Culture, Life, New York City, Personal Liberation, Politics/World Issues, Sex

Topfreedom: The Right to Bare Breasts

Topfree in the Square

Me, topfree

No, I will not ask anyone if they will be disturbed by what I’m doing. I will not shy away from kids or turn my back to the playground, especially since you could not present me with the specification in the law that says I can’t be topfree in certain proximity to a playground. I will not shy away from answering questions, neither will discourage young women NOT to do what I am doing. I will let my life, the “clarity of my example” and demeanor of calm and stillness be my testament  to prove that I believe in the right to bare breasts.

Maybe I need to present some research on this (maybe not), but I believe the baring of breasts and the viewing of said breasts is very healing for the soul. Although I’m not trying to prove anything. I only wish share my experiences and thoughts about my new movement, a movement of one, (or should I say three: me and my two breasts.) T.I.T.S. is an acronym for Topfree in the Square, and beginning a few weeks ago I have been going topfree, on random days, in Union Square. Today while writing this, I’m in Brooklyn Heights by the Promenade. I like being near bodies of water easily accessible to where I live because it soothes me. It’s very calming. Lately, I’ve been going through some pretty difficult emotional ups and downs, caused by my expectations set upon another human being. That always works out for us right? Especially when sex is involved, especially when no clear commitment has been established (except to be exclusive sexual partners), especially when you’re carrying baggage from the past–and the person is a spot on reincarnation of various traits that you love and hate from the past relationships in your life. And, especially when you’re me. But that’s for another blog post. That deserves it’s own.

This one is about my breasts and my right the bare them and what it means for my personal liberation at this time in my life.  One of my purposes for the movement is to bring up a few points– I think it says a lot about our society and culture when we:

1) shun the sight of the human body in its natural form

2) allow our children to view violence but we are afraid to be naked in front of them

3) spend more time trying make a woman put her shirt back on rather than helping people who truly need help

4) are openly sexist, and have no problem with a man baring his chest. The breasts of a woman are nurturing and generally fare better when they are not strapped down, pushed up and out, or otherwise covered where the skin can’t breathe and the lymph isn’t free to move around. (I wear push up bras, but they don’t feel like I’m wearing anything. I’ve gone back to wearing no bra most of the time, it makes it easier to go topfree, and also I have some pretty nasty scars underneath my breasts from wearing them in the heat where the combination of the sweat, fabric, and friction caused a pretty serious rash. Now there’s hyperpigmentation in that area. I call them my Battle Scars, even though they’re fading.)

Now that I think of it, I should have known that I’d always be this type of woman. When I was younger, while a teenager, I didn’t wear a bra for years. Even as an adult I practiced “topfreedom (I coined it this term. I coined it!).” I was told that my breasts would sag when I got older, but that didn’t really resonate with me. I loved the fact that my breasts were perky enough to wear a shirt that showed a lot of skin with no bra. (And “perky breasts” shouldn’t be a pre-requisite for going topfree or accepting your breasts as beautiful.) Even side cleavage caused an issue. See-through tops I could sometimes get away with. I guess it’s the exhibitionist in me and part cellular memory of when I lived in a place where women walk around topfree; but I just love showing my boobs.

While sitting topfree in the Square (Union Square, New York City) yesterday, two young girls who could have been anywhere from ages 14 to 19 came up to me while I was working on my laptop. They were shy, trendily dressed, had young fresh Cover Girl worthy faces, and they asked me “Um, why are you like… that?” I calmly answered (I love when I answer calmly. When I’m calm, that’s how I know what I’m doing is in alignment with my  higher self and divine purpose.) “It’s my right.” They slowly came to understand, but that answer gave them pause. “It’s legal,” I contiuned. “Anywhere a man can be topfree a woman can be, in New York City.” (This law is People vs. Santorelli, if you’re curious.) They said “Ok” and walked away. Later one of their guy friends came to me and I went more in depth about how I feel that I’m raising awareness of this law so that people will ask other questions about why we feel so strongly about a woman being topfree. Yet, we allow violence and unhealthy body and sexual images to be fed to our children and ourselves, as adults. I told him that it is most important for his generation (which very well may be my generation as well, he is 19, I am 27) to know this. They have the energy and intellect to spread this information and educate people. He was very receptive. I’m sure being topfree didn’t hurt. Most of the time we were talking though, he looked me in my eyes, and his eyes never lingered on my breasts. His friend, one of the two girls who approached me earlier that day, wanted to take a picture with me, but by that time I had my top on. She wanted to take it anyway. She said she felt self-conscious because she was wearing no bra that day, and seeing me really put things in perspective for her. I told her not to allow anyone to tell her she was any less worthy of respect because of what she wears or does not wear, whether or not she chooses to show a little or a lot of skin. I told her that she was a Goddess, although she may not fully realize it yet, and as she gets older and knows herself more, it will show. She nodded. Purpose fulfilled.

I also did a few interviews that day. One in particular I will post here. I am extremely proud and honored to be a part of this much larger movement of women’s liberation, human sexuality, and sexual politics. My part of the movement is called T.I.T.S. for Topfree in the Square, but I am not the first woman to do this. I’m expanding and building upon what has already been done, although I’ve never heard of anyone doing it in Brooklyn. I love being the first. No one is really making a big deal out of here. No one has come up to me. But I’m not even doing it for them. I’m doing it for me. I’ll probably stay out here all night until I have to pee. Then I’ll head to Starbucks where I’ll have to put my shirt back on. They may not force me to, but I don’t know if men can be topfree in a business establishment.

Plus, today, I’m tired. I’m low on iron because of a low dose estrogen birth control pill that my uterus is type ANGRY for me even considering taking it. She has been crampy, bleedy, clotty. My vulva tissues have been off balance (on intermittent fire) since even before I started taking the pill, stressing about womb choices and financial issues, synthetic unnatural birth control options and, despite a strong desire to someday be a mother (I feel I’m being chosen by a soul in the beyond) whether or not I’m even worthy to get pregnant, being jobless and ringless and all. And Black. And a woman! Bottom line, I will NEVER go against my womb and my better judgment again. And if I could let her breathe without being arrested or harassed, I would do that too. There are worse things than getting pregnant, even by a man who doesn’t want kids. Feeling like you betrayed one of the most important parts of you does not feel good at all. My womb and I had an agreement that we would keep our self care and healing as natural as feasible. Also, I went to the water last night to do a gratitude ritual (topfree as well), because I was just so thankful that the water was still THERE… (Abandonment issues that by the time you read this post, will be cleared. Hopefully. )  It is so expansive and cleansing, so maternal and feminine, I was reminded me of how I need to be, and how powerful I will always be if I remember it, honor it, and embody its characteristics.  The water and womb are closely connected. I let my spirit speak for me when I sat down: “I feel I’ve dishonored you in some way.” Damn right I did. When I dishonor my womb, I dishonor all the waters of the world: I went all demanding on my womb choice, or at least, impatient.

And I put these damn God-forsaken fake ass hormones in my body, to stop one of the most natural and desired processes of the female reproductive system. Not only does it stop pregnancy, but it stops OVULATION! I can’t say I would be 100% thrilled at getting pregnant right now, especially in the circumstances I’m in, but I use my cycle to track my life. And to stop that….well when you know better you do better. And I know there are natural ways where if you don’t want to get pregnant, you won’t.

I believe that personal liberation comes from living your life like you were the first one to ever do it…If it weren’t for those damn precedents. And, I still kinda do wanna get pregnant. This desire has not gone away, despite not having the other things I want yet like: that loving supportive and willing partner , and that flowing abundance, and most importantly, fulfilling divine soul-purpose work. Like emotional calm and balance. I want the right to bare breasts and the right to be unemployed, unmarried, and pregnant if I so choose…and blissful beyond my wildest dreams.