Portland women have the right to bare their breasts in public and still be in compliance with the law. It seems like equality is alive and well in the Rose City, and it is one of the few cities where it is not illegal for women to go topless in public.
Oregon’s indecent exposure law only prohibits nudity that is intended to cause arousal in public. Portland created its own ordinance to include exposed genitalia, but there is no law against women baring their breasts in public.
The right to bare one’s breasts publicly is about freedom of expression and equality. Just because a woman can go topless in public does not mean it is an act of sexuality. Not everything is about sex and that is something people forget, especially in a city that contains a multitude of strip clubs.
If men are able to show their chests in public, why should women not be able to? Yes, men and women’s bodies are different. Yes, women have breasts. Yes, let’s embrace Portland’s law.
Two Portland State students recently decided to embrace this law along Northwest 23rd Avenue. Lauren Krueger is in a Women’s Studies Sophomore Inquiry course and she came up with this idea for her final project as a revolutionary feminist act.
She asked a guy who was also in the class to walk with her after she realized that most people in the class felt uncomfortable participating. But that is not to say that Krueger was not nervous herself: In fact, she was very nervous. She pushed through it with her male friend, both of them topless.
“I expected to get hassled by the law or possibly arrested while baring my breasts in public,” Krueger said.
They walked along the popular avenue, asking people if they could talk to them. They did not come across too many negative responses. Krueger said that most people who would have given them negative responses were fearful and would not talk to them or would completely avoid eye contact.
Krueger and her friend asked if people would like to know why they were doing it. They explained that they were participating in the movement for equality.
“We’re trying to help women to perceive their breasts as natural parts of the body that shouldn’t have to be shamefully hidden,” Krueger said.
Part of the reason they did this was so that men can distinguish between nudity and sexuality, and so that women can feel comfortable exposing their breasts in public.
Krueger asked people if they knew that what she was doing was not illegal. Shockingly, no one knew about the topless law in Portland.
Women having the ability to go topless brings Portland one step closer to gender equality. Sexual objectification and body-image issues need to end for women to be seen as equal and for them to be comfortable in their own skin. But for now, the topless law is a great step forward for equality.
What do you think?
Is the issue of cell phones being used on the road really cause for concern? Are they another distraction making it more dangerous to drive, or is driving and using a phone no big deal?
Also, what about the topless law in Oregon? Is it a matter of gender equality, or have we perhaps lost a sense of modesty? Could driving topless while on the cell phone be the true culprit?
Send a letter to the editor and tell us what you think. E-mail [email protected].