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Go Topless March held in Toronto- By Manasi Joseph

Posted in Featured, Uncategorized, Youth Corner

Published on August 28, 2015 with No Comments

World celebrated Go Topless day on August 23rd so did a bunch of Torontonians. Around 25 topless women took to downtown streets of Toronto to exercise their legal right to go topless in public. Men dressed in bikini tops also joined the Go Topless March to support the right of their female counterparts.

The slogan ‘My body My Choice’ rang out across Carleton St and Yonge St.

“When a woman walks topless or bare – chested in public it is portrayed as obscene but when a man goes bare chested in public there is no fuss. We are protesting against these double standards, said an event attendee.

If reports are to be believed similar parades were held around 60 cities across the world as part of the Go Topless Day.

Going Topless is Legal in Ontario –Women in Ontario have had the legal right to go topless in public since 1996. For those not in the know, here is a quick recap. Twenty four years ago, on a sweltering summer day in 1991, a 19 year old Gwen Jacob walked topless on Guelph’s Gordon Street for which she was arrested and charged with public indecency.

However, Jacob successfully defended herself in 1996 Ontario Court of Appeal and won the right for women to go topless in public in the province of Ontario.

The Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that going topless is not, in and of itself an indecent act and therefore women could not be charged with indecency for baring breasts in public in the province of Ontario.

The issue of cultural stigma –Although law gives women the right to go topless they do not have the social freedom to do it comfortably and this is the real issue.

“We are protesting against the cultural stigma around topless women. Why only women’s nudity is sexualised? The double standard between male and female nudity is not acceptable.” said event organizer Fatima Mechtab.

Despite a law which gives women the right to bare their breasts, people are not ready to accept it primarily due to the portrayal of women’s breasts as a sexual object by the society.

Male gawkers with cameras and mobile phones also made it a point to be part of the event, but not for showing solidarity. They slightly annoyed the marchers, which forced one of the participants to raise a placard which read   “We are not here for your amusement.”


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