sTopless Protest

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What does it say about Hit & Run regulars Ari Spanier and Chris Howell that they both flagged the following stories for your edification? Only their psychoanalysts–and maybe their mothers–know for sure.

Protest To Aim At Equal Topless Rights

'Top-free' protest not a 'malfunction'

Insert Janet Jackson joke here.

NEXT: Cover Up

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  1. The story gets better…

    “Book’s husband, Robert Van Winkle, bailed her out in 1998…”

    Mr. Van Winkle’s alter ego

  2. I’m all for it, but it’ll never happen. It may not look like it at first glance, but Daytona Beach is actually quite conservative. It’s one of the few places I’ve lived that I truly miss. Those were the days…

  3. What does it say about Hit & Run regulars Ari Spanier and Chris Howell that they both flagged the following stories for your edification?

    It says they’re regular Hit & Run readers.

  4. I used to live in upstate NY. There was a group that held a protest every year. The first year they got arrested, so after that they went far out of town so not to draw attention (the hell?) Anyway they actually did get the law changed so that women can go topless wherever men can. Now that they have the right, it’s never used.

  5. oh yeah …
    STOP LINKING STORIES THAT REQUIRE EMAIL REGISTRATION!

  6. Can’t they make the law so that only women of certain charms are permitted to do this deed?

    And I second the don’t use links that require registration.

  7. How about a compromise, if you post a link requiring registration, give us a fake login to use.

  8. I third that emotion.

  9. I propose you use the email of the blogger for login, in this case, login with ngillespie@reason.com!

  10. Yeah, it’s legal for ladies to go topless on the NYC subway, but after 2 years I’m still waiting!

  11. When I lived in Austin, Texas, the local courts ruled that since men could be in public without a shirt, that women had the same right.

    I am happy to see that I did not see any biker chicks take advantage of this local ruling.

    I support women being topless as much as the next guy, but there are esthetic considerations as far as biker chicks go.

  12. I can’t speak for Chris Howell, but please cut me some slack. I’m a Libertarian who lives in Berkeley (where they would probably love to completely fund my psychoanalysis) and works in non-profit. In light of those two points, I consider myself quiet well-adjusted, despite the fact that sent a boobs related stories to Reason.

  13. The whole thing from te Orlando Slantinel.
    For those of you who don’t want to register.
    (looks about the same as the Channel Nine story)

    ‘Top-free’ protest not a ‘malfunction’

    By Jeff Libby | Sentinel Staff Writer
    Posted March 2, 2004

    DAYTONA BEACH — When Ormond Beach mom Liz Book exposes her breasts Sunday, it won’t be a “wardrobe malfunction.” It will be a call for women’s rights.

    At noon Sunday, the last day of Bike Week, Book hopes to lead 1,000 “top-free” women and men along a half-mile of Main Street from the pier to the bridge.

    Despite the backlash to Janet Jackson’s “accidental” exposure during the Super Bowl halftime show, Book hopes her march could prompt a movement that could eventually add Daytona Beach to the small but growing list of places that allow women to show their breasts openly, just like men.

    Even if only two people join her protest, she’ll still go through with it, she said. “I never want to see another girl handcuffed and crying in the street because she yanked her top,” said Book, 42. “Exposed breasts have been a part of the biker lifestyle for more than 50 years.”

    In the final lead-up to a march Book has been planning for months, she has been repeating her message on local talk radio several nights during the past week. She has handed out and posted hundreds of fliers along Main Street and has a stack of 1,500 still to distribute.

    City officials and police are mostly taking a wait-and-see approach, in part because the city’s ordinance allows nudity when it is clothed in political protest.

    Protest or crime

    “It all depends on their behavior,” said Al Tolley, Daytona Beach police spokesman. “The complexion of any protest can change, and it can turn into a lewd act in a heartbeat.”

    Charles “Chuck” Eitel, a Main Street merchant, wants women who shed their tops for the protest immediately arrested.

    “It’s a sham. It’s going to give bikers a bad image,” Eitel said. “I told the police, ‘Make sure you have the bus parked right at the end of the street and have a lot of zip-ties [plastic handcuffs] and get rid of them.’ ”

    Kevin Kilian, vice president for events and communications for The Chamber-Daytona Beach and Halifax Area, said his group also is opposed to Book’s planned protest.

    “We as a community make a lot of concessions for our visitors,” Kilian said. “It shouldn’t be too much to ask that they respect the laws while they’re here.”

    The city’s nudity ordinance resulted in fines of $253 for 59 women who exposed their breasts during last year’s Bike Week, according to police records.

    Book’s husband, Robert Van Winkle, bailed her out in 1998 when she was arrested for baring her breasts inside the Full Moon Saloon.

    “A breast hasn’t hurt anyone,” Van Winkle said.

    But baring them did hurt Book, who says she was stripped of her ability to chaperone school field trips for her daughter, now 11, when she moved to Volusia County three years ago because of the arrest.

    Morley Schloss, a retired school administrator who helped decriminalize women’s bare breasts in New York in the late 1980s, said women more recently have won the right to go top-free in parts of Maine, Vermont and in several provinces of Canada.

    Federal lawsuit filed

    A group of women in Brevard County, known as the “Topfree 10,” have filed a federal lawsuit seeking the right to go shirtless in nonsexual contexts wherever men do, during such outside activities as beachgoing or gardening.

    “It’s really a pernicious thing, requiring women to wear tops and not men. It just reinforces the objectification of women,” said Schloss, a resident of a nudist resort in Loxahatchee. “Top-free women are seen as stronger, and they don’t get any harassment at all. The most reaction I’ve ever seen is a thumb’s up.”

    But the atmosphere is far more charged in the huge, partying crowds attracted to Daytona Beach during Bike Week, spring break and Black College Reunion, Tolley said.

    “What happens, when a woman exposes her breasts, if we allow it to continue, then we can get to a situation where a woman is overpowered by the crowd and she can get groped. The situation can very quickly spiral out of control,” Tolley said.

    Lori “Lilbit” Mauldin, a salesclerk at the Drunken Pirate T-shirt shop on Main Street, says she and some of her friends plan to march Sunday, even if they have to risk being thrown in jail.

    “We’re fighting for our rights to do what men do,” Mauldin said. “If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me.”

    Jeff Libby can be reached at jlibby@orlandosentinel.com
    or 386-253-2316.

    Copyright ? 2004, Orlando Sentinel

  14. > when a woman exposes her breasts, if we allow it to continue, then we can get to a situation where a woman is overpowered by the crowd and she can get groped.

  15. Much ado about nothing, folks. As a previous poster noted, just because it’s legal does NOT mean it becomes the newest fad. Dammit!

  16. I was going to point out the inanities in the Sentinel story but there are just too many. I just don’t have time. Suffice it to say law enforcement officials can always be counted on to display themselves as the biggest boobs of all.

  17. One word: WEBCAM

    Where is the webcam for the protest????

  18. Good one, Isaac.

  19. Happening right near my place? Sweet! Consider me there.

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