The Daily Beast is reporting that Moira Johnson, a 29-year-old “topless dancer” from Philly is engaged in a vicious battle for equal rights for women in New York City. She’s even been arrested for displaying support for her cause, yet she still remains undeterred. According to The Daily Beast, Johnson, “A self-described ‘topless activist,’ is trying to raise awareness of a little-known New York state law that permits women to be topless anywhere men can do the same.” Because there is no greater liberty than the right to bare breasts!
As it turns out, the law originates not in the Big Apple, but from a case in upstate Rochester, where in 1986 two women were arrested for going topless in a park. But they brought their case to the State Court of Appeals, which overturned the law that previously prevented women from showing “that portion of the breast which is below the top of the areola” by ruling in their favour in 1992. In the 20 years since, few women have taken advantage of this landmark ruling, to the point where some people still think it’s illegal.
“You can’t do that in New York City!” a man says and then scurries away. “It’s legal!” Johnston calls after him nonchalantly in the Daily Beast piece. That said, certain yoga studios still won’t let Johnson get comfortable in her own skin. Johnson has filed complaints against 13 studios that won’t let her take her top off, including one that has “since made it mandatory for women and men to wear shirts.” “It’s basically as serious as saying black people aren’t allowed to take off their shirts but white people are,” Johnston says.
You go get ‘em, girls!