Free the Nipple is an equality movement, film, and mission to empower women throughout the world. They stand against global censorship and oppression. For example, in the United States it is illegal for women to breastfeed in public or go topless in 35 states.
In states like Louisiana, if a woman exposes a nipple in public, she faces a jail sentence for up to three years and can be fined $2,500. In 1992, New York legalized public toplessness for women; however, police still arrest women if they are found topless. Free the Nipple is trying to bring about awareness and work on changing inequalities through social media, grassroots campaigns, and film.
People may think that women involved in the Free the Nipple campaign just want to walk around topless. After all, men take off their shirts and walk on the beach, around the house, and in their yards, especially if it’s hot outside. On the other hand, women do not have the same option and are not free to walk around topless in public.
Some suggest that it is shameful for a woman to expose her breasts; and the shamefulness comes from how a woman’s breasts are sexualized.
Supporters of the Free The Nipple movement include Jennifer Lopez, Miley Cyrus, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ice T, Coco, Rihanna, Rose McGowan, Marilyn Manson, and Chelsea Handler, to name a few.
Miley Cyrus is a strong advocate for the Free the Nipple movement. December last year, the 21-year-old showed her support for the campaign by posting a picture of her holding a fake nipple to her eye on her Twitter account.
Chelsea Handler also showed her support on Instagram by sharing a topless photo of herself riding a horse. She posted the picture to point out her disapproval of the double standard, where Vladimir Putin can ride a horse without wearing a shirt, but women do not have the same right.
Handler posted her thoughts.
“Anything a man can do, a woman has the right to do better #kremlin.”
Instagram removed Handler’s picture.
Handler responded with the following comment.
“Taking this down is sexist. I have every right to prove I have a better body than Putin. If Instagram takes this down again, you’re saying Vladimir Putin has more 1st amendment rights than me. Talk to your bosses.”
Free the Nipple is very clear about their mission to bring America into the 21st century. They believe that in order to be successful in achieving their goal, the United States government needs to recognize all women as equal citizens under the protection of the federal government and grant them the same rights every man enjoys in the democratic country.
Many people are not aware of this amazing fact. At one time in American history, it was 100 percent illegal for American men to expose their nipples in public. They could not walk around topless at beaches or on any boardwalk.
In 1936, New York became the first state to abolish this law, as a result of having mass arrests and protests. This was the first time in American history that men could freely walk around shirtless.
In 1992, the New York Supreme court decriminalized female nipples; however, the NYPD still arrested women, which resulted in many wrongful arrest lawsuits.
An anonymous lawyer expressed his thoughts to Huffington Post.
“Until the federal government steps up to protect the women in this country you’re mowing grass with a butter knife. There are state and local officials who still like to push women around. So unless Obama goes to bat or congress pipes in, it’s a tough one. Take a page out Susan B. Anthony’s book. She personally took on President Wilson outside the White House for Women’s Suffrage and won, and that was in the early 1900’s with no social media, when women really had no rights in America.”
According to Free the Nipple advocates, the female body has become so hyper-sexualized within our society that a simple organ like the female breast has become inviolable.
Supporters of the Free the Nipple campaign hope to highlight and eliminate the sexual objectification of the female breast. ASU Herald cites that the female breast is not a sexual organ, and any use sexually is secondary to their natural function.
People who support the Free the Nipple movement and campaign hope to be successful in the right for women to control their own bodies and do something as innately human as breastfeed in public. In addition, they look forward to opening the door to a new society where a woman is as free as a man.
[Image courtesy of Huffington Post]