The main point behind the movement is to fight for a woman's 'right' to walk around bare chested. They claim that it's hypocritical for men to walk around without shirts on and to do so without receiving scorn.
Fair enough. However, their 'mission statement' cannot be understood inside a vacuum. This inevitably involves us in (extreme) feminist thought, the nature of sexuality, and the seemingly outdated concept of modesty.
According to feminists, to 'objectify' a women is to view her as a sexual object. They claim that this objectification pervades our culture and has even caused women to objectify themselves. Due to the dominance of pornography in its various forms, men just can't help but to entertain sexual thoughts when confronted with the slightest sexual stimuli.
So what, then, is man's natural sexual appetite? A straight man's sexual orientation, its proper object (pardon the pun), is aimed at the opposite sex, the female. I'll save you all a Discovery Channel- lesson and briefly say that women are equipped with certain assets that men recognize, and sexually so. There doesn't seem to be a point to a sexual orientation otherwise.
I argue that one's sexual appetite has a biological foundation but is also heavily influenced by the environment. Those surroundings, however, are hyper-sexualized in this country. The USA is the #1 exporter of porn. The industry, and its coexisting ideology, permeates across our daily lives. Young teenagers are introduced to this perversion at an exponential rate and this has obvious consequences: young men have an abnormal appetite for sexual pleasure and develop what I call 'the porn lens', whereby they see women as a complicated puzzle game that rewards the victor with sex.
Throwing a curveball at all of this is the fact that we aren't mere animals operating on instincts like a puppet guided by its strings. We can, and often do, suppress our appetites, instincts, and desires all the time. This is why men can observe an event such as GoTopless and not rape every half naked woman they find. This doesn't mean, however, that they don't get sexual thoughts by observing these bare-breasted activists. In fact, whether they desire it or not, men probably do have those thoughts due to their overly sexual upbringing acting upon their physiology. Those who can keep those thoughts at bay do so with great effort, looking away, fearing that their thoughts will violate the activist. How one suppresses these thoughts depends upon their level of self-control including their adherence to moral virtues. This leads me to a further point.
Whether fully naked or scantily clothed, no man is justified in making sexual advances toward a woman, nor does he receive a single grain of justification for raping a woman who, according to rapist lingo, "was asking for it" due to her choice of clothing. However, women who possess knowledge of our perverted culture, but still choose to show off their sexual assets are making a mistake if they want to promote their feminist ideals. A woman's breasts are considered erogenous, that is, they promote sexual arousal in males because they promote sexual stimulation in females. Therefore, feminist ideals promoted in these strange protests are likely to have the opposite effect.
In a town plagued by break-ins, one may leave their doors unlocked in order to send a message: "Don't tell me to lock my doors! Tell those burglars to stop breaking in homes!" Fair enough. However, despite the burglar not receiving an ounce of justification for his crime, the homeowner is increasing the chance that a break-in will take place. The anti-burglary message will fall on deaf ears and, in fact, will bring joy to the thief's ears knowing that this particular home is easier to rob.
So it is with sexual feminism. Many promote this slogan while their breasts are exposed: "Don't tell me to cover up! Teach men not to rape!" Yes, men shouldn't rape regardless of a woman's choice of clothes or lack thereof. However, showing your breasts to men who have largely been indoctrinated by our porn culture will only help their sick fantasies grow. I recently asked some of my coworkers about this, and despite a serious conversation eventually occurring, it began with a typical response: "Women walking around showing off their tits? Hell yeah I'd like that!" I think this mentality represents the majority, even if those thoughts are kept to themselves.
I argue that their method of activism is hypocritical and self-defeating. It can never just be about a woman's right to bare her breasts. Even if it was, they have to deal with the sexual aspects first. However, in the rare event they discuss the inherent sexual issues that breasts bring to the table, one receives a confused, circular explanation. On one hand they'll cite the freedom to sexually express themselves, but on the other hand maintain that sexual objectification by men (in particular) is wrong. If men are wrong to have sexual thoughts about half naked women, then what about a man's freedom to 'sexually express' himself in porn or by verbal communication? Some maintain that porn IS sexual expression and that feminists don't have a monopoly on the concept. So do feminists take the censorship route by banning or limiting porn? If so, then how do they get away from being charged with double standards? After all, if the majority of men want to see 'free tits' on the sidewalk, then why would feminists want to cave into that form of patriarchy? I thought you combated perversion with modesty.
My own opinion of the situation is mixed. On one hand, I agree with them. A man's chest (not necessarily his breasts/nipples) can be erogenic to women (broad shoulders, abs, etc). If we allow a man to walk around without a shirt on, despite the fact that it could cause sexual desires in women, then it seems odd that we demand a harsher standard for women. But my solution goes in the complete opposite direction. Perhaps men and women should cover themselves up more! Perhaps modesty is the solution. If I do not want sexual attention, then the last thing I want to do is expose the parts of my body that cause sexual desires in women. In that respect, I would expect feminists to think the same. For me, it's a matter of courtesy. Unfortunately, feminism has gotten so extreme that it isn't about equality anymore; it's about turning the tables on men so that women can have their dominance.
Should a woman be fined for indecent exposure for showing her breasts? Perhaps not. There are ways to tolerate it. However, the slippery slope this topic possesses should warn us. Since Progressives are so keen on tearing down barriers for the sake of tearing them down, then what about public sex laws? What about full nudity and exposing the prime erogenous body parts? Some say this behavior is natural. But like those who use art as an excuse to do anything profane, these hippies lack a moral compass to put an end to their destruction of barriers. From a historical standpoint, humans are animals that clothe themselves. Even in societies that tolerated nudity, the natural, common behavior was to have some form of clothing on. Therefore, those who cite nature as a justification for their partial nudity are wrong. Is it any shock that the GoTopless leader must invoke aliens to promote his pseudo-spiritual worldview?