If you squeezed your way through the mobs of photo-snapping onlookers in Bryant Park or Times Square yesterday, there was a chance you could have observed the New York rally for Go Topless Day, which was celebrated in forty cities worldwide. A dozen or so women took to Midtown to celebrate their legal right to let their lady bits stand (or, in some cases, droop) freely.
In 1992, New York State ruled that women have the right to be topless anywhere a man does, much to the surprise of many New Yorkers that The Observer talked to yesterday. Even some of those braving the sidewalk bare-boobed didn’t know they were free to do so until this weekend. Maxine Krasnow had tickets to see a Broadway show but after reading about Go Topless Day in the Metro newspaper she ditched her theater plans—and her shirt. She did admit to us she was “a little worried about people leering at first,” but we saw her leading the pack with a sign reading, “Free your breasts. It’s your right,” by the end of the afternoon.
Moira Johnston, who has received local fame as a topless advocate in the Union Square area the last three months, was the belle of the ball to photogs and male admirers when she arrived on 43rd Street. Ms. Johnston was unfazed, but when we took a break from the hoopla—and bare-boobdom—inside a Starbucks, she spoke freely. “This is not for attention because there’s a lot of other ways to get attention.” The 29-year-old exotic dancer told us, “There is a real negative side to it, too,” she said, referring to the nasty jabs she often hears. “I know what I’m doing isn’t accepted but I’m willing to sacrifice that for women’s rights.” Read More