Yes, Ladies, You Can Walk Around the City Topless

Thumbnail image for rsz_topless-woman-on-bowery-2.jpg
via @olidub
Yesterday, we reported that a woman was spotted strolling the Bowery topless. Yes, full-on topless, no bra, no shirt, just boob. Two of them. One photo suggests that the woman was getting a ticket from two cops, but some of you commenters pointed out that this lady had every right to be beating the heat in the buff.

We emailed NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Public Information Paul Browne our original post, asking whether or not this woman was breaking the law. He replied:

The state's highest court established long ago that women have the same right as men to appear topless in public. Absent a link to some commercial enterprise or promotion, the woman's lack of certain attire in this instance does not appear to be a police matter.

Browne added in a later email that there was no evidence that he was aware of to suggest that the woman was in fact ticketed. Topless Bowery lady, get in touch, we want to hear your story!

A woman's right to go topless in New York has a long history. The defendants in the 1992 case People v. Ramona Santorelli and Mary Lou Schloss were arrested along with five others in a Rochester park for violating a law which prohibited women from showing "that portion of the breast which is below the top of the areola." (Areola = coloring around the nipple). Santorelli and Schloss argued that the law was "discriminatory on its face since it defines 'private or intimate parts' of a woman's but not a man's body as including a specific part of the breast." The New York Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the two women.

More than 10 years later, Jill Coccaro was arrested in 2005 on Delancey Street for going topless, but sued the city and received $29,000 in a settlement.

So ladies, it's a scorcher out there, feel free to bare it all on top, and if you want some solidarity, August 21 is National Go-Topless Day. But remember this other handy comment on our earlier story: "Honestly, I find it much cooler to wear a T-shirt because the cotton absorbs the stickiness." Noted!

[@ezwrites]

Update: Topless Woman Went to Midtown and Central Park, Too
Previously: Lady Strolls the Bowery Topless on Hot Summer Day
See Also: Why, Yes, You Can Watch Porn at the Brooklyn Public Library


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642 comments
verminjerky
verminjerky

Nope.

Female breasts are not biologically considered a sex organ, and if you find yourself agreeing with a female biology lesson from a sixteen year old boy who definitely failed English, then you seriously need to rethink the way you make decisions and process information.

Although thank you for proving why this country needs better sex and science education.

Enlarged breasts are a secondary sex characteristic. They in no way aid in reproduction and are only a marker of the bearer's sex. Another example would be the Adam's apple.

By the brilliant logic that people should be forced to keep all reproductive organs, genital or non-genital, covered, a more valid choice would be female hips. Those actually do matter to reproduction.

So ladies, cover those hips, but everyone feel free to let your anuses fly free! Because hopefully even those of you struggling with biology know that butt stuff can't get you pregnant.

Sounds kind of dumb when I put it that way, doesn't it? Perhaps it doesn't really have a ding dang doodle thing to do with reproductive organs, and in fact has everything to do with arbitrary custom. Perhaps, going forward, what we cover need be related only to hygiene.

Western Europe's been doing the "Everybody gets to go topless!" thing for decades - in fact for a woman to wear a swimsuit top in France is seen as silly - and they seem to be doing okay. Teenaged boys heads aren't exploding or anything.

Oh, and just so you'll all know, men have the same mammary system as women. They can produce milk exactly the same way, they just don't do it automatically since they don't give birth. The process of lactation can be started in both men and women through suction.

So either both sexes keep 'em covered, neither sex keeps 'em covered, or admit that it doesn't have Jack to do with biology and everything to do with what you're used to.

harri1999
harri1999

i'm going to nyc and have my wife go topless the whole time we're there, and how bout people being allowed to walk full frontal nude? guys wear a shaft sock.,lets protest and everybody walk nude

betance
betance

Here's another question.  Are the constitutional rights of children being infringed upon?

dylan
dylan

@betance Um no. There's no law saying children can't see boobs.

JohnDoe
JohnDoe

@dylan @betance And nor should there be any laws saying such. Breast feeding would then become illegal when it's perfectly natural.

betance
betance

If you think bringing your kids around ladies exposing their breasts is ok then you're in support of it, and otherwise you're not.

Malia Thompson
Malia Thompson

If I didn't need the support of a bra, I'd do it!

Vh Hurtado
Vh Hurtado

cops usually harass topless women to put something on because there are male morons out there who will do more than just look and then they have to get involved and do stuff.

Ana Yoga
Ana Yoga

i get this whole freedom to be and walk about as you wish...but this is a bit of an invasive...and not so sure its sending a positive msg...

Brian Perfect
Brian Perfect

Cleaned up Times Square, now everyone is confused.

Tara O'Malley
Tara O'Malley

Christ - we get harassed about ours when they're in dresses, we might actually cause a revolt !!xx

Kurt Capalbo
Kurt Capalbo

And please do. But don't go crazy when men harass the hell out of you cause of perpetual wood

bcintella
bcintella

You get a hard on that easy from just seeing boobs? You need to get laid, LOL. 

onalazyafternoon
onalazyafternoon

if your running around that horny then take a little extra time in the shower to rub one out .. you know.. spank the monkey.. just knock out the tickly problem so you can think of other things without being haunted by a tickly crotch.. lol  .. you will not be so frustrated in public seeing some skin here and there.. lol

Candice Rivera-Cahoon
Candice Rivera-Cahoon

This is old news. When it became law in the early 90s, my friends and I went to Thompkins Square park to hang out and I promptly removed my shirt! It was awesome! Got a lot of looks but I always got a lot of looks so I just hung out topless that afternoon.

bcintella
bcintella

ANY woman would get a lot of looks being topless. And a confident beautiful woman feels no need to make a point that "I always got a lot of looks"....known women like you and it's usually the opposite or some kind of insecurity. Keep telling yourself that. 

onalazyafternoon
onalazyafternoon

I would be more afraid of sunburning them than someone looking.. later the sunburn would be tender.. lol

LeeK
LeeK

I agree with the 16-year-old boy, and I am a 22-year-old woman. The difference between a man's breast and a woman's breast is that a woman's breasts (most specifically the nipple) are part of her reproductive system, and therefore exposing them is no different than a man being allowed to expose his testicles in public. I of course realize that ovaries, not breasts, are the homologue to testicles, but the fact remains... reproductive system = off-limits.

verminjerky
verminjerky

Nope. Back to biology with you, although thank you for proving why this country needs better sex education.

Enlarged breasts are a secondary sex characteristic. They in no way aid in reproduction and are only a marker of the bearer's sex. Another example would be the Adam's apple.

By your logic, a better thing to force women to keep covered would be their hips. Those actually do matter to reproduction.

Oh, and just so you'll know, men have the same mammary system as women. They can produce milk exactly the same way, they just don't do it automatically since they don't give birth. The process of lactation can be started in both men and women through suction.

So either both sexes keep 'em covered, neither sex keeps 'em covered, or admit that it doesn't have Jack to do with biology and everything to do with what you're used to.

reiko17chan
reiko17chan

@Endless_distractions - Doesn't mean that we should ignore the "little issues". Issues are still issues, and they all add up. Haven't you ever heard the saying "Wars are won a battle at a time"? 

Endless_distractions
Endless_distractions

Arnt there women out there who cant learn legally and other much more serious issues we should worry about?

john-charles
john-charles

It's culture. That's how it is. In every culture there will always be people trying to change something just for changing sake. I bet you there is a woman in an African tribe who thinks that they should wear clothing and that them not wearing clothing is degrading them. Culture and religion always affects how we think whether for it or against it. We do not live in a vacuum. That is the reason you eat chicken and think eating a dog is not good while in China they think otherwise. That is why you don't believe in committing a suicide bombing and meeting 72 virgins in heaven while others do. People in the States will always think showing boobs is taboo.

brandynewland
brandynewland

my question is when will men and women be allowed to walk around naked completely


trojans3711
trojans3711

im laughing at all the comments on here, like any debate you have, good or bad, is gonna change anybody elses mind.  cracks me up.  leave the 16 year old alone, he's young, but has good points.

psql.santoro
psql.santoro

As a man I agree with women being able to bare their breast. I can get over it easily, I agree there is no difference between male and female. But....... breast are sexual. I touch my girlfriend's breast and she go's ape wild and I know men who like to be touched like that too. Still doesn't change the situation, we are sexual species from the color of your eye to the open toe shoes we attract and react. We have the most complex sexuality in all the species on this planet and with a little training we can learn to love and deal with ourselves. Kids teach your dumb parents not to shelter you from what is truly beautiful .

dbornemann
dbornemann

I'm not from the area, but I would be willing to bet you don't see a whole lot of men walking around the city topless.  I know I'd feel pretty uncomfortable walking around in public without a shirt on in a place where people typically wear them, but I don't have any objection to the law allowing others to do it.

oscar007x2
oscar007x2

Hey look i'm a 16 year old teanager that would probably think it's real hot to see a bunch of topless girls out in public. But the reason i think it's unappropriate is this. The womens breasts are part of the female reproductive system. Everyone knows this. They get big when the woman is about to have a child and smaller after the child gets older. This is typical knowledge. Just bacause men don't have that special feature does not mean they sexual. If they weren't sexual then why would Every single guy on the planet get turned on by them???? I think most of the people supporting this are either perverted guys, or moms who don't care to breast feed their children on their own time.

mona50d
mona50d

just an fyi for those that don't know NY state is not the only state that allows women to go topless where ever a man can californa has a similar law and as for anyone that thinks a womans breast is gross they have mommy issues and as for a woman to be allowed to walk around topless yes i am for it and its up to the person if they want to  and the only differance between a womans breast and a mans is the hormones that makes a womans breast bigger other then differant hormones they are the same in every way  

skitzproduction
skitzproduction

nr1foxyprican - You are a jackass for saying that its sinful and filth for a woman to show her breasts! I wish your mother hadn't fed you at all.... with breast OR bottle.. see how far life would have taken you then! YOU ARE FILTH AND TRASH... NOT BOOBS! As far as I'm concerned some men have bigger boobs than I do.. so what's next??? Hello wake up LOSER!!!!!

matthias2986
matthias2986

we have been conditioned to think certain things in a certain way. I subtract myself from the ways of the many. 

AbbyRoad
AbbyRoad

I'm not offended by breasts, having my very own pair myself, but this whole topless idea kind of rubs me the wrong way. I understand that women want to feel equal and have the same rights as men, and that if this were a perfect world, we would all feel comfortable being able to walk around city streets topless. However, doing this is not going to change the fact that certain parts of the world are not accustomed to this. It is not going to change the views of those that believe breasts ARE sexual things. It is not going to make people less uncomfortable. I understand that the whole point of this is to not care about what anybody thinks of you in public, but the fact is that children don't know better, men don't know better, heck, more than half the country doesn't know better and will always be confused/turned on/against having boobs on public display. That WON'T change, I'm sorry to break it to you. It would take another hundred years to be completely acceptable because it starts with how each one of us has grown up with this perspective on breasts as sexual, "private" parts. All the power to you if you have this type of confidence though.

macdaddy0807
macdaddy0807

As far as human beings as "animals" is considered, there is nothing wrong with women being topless.  In fact, I'd say breasts are not even naturally supposed to be a sexual thing in the first place.   I believe breasts remind people of their own mothers who nurtured them with their own.  So instead of a sexual feeling, it might be more of a motherly feeling.  Would it be wrong to say that society began skewing our natural instincts and thoughts since the moment we were born?  Everything we see as attractive is actually what our mind considers good in a possible female to mate with.  As far as homosexuals are concerned though...that's an entirely different train of thought that I do not even where to start with.

 

The above is more than likely just a random collection of sentences that are closely related to another and might  not flow well, but you guys understand the gist of it right?

Blue_Angel_1812
Blue_Angel_1812

honestly i dont exactly think its right, yes i know other countries have women who do this but america isnt exactly used to this, i mean im pretty sure since for centuries women havent really been flashy with this stuff in public so people might argue about the sudden change, not to mention im sure there are children who shouldnt have to see it since its public and kids have the right to walk around. i definitely not going to go around topless and i live in a place much hotter than new york its rediculous and just ..slutty besides this im sure its going to turn heads into talking and staring and if thats what she wanted bc it doesnt look like she'd actually research articles and court stories do you really want to do this and follow in the foot steps of someone who just wanted to do it to attract men in a degrading way? and honestly if she wants to get harrassed, stared at, or get flirted with or whatever go right ahead but i'll be there to tell you i told you so when you regret it from probably a whole list of what went wrong.

eurotrsh2
eurotrsh2

Hey if she wants them saggy faster go for it. they'll be like seat belts before you know it. I'm all for the majority of female rights but this IS disgusting looking. Then she's going to whine about pictures being taken of her and guys doing stupid crap to her. All this is going to turn into is a bunch of women and men whining. This is what you call an ATTENTION WHORE.

TheDOTKU
TheDOTKU

A little slutty, but hey....  I'm off the market because men are all a bunch of losers lately, so good for her I guess...  If that's the kind of attention she wants.

BuzzKillington
BuzzKillington

Yeah, and once the topless woman is starred at and googled by men, they are going to complain that they feel victimized. WELL YEAH! YOUR GODDAMN TITS ARE SHOWIN! jk... I understand that this would be a step towards "equality" but....I don't think something like this can really happen without people getting upset, especially in the super-sexualized U.S. And the argument, if guys can do it, why can't we. Well female breasts have a very specific function, and men's breasts do not. We all know that women use breasts to nurture their young with milk... and I'm thinking that this specific function sort of makes the female breast... "private."

And there are plenty of women out there who would love to show off and be topless, but there is also a great portion of them that feel insecure, or just feel that their boobs are for only a few people to see.

 

I keep seeing all these damn generalizations in this thread... stop it... we aren't fucking kids.

Nog1
Nog1

there should be an age limit for this

margaretwalter88
margaretwalter88

 i would love to walk around the streets completely topless especial in th summer in the heat. if me can walk around outside without a shirt on why shouldn't women be aloud to walk around outside without wearing a top & bra? i walk around inside my apartment without wearing a top & bra. in fact sometimes when it is extremely hot in my apartment i am completely naked. i feel so much cooler being nude during the summer when the temperature outside is anywhere from 90-100 degrees out. what is so wrong for a woman top be seen topless? i walk to & from the bathroom twice a day totaly naked. i enjoy being naked & i am not ashamed to show my naked body & my big breasts. in the summer when it is extremely hot i even sleep in the nude. what is so wrong about being naled outdoors when there are nudist camps all over the country?

michael
michael

Forget about the legality of it -- why are there higher quality pictures of the incident?

Schris1423
Schris1423

I saw this lady yesterday on 3rd 58th street in Jeans and fully topless.

Emilio Lizardo
Emilio Lizardo

But if you touch her tit it's considered genitalia and you go away for rape.  Have it both ways.

guestttttt
guestttttt

the world doesn't need to change, giving gay people rights to marry already changed the world significantly. all the laws should stay how they were, because they work that way. people get given an inch and want to take 3 miles. (im not against gay marriage)

Ken nyc
Ken nyc

The reason that people, particularly men, are interested in this is for clear reasons. And it's not curiosity for curiosity's sake. Anyone who seeks this woman's response is not seeking her reasons for doing this but seeking what type of person she is to be so open in this city where lurkers are abundant.

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