal timetable is concerned, but perhaps an update soon? Today marks the first day of spring, and wishing you all the best for a great year ahead. Maybe see you in Asheville, NC this summer!

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  18. If it matters, there is a movement protesting some aspects of the dress codes in high schools in Quebec called the yellow squares movement. The students involved are asking for the right to have bare shoulders and/or to not be wearing a bra every day, among other things . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A 17 year-old in Florida was removed from class for being braless. Informed that she was a distraction to the boys and given band-aids to put on her nipples. This was just 3 days ago. Liz@lizzymartenez has the story. Just wrong.

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      1. you or I or some other need to create a website or other place where people can monitor what comes of the situation in the Florida school. The last I heard, the school had tolerated a bracott day a few weeks after the negative event, but also the district was planning on imposing a bra-wearing requirement in the dress code for all girls of a certain age or grade, for next year . . .

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  19. Ok I know it is off topic and I guess you probably saw it but I was reading about Liz Martinez this poor girl was told to Wear Bandaids Over Nipples, and Ordered by Teachers to “Jump Up and Down” just because she did not wear a bra under a perfectly respectable and appropriate top.

    https://www.bustle.com/p/this-florida-teen-was-told-to-place-band-aids-over-her-nipples-in-yet-another-dress-code-fail-8735344

    Again this appears to be women doing this to other women. If some young lads were looking a bit too long why not just educate them, breasts are beautiful but just behave in a responsible and respectful manner. It’s not even in any of the reports that Liz herself mentions others behaving inappropriately, other than the teacher.

    This looks like a straightforward case of sexual harassment, could you even imagine what would happen if a man engaged on the conversation.

    I have seen lots of school dress code notes where I think the girl may have been stretching a point a little, you know it is fun to push against rules and experiment a little but this does not look like that it just comes across as disgusting inappropriate bullying.

    Anyway let red mist clear and calm down.

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  20. From following what information is available as a matter of public record, it seems that the strategy of the OC government is to stall — first with two requests to delay for more time to prepare, and more recently with a request to dismiss on technical grounds which (while I am not a lawyer) I suspect that any experienced civil rights attorney would have avoided had he thought there were any merits to the grounds for dismissal. While cowardly and annoying, I’m happy to take this as a sign that you, your attorney, and your co-complainants have the town of OC on the run! Keep up the good work.

    Oh, and seeing that I’m a guy, and a straight one at that who might be easily dismissed as just some perv who wants to see boobs, I’d like to add that the article in the news that first brought your lawsuit to my attention was pointed out to me be my wife, a wonderful woman in her sixties who was raised as a good Catholic girl, and who with me is now also rooting for you and for women’s rights in general.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for writing and welcome. We have enjoyed, and appreciate, all the sincere support we have received from men. As I have said in the past, I think the majority of men get it and know why it is fair and important. With that said, thank you also to your wife. Your assessment of OC’s approach is accurate. It will be interesting to see how the court rules for the injunction request, and when. OC keeps punting, and buying another season, and another. In this environment, it may work. But it makes them look less than confident in their actual legal argument. Time will tell… Thank you again. Be well.

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  21. Why not move to Florida and fight the crazy laws het e?

    They have an incredible description of “nates” and other hetetofore unknown body parts brought in by South American girls wearing things. My Mexican GF got harassed at a pool about her thing which was far larger than the strippers who were there, too. I explained she was there with me, a resident, and asked to see what “rule” they were enticing. They mumbled and backed off.

    Naturally, she tgen took off her top, followed by the giggling strippers. We left ahead of the cops, but you get the idea.

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    1. Thank you for writing. I have visited Florida. You can read about my experience in the blog post about Miami. Thank you again. Let me know if you guys have any other barechested experiences. Be well.

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  22. Hi Chelsea,
    I’m glad all is well, and thanks for the update. I’m glad your suit is filed, and that you were able to assemble a class of women to join.
    Now that it’s Memorial Day, any further update?
    Happy beginning of summer,
    Bruce

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  23. I just returned from a week in OC where the “feels like” temps were around 100 degrees. There really was very little reason to wear ANYTHING; certainly being topless for a woman would be more comfortable. As it was the bras I saw were hardly there and it made little sense to wear them given the excessive heat. Women should be free to empower themselves to be comfortable and to be left alone.

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  24. One other comment: I saw a few men with breasts much larger than most women’s. Personally, I find this distasteful, but why should those men be free to go top free while there are so many women not so well-endowed who must cover up? It really is a women’s rights issue.

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    1. Agreed on the equality part. I don’t personally find barechested people distasteful regardless of their appearance, shape or size, or sex, but it will be wonderful someday to have equal laws for all.

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    2. So when a fat man has his top off it’s distasteful but when Chelsea does it it’s ok because it’s all about equality such double standard bullshit.Chelsea do you realize these that are following you are stupid and don’t even know what they are talking about any day now and we can all rejoice I might go to the beach but I know one person I won’t see Chelsea topless lol

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      1. It’s this tasteful when a man has breasts as big as a woman because a man is not a woman. Is that so hard to understand? Same will be true if a woman had a penis. You really are sexist and not too intelligent

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      2. Allow me to apologize to John Brown in case he or she is transgender. I would imagine the transgender community would be offended by my saying that a man with big breasts is just hateful to me because he is a man and a woman. But I think to the larger community of men who are not transgender, a man with a big breasts, would be distasteful. I happen to be A militant naturist, Who would like to convert the world to nudism. As a naturist, I have train myself not to be affected by completely naked women. Just as men can apparently now not be affected by woman in Ocean City and barely their bathing suits. Grow up John. And by the way I am offended by your cursing.

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  25. All the best. Equality rules!

    From the somewhat-off-topic department: There is an Ultimate Freedom Concert in Duffy Square, New York City, on Saturday, Sept. 2. I was hoping to play music in it — one of my dreams as a musician is to play a full concert or recital in the nude — but find myself unable. Still, you might be interested in this.

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  26. We’re getting close Chelsea any day now the judge is gonna give his decision and I can’t wait for two reasons one so we can stop talking about this bullshit in Maryland and second so I cheer,clap,dance,sing,jump for joy do the Ric Flair Whooooooooo because I was right cheers John

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    1. Hi John. Thanks for the encouragement lol. I will only point out that this is far, far from being over. Years, in fact, no matter how the judge decides regarding the injunction. Because all we have asked for is an injunction right now. The case does not proceed until sometime next year and all of this is only addressing the federal constitution, not the state constitution. So if a federal judge allows the ordinance, that is if we lose this first effort, the question goes to a state court to see if it passes the state’s constitutional tests. So sorry, no gloating just yet… Keep checking in though. You might get your chance in about three years… Our good only legal system. Nothing if not patient. Thanks for writing.

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      1. Right it’s far over I can tell you this if the judge doesn’t pass the preliminary injunction the case will never win in any other court federal or state. The highest ranking officials in Maryland on a state level are totally against it. Honestly people are making a fuss about it because the you went about it I personally feel this is what you wanted Ocean City fell into the trap passed this bullshit ordinance that they didn’t need too they acted the way did because of the phone calls and emails they received.Now they are gonna spend millions of dollars to fight it but for you to win a injunction your gonna need to meet the six standard guidelines to win and I don’t see it and most of the people I’ve talked to don’t see it either but we’ll see stranger things have happened Good luck

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        1. Can you elaborate on “people are making a fuss about it because the way you went about it, ” please? How are you perceiving I went about it? I’ve been curious to have someone talk to me about how they perceive it to have gotten here. Are you willing to tell me how you are related to Ocean City and how you have this much knowledge from the inside? Which you clearly do. Thank you.

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      2. And for the record a few topless women sunbathing isn’t gonna change my life in anyway and life in Oc will go on and nobody gonna stop going or sell their precious condos and no money will lost but people are afraid of change. I think change is good things are always changing. What would I do if I seeen a couple women sunbathing topless nothing I would try to ignore it because if they are ok with why should I give a shit.Most men find breast sexually attractive I do myself but also I have self control

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        1. I agree completely. I really don’t think much changes in day to day life if we “win.”. That was my original message to Ocean City. I’ve been going barechested there for four years before the “emergency” ordinance. It’s just a big deal now because social media had a week with the topic and it felt like a big deal. It really isn’t. I hope people can bring your attitude to it, actually. Thank you and be well.

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          1. Chelsea to be honest I was totally against it but after thinking about it and reading about it in the Maryland Coast dispatch I feel better about it if it passes people will get used to it. Now if for some reason tons of women are walking around with their tops off which I don’t think is likely then it will be issues because then all the people that are complaining will say see this is ridiculous but if they doesn’t happen then we will probably not hear a peep about it

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Thank you. That means a lot. More than anything I would like for the whole issue to just feel like no big deal at all. It almost happened that way, actually. I really appreciate you writing this to me though. Thank you and be well.

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        2. I know I am repeating my earlier comments, but I do believe they are worth repeating. I I only hope the elders have Ocean City read them and come to some kind of a reasonable accommodation with the movement

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    1. Thank you. So far we do not have any legal fees. Devon Jacob is our attorney and is representing us without charging us. He is doing an awesome job too. I don’t want critics to be able to say money or profit is a motive so until we do incur fees, I’ve held off asking for help. Your offer is generous and appreciated. If it comes to that I will reach out. Hopefully it won’t.

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  27. Hi Chelsea it’s been well over a year and I told in June 2017 that you had no chance of winning this case in a Maryland court.Well Chief Judge Bredar issued a memorandum that basically sides with Ocean City’s stance but I already knew this was gonna be the outcome this isn’t Fort Collins and that case is still pending in the courts.I just wanted to let you know how good it feels to right. Yours Truly, Jay

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    1. Unfortunately for those who believe in the “Equal Protection Clause”, Judge James Bredar seems to agree with you Jay that precedent set in Accomack Coonty VA in 1989 is of greater weight than the precedent set in Fort Collin CO just a couple of years ago. Although not formally decided, your gloating will likely be upheld.

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    1. it’s really simple: women should have the same rights as men to be comfortable on a hot beach. Woman should have the right to dress that way and not be harassed anymore they should be harassed for wearing a string bikini, which is allowed. It’s really simple: men should learn to control themselves when dealing with women either with or without clothes. Go on any nude beach, and women tend to be more respected than on a beach where they are required to wear a bathing suits It’s time society got passed false morality. One last point: there are conservative Christian nudists who celebrate their religion without clothes on.

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  28. US District Court Judge James Bredar seems to be leaning in the direction that community sensibility and commonly accepted norms to date over come notions that equal protection under the law is even at risk. Male breasts are not scandalous and women’s breasts are by virtue of the fact that this is how it has always been. It is a majoritarian ruling…..most people get offended or weirded out, therefore it is impermissible to allow females the same rights as men. The law article goes so far as to suggest that community morals have not yet declined sufficiently to warrant a change in the law. Presumably only after moral decay was complete could women go bare chested. The Memo implies that the Colorado ruling was an outlier and was not precedent. Given the future make up of the courts, after this administrations appointment of culturally conservative judges, the likelihood of prevailing looks poor for quite some time into the future.

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  29. If you lose in federal court, which seems to be happening, then, you could move to other locations, and also, if and when convenient, fight somewhat in the court of public opinion!

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    1. No more updates this topic is dead and buried it’s over she lost and we could all have saved some time should have just listened to me last summer I told her never ever gonna happen in Maryland. Bye Chelsea

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      1. there are some persons in our society who face social ridicule and attack to make things better for everyone. There was Martin Luther King and there were the Suffragettes 100 years ago.

        English suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughter Christabel, founders of the Women’s Social and Political Union, in jail for demonstrating for women’s rights.

        In the United States, police were more restrained. But in 1917 women called the Silent Sentinels began picketing the White House, using banners to make their point. Over 200 were arrested, with many sent to the notorious Occoquan workhouse. Conditions were squalid, prison dress uncomfortable, and the food inedible. Some went on hunger strike and were force fed with raw eggs in milk, which they swiftly vomited up.

        In one “Night of Terror,” guards beat and tortured 33 suffragette prisoners. One was beaten and left chained to the prison bars overnight with her arms above her head. When the story reached the newspapers, it served to increase support for the suffragette movement.

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      2. Jay, why should a women be subject to my opinion to be bare chested or to wear a bra or not? It’s her choice, not mine. Jay, would you accept my opinion that you should wear a white shirt and tie seven days a week from the time you wake in the morning to the time you go to bed?
        I think not.
        Chelsea, you are right in your writings, I can find nothing to disagree with.
        Chelsea will always have my support.

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      3. there are persons who have had NDEs and some of them are changed afterwards in unpredictable ways . . .

        One of them writes, in an NDE account found at iands.org . . .

        I came out with a much more focused mind, a deeper connection to the world around me, and a deep sense of justice and morality that has only gotten stronger in the years since. I became an activist and advocate, first against drunk driving after my best friend was killed by a drunk driver, then later against bullying because of my experiences with it. During my life, I have championed many social and political issues and causes, and continue to do so today.

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      4. In 1918, when women in Britain were first given the right to vote, here is how it worked.

        Most any man over 21 could vote in England, per the act of 1918. A woman could vote in England if she was 30 or more years old, met certain property qualifications or married to a man who had property. These criteria were established so that, in given election, women would not likely be the majority of the voters.

        Between 1900 and 1930 in some places the states began to seat women on juries. Previously the juries in many places had been all male. That should work, right? Except that the all male juries did not particularly always sympathize with rape victims.

        Conviction rates stayed about the same except for a few kinds. Rape and certain other forms of sexual misconduct trials saw their rate of convictions increase. Assault per se actually went down, partly, I think, due to the fact that some of the women jurors believe in a self-defense defense against a charge of assault, in a way that shows up in conviction rates. But no one has a solid, provable explanation as to why conviction rates of ordinary assaults would decline a bit with women on the jury.

        Today there is no sane person in the USA or Europe who believes that women should not be able to vote or be on juries.

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        1. I am not sure of the reason you say the issue is dead. Was there an official ruling? If so, what was it? If true, it really is pathetic that women have fewer freedoms than men. I think all of the comments so far show the silliness of the ban. Funny how everyday people can look at The David in full frontal nudity and those same people can’t deal with a breast. Talk about a double-standard. Nonetheless, if it is really over, I enjoyed the banter and give great credit to all those supporting such a reasonable movement.

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          1. No decision yet. We haven’t had the hearing for the injunction request. Jay is celebrating a bit early. He’s not alone. I’ve been getting emails from locals celebrating what they claim is an inevitable loss. Knowing local law and politics… It may well have been decided long ago. But we do have a day in court and we will see how it turns out. We are putting together our best effort.

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            1. And as you said earlier in this thread, regardless of win or loss, the story is not over. The court of public opinion is slowly turning in our favor. I wish there were more Gingerbreads around the country, writing and publishing on the topic, focusing on their own Ocean Cities and Pittsburghs and wherevers. The tide turns slowly, but inexorably. We will win, whenever it comes. More power to you!

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            2. Thanks for the update. I’ve asked a few times but have no clear idea what your name is; what is it? (I’ve given you my full name but you can tell me just your first name if you are concerned with privacy)

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            3. Right Chelsea it’s not official for about 48 hours from now give or take but unless I can’t read from what the judge said in his memorandum he basically sides with Ocean City via United States v. Biocic. Definitely not jumping the gun but after court Friday I’ll be back to rub salt in the wound

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              1. Jay, one of the core principals that has driven me and my co-plaintiffs to ask this question of the courts is a belief that all Americans are equal under the law. I’ve proceeded with my position in a respectful and dignified manner. If we lose, there will be no wound to rub salt in. I’m proud of us and how we’ve handled ourselves. We have nothing to be ashamed of. It is our right as Americans to ask courts to consider our legal arguments. We exercised our right. I ask you to sit with the pleasure you express in the thought that I might suffer or that you might be able to increase my suffering in some way. You seem to enjoy the thought of hurting me. I can’t relate to that way of thinking. I don’t want you or anyone else to suffer or be shamed and I would defend you against that behavior. I also ask you to think about what in my actions causes you anger or animosity. Is it that I asked a court if women are to be treated equally? Or that I challenged Ocean City? Really, what have I actually done that makes you feel pleasure in the thought of hurting me and other women for having done it? What’s the actual misdeed? I mean these questions sincerely. I don’t understand where you’re coming from from with the “rub salt in the wound” thing.

                Liked by 1 person

  30. according to scout willis, a leader in the free the nipple movement, men in the 1930s went topless as part of winning the right to do so . . . a number were arrested.

    Supposedly there was “go topless day” at Hampton beach or some such place, in New Hampshire. Supposedly, in the 2nd year of go topless day, the public, police and parks people regarded it as a noncontroversial issue. In New Hampshire there is also, allegedly a pending case on the topic of going topfree. The state was contending, among other things, that allowing women to go topless would lead to sexual harassment and crimes against women. Basically, they are claiming that they need to tell women what to do to not be subjected to an unwanted attack.

    I am here in the Seattle area. If and when a gal goes topfree, then, yes, for a day at Greenlake, there will be 1 to 3 extra guys who say hi or compliment her or thank her . . . if she is on the walking path and others are walking nearby also.

    but no crimes. In terms of the lack of anger or violent reaction at Hampton Beach for the 2nd go topless day, basically, Chelsea’s philosphy and her friends in arms have won, even if they don’t have a court ruling to protect them.

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  31. As I understand it, the current case was brought in federal court. If there’s a victory there, the ruling could have national implications. If there’s not a victory in federal court, it’s my understanding that Chelsea will then bring a case to MD court (is that correct, Chelsea?).

    The MD Constitution, via Article 46, guarantees: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be abridged or denied because of sex.” As in, it is a violation of the MD Constitution to deny the right of only women but not men to bear their bodies.

    So, I’d think that there’s a very strong chance of victory in MD court. But, such a victory would only apply to MD. Hence, the desire and strategy to start in federal court.

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      1. at this point, in federal court, there has been one victory in Colorado and several losses . . . but that is the kind of thing that causes the Supreme court to want to hear a case . . . depending on who appeals and how the circuit courts go.

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      1. Possibly but for now we’re in district court of Maryland and from what the judge released last month it looks as if the judge was gonna up hold the ordinance and side with Ocean City. Now we have to wait until December when Chelsea’s scum lawyer can find some so called expert to tell the court how the public feels here’s a novel idea ask the public how they feel.So Oc is gonna get their own expert that says the opposite so we’ll have a wash and the judge will make his ruling and Chelsea can go run to a federal court

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          1. Unless the suit is a frivolous suit, the losing party has a pre-existing right of appeal to the circuit court. By law, the circuit court of appeals must hear and decide all appeals . . . The Supreme court is the one that is hard to get to; the Supreme court takes only a few per hundred of the cases submitted to it, by choosing the ones it believes are most important and helpful to society to be settled.

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        1. This current case is in federal court. If we don’t prevail in federal court than we would move to state court. U.S. Constitutional questions usually come before state constitutional questions. State constitutions tend to give more protections than the US Constitution. Constitutions are floors, not ceilings. So the lowest floor, so to speak, the point below which no one in the United States, theoretically, can fall from a protections standpoint is defined by the US Constitution. Then the states get to say, yes, but in Maryland (for example) we will add further protections below which no Maryland citizen can fall. So we will see what federal court says, as the lower and broader (geographically) protection, and then ask the state with its narrower (state only) but higher standard and jurisdiction. So you’re a long way from gloating, Jay. You’re not going to discourage us from asking the question all the way through the state process. If it makes you feel better to gloat, go for it I guess. Your responses actually help me illustrate what we are trying to counteract, for people who don’t believe attitudes like yours exists. I can say, here, read Jay Paul’s responses on my blog. That’s why we do this work… But I feel obligated to tell you that your writing is already in my exhibits portfolio, for several reasons. Carry on…

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          1. I don’t care what you do these are my feelings and position on this subject that you put in the headlines not me remember that you wanted to be in the news you wanted five minutes of fame so I have the right to speak my mind and I don’t care if you don’t like it.To be continued…..

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  32. Prolonging the inevitable now I have to wait until December to gloat I guess it will be like extra Christmas present.An expert witness is gonna tell the court how the public should feel we already know right nice try though A for effort

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  33. There are those who debate a point on the merits and win or lose, don’t have ill will towards others. Then there are those whose real purpose in any debate at all is to satisfy a need to inflict harm on others, not merely to win a point. Chelsea, you have been nothing but reasonable and articulate in all of your posts. I have read them all. The stated need to gloat doesn’t advance a point of view, it expresses a malignant personality. You asked what you had done or said that would justify an attempt to harm you. Tellingly there was no answer, just more taunting. The purpose of the taunting is to silence through intimidation. They get nothing but pleasure when they believe that they have gotten “into someone’s head”…..it’s the “mean girl” phenomenon. At least one person who comments here seems to get off on that sort of thing. People like that can’t be reasoned with.

    Chelsea, you are mature beyond your years and I will continue to support your efforts at equality before the law. It is a topic of importance greater than just top freedom. A wise man once said that if you walk into a room with two people, you can learn something from at least one of them if you listen. I have learned from you.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Chelsea,

    I periodically stop in here to see the status of the fight, and I congratulate you on your efforts.

    While many people get distracted by the possibility of bare female chests in public, the discussion is really more about the restrictive laws enforced that affect two groups. The groups here happen to be men and women. In any other time or place you could substitute any other two groups in similar situation, and the story would read the same. One gets preferred status over the other.

    It not about the novelty of the nudity but about laws that restrict the actions of one group but not another, without just or even reasonable cause. Your opponents see you as a threat and are establishing their moral argument centered on nudity. It is, in fact, a moral argument, just not about bare chests. It’s about unequal treatment.

    You are doing a wonderful job of keeping your focus on the legal side of the discussion. Making the moral argument within a legal framework. In decades past I believe the phrase was, “Eyes on the prize”.

    When I 1st discovered your site I thought it was about naked freedom, which is a benefit that may come to some after you are successful (I like to go naked hiking in wilderness areas). But after randomly reading a few of your posts, I decided to start from the beginning to get the full story, I am about halfway through the posts. I have changed my mind and concluded that your site is about the enforcement of laws that are wrong headed.

    Correct me if I am wrong but, I believe your argument is about the legality of the laws against women walking around without tops. It’s not specifically about TOPFREEDOM for women but about the LEGALITY of topfreedom for anyone that wants to be. Men or women. The fact that men are allowed to be bare from the waist up, but women are not is a cultural problem that is a much tougher nut to crack.

    I can see that fighting for the right to go around bare-chested is getting you more attention than you might have otherwise (is that good?), but your campaign also happens to be an honest description of an the situation.

    While reading some of your posts I was reminded of Churchill’s quote in 1940 when he was rallying his country for war, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” What you are doing is a legal battle, not a physical one. Is what you are doing as significant as what Winston Churchill confronted? I guess it depends on your perspective.

    Laws and freedoms rest upon the foundations laid by those that fought the 1st battles. I feel certain that this one you are engaged in will eventually become another stone. It is admirable how you refuse to allow anyone to hijack your message for their agenda. You are always calm and polite. Which is more important than people know. I’m not sure I would have the patience.

    It’s a formidable cultural structure you have decided to confront.
    I think you know that, and I wish you success.

    Duane

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Duane. Welcome to my blog. I wish I had more time to make a meaningful response to you, as you have clearly been making a careful and inciteful path through my entries. It’s wonderful to here your thoughts. You understand where the issue lies and the challenges we face. It really helps when people are able to speak it clearly, as you have. Thank you.

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  35. Coming from the UK which is just about in Europe however you look at it at the moment the thing that surprises me most is that the law has any interest in this whatsoever.

    The other thing is the discussion about gloating when the case is lost. I guess we can be thankful though that the comments don’t extend to being definitely abusive.

    I do feel the American attitude on this is unhelpful for women and it’s a huge shame that companies like Facebook and the like are indicrminatey exporting this view.

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  36. I just don’t get the mixed messages coming out of our courts regarding equal protection 14th amendment cases.

    On the one hand there is the US vs. Biocic case sited in an earlier post where the regulation of exposure of female breasts is permissible by a state/town because such exposure is still seen by society as unpalatable and is necessary in “protecting the moral values of a community.”

    But then on the other hand the courts ruled in favor of gay marriage even though the long-standing precedent and majority public opinion in many bible-belt states was clearly against gay marriage based on those states’ moral standards.

    I took from the gay marriage case that the 14th amendment took priority over the defense of “yuk we don’t like looking at that”, and am confused why it wouldn’t take priority here as well. So, in my opinion, if the higher courts rule against top-freedom then they’ll need to explain the contradiction between why yes to gay marriage and no to top-freedom.

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  37. It is now in the news that Tourism department of Sri Lanka has decided to remove warnings against women wearing a bikini while on a beach of Sri Lanka. They still expect somewhat modest attire in religious temples . . . but the beach where tourists come and go . . . they have given up to allow for mid-riff showing or to partial butt cheek exposure by people dressing normally for them, while on the beach of Sri Lanka.

    There are some laws and some “laws” that collapse and crumble when some people ignore them or regard them as unjust. Augustine said, An unjust law is no law.

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    1. Lex iniusta non est lex (English: An unjust law is no law at all), is a standard legal maxim. Originating with St. Augustine, the motto was used by St. Thomas Aquinas and quoted by Martin Luther King Jr. during the Civil Rights Movement to describe racial segregation and discrimination against African Americans.

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  38. I hope you’re doing well, Chelsea, and still fighting the good fight. I check in here every once in a while, to see if you’ve returned, and if there are any updates. Given the current political climate, I understand if you’re trying to keep below the radar.

    Best of luck, and all best wishes.

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  39. I just sent the following note to South Florida Free Beaches https://sffb.com/join.php ,
    an organization of naturists (nudists) to which I belong. I hope you hear from them; here it is:

    I support an organization in Maryland that is trying to allow Ocean City to permit
    toplessness. It is called Breasts are Healthy. Blog Name: breastsarehealthy Blog URL: http
    ://breastsarehealthy.wordpress.com I wonder if there is anyway you can support them?
    THEY DO NOT WANT MONEY, just whatever advice you can give them.

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  40. Hmmm. I guess not everyone can communicate with clarity. It’s unfortunate. But still, it would be nice to see these separate-but-similar organizations get together to bolster each others’ causes. Keep trying, maybe?

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    1. Thank you for these efforts. I habe spoken with a number of naturist activists over the years and received tangible and meaning full help. The legal issues are different in top freedom and naturism and while it has been welcome and helpful to hear the advice from naturist groups, their is a divergence in legal approach eventually. We are represented by a passionate and capable attorney who has been compiling experts and contacting other lawyers from previous top freedom efforts for almost two years now. We go to a hearing in Dec 7 with the opportunity to make our case. So we are hard at it and have a very well developed case. I haven’t been blogging because I haven’t been able to share much without compromising the case. Suffice to say we are working hard, preparing as much as we can and putting our best effort before the court. Time will tell… Thank you though for all the support. It really helps.

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      1. Chelsea, was that you? I was basically saying that Richard’s message was sort of unclear. You have a nom de plume? An alias? Or don’t you want his help? I don’t doubt your are pursuing your case competently. It’s just that organizations that have similar objectives (such as animal welfare agencies) duplicate a lot of efforts, and it seems a waste of manpower. Best of luck to you. Write when you find work.

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