Monday, August 03, 2015

The right to bare the top in public

Years ago a performance of a Senegalese national folkdance group at the national theater in Taipei was nearly forced to cancel because the authorities would not issue them permit unless the female dancers agreed to cover their top. The authorities were badly criticized for not respecting other nation’s culture, for, in Senegal, female dancers in a traditional dance were always topless.  

Canadian women recently were rallying demanding their rights to bare their chest freely in public. They held that nudity was not sexuality and encouraged people to show support for desexualizing women’s breasts.

Although the women’s breasts have long been extolled as the source of lives, it is also a fact that they have long been sexualized and materialized as “social instruments,” a term sarcastically coined by Sisy Chen, a local television commentator. And it was outrageous to read about reports now and then that mothers were stopped when breastfeeding their babies in public on grounds of indecent exposure.

Do women have rights to bare their chest openly? My vote is the same as those lawmakers of Ontario, Canada who passed a law to allow women bare their breasts legally openly. But I guess in Taiwan, most women would still be reluctant to exercise such rights even it is legal.



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