‘Go Topless Day’ Set For The End Of August, But Is It Really About Gender Equality?

Rael, a spiritual leader, founded Go Topless Day.

Go Topless Day falls on Sunday August 24 this year. Go Topless Day falls on the Sunday closest to Women’s Equality Day each year. Women’s Equality Day is August 26, because it is the day in 1920 when women earned their right to vote in the United States. In 1971, the United States Congress officially recognized Women’s Equality Day.

It’s been less than a hundred years ago that men were fighting for the opportunity to be topless in public. In 1934, the first bare male chest was seen in a movie. The next year, Clark Gable removed his shirt on film, creating a scandal. At that time, it was illegal for men to be seen topless. The same year Clark Gable bared his chest, 42 men in Atlantic City were fined for going topless. In 1936, men finally earned their right to go topless in public.

Organizers of Go Topless Day say they are fighting for gender equality. The event, embraced by supporters of gender equality across the globe, is sponsored by the Raelian Movement. That’s where things get a little more controversial than just women losing their shirts. Unlike National No Bra Day, Go Topless Day has a significant back story.

GoTopless, the organization, was founded by a spiritual leader named Rael. The Raelian Movement, according to its website, believes:

“Thousands of years ago, scientists from another planet came to Earth and created all forms of life, including human beings, whom they created in their own image. References to these scientists and their work can be found in the ancient texts of many cultures. Due to their highly advanced technology, they were considered as gods by our primitive ancestors and often referred to as ‘Elohim’ which in ancient Hebrew meant ‘Those who came from the sky’.”

One primary mission of the creators of the GoTopless organization is ultimately to create an embassy to welcome the alleged creators of human beings when they next return.

A Headspace writer points out in a recent article that the Raelian Movement is a spiritual group who believe humans were created by aliens. Toula Drimonis writes:

“And while I absolutely don’t have a problem with women going topless if they want to, I definitely DO have a problem with a shady sect usurping women’s issues for their own recruitment purposes and people being too gullible to bother reading through the fine print.”

Go Topless Day organizers offer a tremendous amount of resources including information about topless laws in each state. For example, few people are aware, according to Go Topless organizers, that Utah, Indiana, and Tennessee are the only states where women wearing no tops in public is legally forbidden. Just over a dozen more states are uncertain in their laws about gender equality when it comes to being topless.

In addition to believing that humans came from aliens, the Raelian spiritual movement believes in free love, non-violence, and love of differences, so it is only logical that the movement would back female toplessness. A writer for the Montreal Gazette points out:

“This Sunday at the Go Topless event, I guarantee the Raelians will not be clubbing women and dragging them off to lairs. They will be there to support a principle, that women should have the same civil rights men have. If some of the people there become interested in the Raelian Movement, it won’t be because anybody brainwashed them or forced them. And, hey, I’ve known them for several years and I’m still a Theosophist — not a Raelian. I say, kudos to the Raelians for sponsoring the event, and I wonder why some other group didn’t do it.”

How do you feel knowing that Go Topless Day is organized by a spiritual movement with members that believe a superior race of aliens created human beings?

[Photo by Mark Lidikay]