It has been legal for Ontario women to bare their breasts in public for two decades now, though apparently a police officer didn’t know that, recently:
Three Kitchener, Ont., sisters are planning to file a formal complaint after they say they were stopped by a police officer for cycling topless.
Tameera, Nadia and Alysha Mohamed took off their shirts while riding their bikes in downtown Kitchener on Friday evening because of the heat. They say they received mostly positive reaction, until a police officer stopped them on Shanley Street.
“He said, ‘Ladies, you need to put on some shirts,'” said Tameera Mohamed. “We said, ‘No we don’t … it’s our legal right in Ontario to be topless as women.'”
(Which is true, alas. BTW, interesting that Muslim women would go topless. Guess they’re not all that devout…)
And so naturally, they’re planning a rally to protest their treatment.
Dozens of people are expected to show up to a demonstration in Waterloo, Ont. on Saturday, a week after three topless women were stopped by police.
It’ll be interesting to see how many protesters go topless in solidarity.
Because, despite the law allowing such for two decades, few take advantage of this ‘right’, much to the chagrin of feminists:
It’s been more than 20 years since Gwen Jacob walked topless down a street in Guelph, Ont., and was charged with committing an indecent act. That sparked a court battle that ultimately vindicated her, and the courts ruled it was legal for women to go topless in Ontario.
Just because it’s legal to go without tops, however, doesn’t mean it’s culturally any easier for women to do it now than it was for Jacob in 1991.
“We have a pervasive culture of women being harassed on streets all the time,” said Aimee Morrison, associate English professor at the University of Waterloo and frequent commenter on women’s issues.
Morrison says many women still fear being harassed, so opt to remain covered. “We very much have a culture of policing what girls and women can and cannot do with their bodies in public spaces, in order to be deemed blameless or appropriately feminine,” she said.
No, stupid fembot; it’s women themselves who don’t want unwanted male attention, not out of fear, but thankfully out of some vestigial Anglo-Saxon modesty, that still remains in this province. For which I am grateful.
“The law is a little bit more progressive in its understanding of what is and is not indecent between men’s abilities to go topless and women’s abilities to go topless,” said Aimee Morrison,
“But culturally, there is not a norm in Waterloo Region, or in Canada or North America generally where we are used to seeing women do this,” she said.
That’s because most people still recognize that there’s a difference between men going topless and women doing so, because men’s chests aren’t sexual.
“I just wouldn’t feel comfortable doing it,” said Morgan Scoyne, who said it didn’t make a difference whether it was on a city street or at the beach.
The fembot blames ‘rape culture’, of course, as if such a thing existed.
Anyway, I, for one, am glad that just because a law changed in a particular prog direction, hasn’t meant that many have embraced their new ‘right’, and that existing cultural norms have prevailed to such an extent that even a law enforcement officer is unaware that the law has changed.
I’m grateful for small victories in the cultural war; this is one of them, notwithstanding the prog legal victory.