ASHEVILLE — Female activists for gender equality plan to bare their breasts — and ask men to cover theirs — Sunday in Pack Square Park downtown.
The women will be protesting what they consider unfair laws and social stigmas restricting women’s right to go topless. The protest is one of many across the nation organized by GoTopless.org, a U.K.-based website.
“We just want to raise awareness about this inequality,” said Livienne Love, the local protest organizer. “I know that women may be uncomfortable doing this, and that’s part of the issue.”
While they may be uncomfortable, they won’t be breaking the law, according to Police Department spokesman Wally Welch. “They can breast away,” said Lt. Welch. “It’s not a crime.”
The North Carolina statute that covers indecent exposure bans the exposure of “private parts,” specifically “external organs of sex or excretion.” That only covers body parts below the waist, Welch said.
The event is set for 1 p.m. Sunday. Women are asked to show up to the protest topless, while men are asked to appear shirtless but wearing either a bra or a bikini top.
According to the GoTopless.org website, “As long as men can go topless, women should have the same constitutional right, or men should also be forced to wear something that hides their chests.”
The biggest flap from the event may arise from its timing — Gateway Christian Community Church will also be in the park Sunday conducting its regular services, according to Jon Fillman, who coordinates outdoor special events for the city.
He allowed that it “could be an interesting combination of people.”
The topless group most likely will gather near the Vance Monument, while the church has reserved the Roger McGuire Green near the Buncombe County Courthouse and Asehville City Hall.
“They’ll be some distance apart, and the church said, if necessary, they’ll completely turn their event so they’re facing the other direction,” Fillman said.
Fillman said he was contacted about the topless protest, but the group did not seek a permit.
For gatherings considered free-speech expression, a permit is not required.
Welch said he’s not aware of the Police Department issuing or attempting to issue citations in the past for exposed breasts.
“It’s kind of rare anyway,” Welch said.
“You see it from time to time, but less so as a political statement and more as part of a drunken stupor,” he said..
Somebody’s at Bele Chere or at a party and they want to show the world whatever they’ve got.”
That is why I'm going, I'm going to show these young gals what they have to look forward too. LOL
Answer by Natesmom507 at 3:17 PM on Aug. 20, 2011
Yeah, they will be raising something alright. Advertising it is just going to bring out the peepers and perverts for the free boob show. Don't be surprised to find pictures all over the net while it's happening. LOL.
Answer by QuinnMae at 12:51 AM on Aug. 20, 2011
Answer by sopranomommy at 3:32 PM on Aug. 20, 2011
Answer by Carpy at 12:21 AM on Aug. 21, 2011
Answer by sopranomommy at 3:31 PM on Aug. 20, 2011
Well, what can I say Carpy, as we get old and approach the winter of our life.
Not only do we move south to Florida, but all of our body parts move south too. LOL
Answer by Natesmom507 at 1:20 PM on Aug. 21, 2011
Answer by Im1superduperrn at 1:53 AM on Aug. 20, 2011
Answer by LoriKeet at 12:04 PM on Aug. 20, 2011
Answer by tinamatt at 4:44 PM on Aug. 20, 2011
Answer by jesse123456 at 4:56 PM on Aug. 21, 2011