Video from the GoTopless rally

A brief video from the National GoTopless rally at Pack Square in downtown Asheville. Due to the very nature of the event, the video should be considered not safe for work.

Xpress caught the early part of the event.

UPDATE: AskAshevillle put together this comprehensive video of the event.

And YouTube user Sonia Hendrix caught the post-rally march through the streets of downtown.

Here’s more information on the event, from the GoTopless website.

Free your breasts, free your mind! Some healing words
Come join us in Asheville, NC where we will celebrate National GoTopless Day in Pack Square at 1PM.

North Carolina is a top free state so our Gotopless event will encourage the participating women to exercise their right to be topless in public.

It should be such an easy thing to do but with centuries of repression upon us, it is sometimes difficult for women not to feel ashamed of exposing their bosom in public.

With these GoTopless events, we aim to push back further the frontier of indecency which once started at our ankle and wrists when long gowns with long sleeves were in fashion. Back in the 1900’s, women would have felt completely ashamed of wearing a 2 piece bikini on the beach.

Women have certainly come a long way since then. A hundred years later, their challenge is to overcome their shame over exposing their breasts in spite of the harsh criticism of those who would like to maintain the discriminatory status quo: man can show their chest but women can’t.

The pretense is that women’s chest is sexually appealing. That is true. However, what part of a woman’s body is not? The Taliban have gone to the extreme to barrage every inch of women’s sensuality.

In American, we seem to have come to terms with a more sectioned type of “Burqa” which even our most conservative americans are finding “decent”. However, Taliban men would find outrageous the attire that conservative American women find decent and proper.

One can see that it is simply a matter of programming and upbringing. In Western Europe, after 40 years of women going topless on the beach, no one even looks at topless women sunbathing anymore.

Men are no longer any sexual obsession over their breasts because it has become a normal sight. It is difficult for many Americans to imagine this in our society but that is how the human brain works. Repression brings obsession. When the repression is gone, the obsession goes away too.

That is a good thing because repression can also beget violence and the most repressed society are indeed the most violent. So when Maitreya Rael founded GoTopless.org he had women’s rights in mind but also the healing of a very troubled humanity.

Free your breasts, free your mind women and men of Asheville… for Humankind.

Nadine Gary, president GoTopless.org

Another video of the event, this one by vbubuioc

And for another point of view, a columnist for the SF Weekly said the GoTopless events are publicity stunts for the Raelians, a cult that believes alien scientists created humans.

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43 thoughts on “Video from the GoTopless rally

  1. I’m going to go ahead and say what everyone else has been thinking for the past week or two about this event.

    It’s unmitigated BS. It’s nothing more than a peep show for “sensitive” males and a chance for “oppressed” middle class women to set themselves back another 30 years or so.

    Wearing clothing is about as oppressive as having to eat and poop.

  2. evolved

    i agree mat. there are much bigger issues like wars and famine, what a stupid event. get together to fight for something that matters, and don’t wear a shirt if u don’t want to. just look at all the pervs with their cameras.

  3. Gary

    interesting how protests against illegal wars…protests for human rights…protests against inequality….protests to stop the inhuman treatment of animals…pale in compariosn to the numbers of people who apparently turned out to see woman go topless for an hour or two. Unfortunately the throngs of people turning out to gawk is precisely why this archaic and ridiculous law exists. Nothing changes. Now, back to football…

  4. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Now back to football…?

    Well, mat catastrophe, evolved, and Gary, why exactly did all of you take time out of your day to spend time watching this exhibitionism?

    Let us hear some of your serious opinions on your stated “bigger issues like wars and famine,” “something that matters,” “illegal wars,” “inequality,” and “inhuman treatment of animals.”

    Actually, I am playing devil’s advocate, because I agree with all three of you.

    I feel the same way about this exhibitionism that I feel about womanless wedding fundraisers and men buying and dressing up in sexy red high heels for parades in the street supposedly to combat sexual violence against women. (Wouldn’t donating that shoe money to victims of violence shelters make more sense?)

    It’s perfectly fine to do all of the above if it makes you feel good. Just flaunt it and strut your stuff while you’ve got it, but don’t try to sell the public on your altruistic ulterior motives. Just admitting why you want to do it is far more honorable and understandable, and more fun.

  5. bill smith

    Funny how the MX is using the shock value of this event. Boobs on the front page, eh, Xpress? I thought these sorts of things were frowned upon?

    [i]After much discussion among Xpress editors, we’ve decided to close this thread.

    A big part of our mission here is to facilitate a community discussion, to create community. We want to respect everyone’s point of
    view. But there are boundaries, and at times we feel obligated to step in. In this case, we felt the discussion was headed downhill
    and decided to end it.

    We can hear the questions now: So what is obscene or inappropriate or offensive? It’s difficult to answer with a simple rule, other than to say we address
    these issues on a case-by-case basis and are sensitive to users’ concerns.
    [/i]

    http://www.mountainx.com/forums/viewthread/594/P15/

  6. Why the social stigma against women going topless?
    Because conventional wisdom says it makes them immodest. Another word for that would be ‘sluts’.

    Why is being a ‘slut’ a bad thing?
    Because of the usually unvoiced but keenly felt belief that ‘sluts’ invite rape, and that by inviting it they deserve it. The folk belief is that Men naturally cannot help themselves around ‘sluts’, and will assault and harass them without being able to help themselves, and it is the fault of the ‘sluts’ tempting the poor, weak Men.
    This belief is bull. It is superstition. Most rape is by people the women know. Clothing, or lack thereof, has nothing to do with it. Men can indeed help themselves from harassing women dressed in a away the men consider ‘slutty’. They simply choose not to, because they can, because society allows them to.
    Women should be able to wear, or not wear, whatever they want, without being hassled. Men should be able to be around women wearing (or not wearing) whatever the women want, and not act like jackasses. This is not about women being exhibitionists, this is about trying to hold men to a higher standard. I am okay with this.
    Art there more important issues than they ability of women to go topless without harassment? Of course. In many ways, the fact that we can spare any sort of attention to this is a celebration of our culture, that we can count this as a problem.
    But it is a problem. And it is indicative of larger problems. There are two extremes on a continuum- The ability for women to easily go topless, and have complete autonomy over their bodies, and having women being forced to wear whatever some men deem as modest, with no autonomy over their bodies. You may not like either extreme, but you need to choose a side. Choose wisely.

    • Jean

      Because women’s breasts should not be exposed anmore than a man’s testicles. Testicles are not sexual either,but do you see men protesting to show theirs????

    • Barry Summers

      Jean, by my calculations, you must be roughly 15 AUs (‘astronomical units’, or 15 times the distance from the Earth to the Sun), for it to have taken this long for you to read this article and have your response make it back to Earth nine months later. How are the Space Food Sticks holding out?

      Get back to us if you discover intelligent life out there. In the words of Monty Python: “‘Cause there’s bugger all down here on Earth.”

    • Barry Summers

      Wow Jean, apologies. I miscalculated, obviously. You are not 15 AUs from Earth, you must be at least 11,000 AUs from Earth, or 165 billion kilometers (that’s French), or 3/4 of the way to the Oort Cloud. How are the testicles out there?

      I look forward to your reply in eight months, 17 days.

  7. pinx

    and when you guys take your shirts off is it because you need a break from stopping wars & ending famines?

  8. Ashevegasjoe

    Thats the worst assembly of tatas since the last time I went to the treasure club (last night). Please, women and men, put on more clothing. I’m gonna have to main-line viagra just to hook up with my lady tonite–images won’t leave brain–ughh.

  9. Betty Cloer Wallace

    I totally agree with Johnny Lemuria, but the converse is also true about the social stigma regarding all the rest of our body parts–for both male and female and everything else along that gender-designation continuum, all inclusive.

    The man-made Adam-Eve mythology has really corrupted our psyches and impacted our euphemistic descriptors, but hopefully not irredeemably.

    Humans are clearly a work in progress.

    So, Johnny, tell us your thoughts about all of us baring the rest of our body parts for the next walk of fame…..

  10. teally

    thank you, mr. lemuria. you said just what i was thinking, and more. and you said it very well. props!!

  11. I’m all for it. Tactically it may be a poor choice nowadays, but I have no problem with the cultural norm for the civilized world eventually going to clothing-optional.
    Personal autonomy is personal autonomy, it should be celebrated as a good in of itself, and it should extend to what you are (or are not) wearing.

  12. Nobody

    Yawn…. As a kid I traveled to Europe and was on topless beaches back then. This is silly but if people feel they need to go topless in public, then so be it. Even with those topless beaches in the EU, there really isn’t a push to go topless in the streets of Paris, Athens, or Rome or Berlin.

    Oh well…. This must be another example of “American Exceptualism” as they call it.

    I call it just plain silly, but hey… That’s my 2 cents.

  13. Betty Cloer Wallace

    @ Nobody: “ ‘American Exceptualism’ as they call it.”

    Specifically, yawn, who is the “they” who call it that?

  14. evolved

    I’m not opposed, I just think it’s a waste of time. How about show your penis day next weekend? No pants, woohoo! No more penis oppression! Free your balls!

  15. Betty Cloer Wallace

    @ dankster: those opposing this are prudes – get out & enjoy life & get over it !

    Get out? Enjoy life? Get over it?

    Get over what exactly?

    • Jean

      No Betty, you are the prude, because you want us women to show nudity, but you men don’t push for men to show nudity. What a bunch of double standards.

  16. Clearly, the oppression of clothing is the thing that we most plainly must rid ourselves of. It is nothing more than a capitalist ploy to separate us from our money and a ploy of the pious to make us ashamed of our bodies.

    These clothes are nothing more than a second, false skin. We must peel it away and reveal our *true* natures. Rael has seen the way. Rael has seen the light.

    Rael is the light.

    Our equality as people is rooted not in our socio-political condition. Nor even in our gender, as that term is commonly defined. No, our equality of people is rooted in ridding ourselves of these second skins.

    The time has come.

    Rael is the light.

    Chris Matthews can keep his “American Exceptionalism”. I’ll take the freedom from clothing. That is the only right and freedom that I need.

    Rael has seen the way. And the truth. And the alien onslaught.

    They see only our clothes and they will burn the clothed when they return.

    This is the way the world ends, this is the way the trees bend, this is the new trend.

    All power is derived from freeing ourselves of these second skins, these false scraps of wool and cotton. The prophet Polly Esther has said that all clothing is sin before the eyes of the Great Giggity and we must follow its proclamation and lay ourselves prostate and nude before it.

    Let they who say nay come and stare at our beauty and be changed. Let them come and worship our bold statements.

    Let them know.

  17. dankster

    @ Betty Cloer Wallace – being a prude – life is way too short and most people spend 8 hours a day 7 days a week wearing clothes they have no desire wearing other than pleasing there employer or others around them due to social standards that some feel they need to force upon others. on another note i feel all the men taking pictures are pathetic!…but hay i guess sheeple will be sheeples.

  18. Betty Cloer Wallace

    @ mat cat: Okay, I guess.

    @ dankster: Wish you’d been here when I had a party to burn all my dress-for-success suits. It was fun.

  19. You know, dankster, in a thousand years when nudism is the norm, there will be some “WEAR CLOTHES” protest and people like you talking about how people shouldn’t be prudes.

    Protesting a “societal standard” just because it’s a “societal standard” is pretty much a straight-up derp maneuver.

  20. It is simply wrong to legally impose different dress codes for men and women. It is sexist to define men’s bare chests as “OK” and women’s as “nude” or “sexual” (they are neither). YouTube’s censorship of the first video above is a prime example of th very sexism under protest here.

  21. ashevillain7

    I can’t take credit for this and it might have even been said in these comments somewhere:

    We don’t reveal ourselves by taking our clothes off, we reveal ourselves when we put them on.

    Truth.

  22. I joined the thousands of folks who stayed away, so can’t offer any first hand observations.

    But I know that my habit of wearing Birkenstocks through the summer, with a jacket and tie, is a frequent source of amusement or criticism.

    Women, of course, wear open toed footwear with impunity.

    Just sayin’

  23. Against the Grain

    I wish there was equality swinging the other way –
    that everyone has to wear shirts all of the time.

    I don’t want to see anyone’s floppy breast meat or hanging tummy’s, male or female.

    Equality, yes.
    Decency, not so much.

  24. “But I know that my habit of wearing Birkenstocks through the summer, with a jacket and tie, is a frequent source of amusement or criticism.
    Women, of course, wear open toed footwear with impunity.
    Just sayin”

    Well it’s just not GQ to mix casual (Birkenstocks) with semi dress (jacket and tie)….so find some dress sandals, then you should be ok.

  25. Cecil and Ms. Magnolia, there will always be social stigma associated with unusual styles of dress. For another example, women can get away with sleeveless dress at formal occasions when men cannot. But this misses the point: Only the top-free issue carries the force of law, with criminal penalties for women doing what men may routinely do freely.

  26. entopticon

    They weren’t hurting or threatening anybody, so what on earth is the problem? So what if some people wanted to take a stand against what they believe to be ludicrous taboos about women’s breasts? And so what if it may or may not be the most important issue to anybody? Some people played miniature golf yesterday, and nobody is here railing about what a waste of time that is.

  27. bill smith

    Are women really interested in losing their power through the demystification of the mammary gland?

  28. Betty Cloer Wallace

    @ Bill Smith: ”Are women really interested in losing their power through the demystification of the mammary gland?”

    Did you mean for that to be sexist, Bill, or did it just slip up on you? Who exactly, these days, is “mystified” by mammaries except for sexually stunted men whom women have no interest in “mystifying” anyway?

    The crux of the clothing matter regarding equality is that we should get past our culturally-ingrained idea that women do whatever they do, including dress, for the sake of men, while men do not feel the need to dress for the sake of women.

    Men in the U. S. should be asking themselves if they wear baggy pants for some “mystification” purpose.

  29. Rhonda Kay

    When Adam and Eve defied God’s command to not eat of the tree, they were given over to a feeling of shame. That is why they covered themselves with fig leaves because they were naked. A feeling of shame caused them to cover themselves. It is natural to want to cover certain parts of the body. It is not natural to not be ashamed of going nude in public. It is of a depraved mind for women to go nude in public and not feel ashamed.

  30. NativeMtnBoy

    I think it’s rather ironic that they are going topless in Asheville to protest laws restricting women going topless, yet it’s legal for women to go topless in Asheville to begin with. So what, exactly, were they protesting and how are women in Asheville being oppressed to begin with if the law is in their favor? Sounds like someone didn’t get enough attention when they were a child.

  31. bill smith

    [b]Bill, how is it you think women have “power” when they can get arrested for doing what men can freely do?[/b]

    Firstly, as has been noted several times, it is not illegal for a woman to be topless in asheville. So they can not be “arrested for doing what men can freely do”.

    Secondly, Wwomen have ‘power’ by perpetuating the mystification of their mammary glands through adornment/covering. If men were used to them just floppin about like he fatty appendage they are, much of their allure would be lost

  32. bill smith

    [b]Did you mean for that to be sexist, Bill, or did it just slip up on you? Who exactly, these days, is “mystified” by mammaries except for sexually stunted men whom women have no interest in “mystifying” anyway? [/b]

    Oh, puhlease betty. Is it ‘sexist’ to point out the obvious? That women wear bras and carefully cut shirts to use their ta-ta’s for power. Everyone knows this. Women know it. Men know it.
    Letting them just flop about would ruin this to a certain degree. You know this.

    Or are you going to pretend you don’t enjoy the power your girls afford you (or at least did in your more youthful and less gravity-effected days)?

    [b]The crux of the clothing matter regarding equality is that we should get past our culturally-ingrained idea that women do whatever they do, including dress, for the sake of men, while men do not feel the need to dress for the sake of women. [/b]

    How predictably unrelated to my point. Are you under the impression humans DONT dress up for others approval? That’s absurd.

    [quote]Men in the U. S. should be asking themselves if they wear baggy pants for some “mystification” purpose. [/b]

    They likely do. Is everything an argument of absurd opposites in your world? Have you read any feminists post Steinem?

  33. Betty Cloer Wallace

    So funny, Bill Smith, but nothing new here in a hormonal sense—hormones being perhaps the least evolved of all substances, and/or ideas.

    Aside from my sagging “girls” or your sagging “boys” at any point in time, historically, the issue of “equality” regarding cultural “power” and “dress” is far more timeless than the elevation of your personal body parts or mine.

    “Mystification” of dress? Get out of those baggy pants and show us your “boys” and then we’ll talk, including the degree it all has to do with “power” in the larger American culture—who must show or hide which parts, i.e. not just for tonight, but for reproductive futurism.

    A discussion of Sharia law and Christian street preachers might be appropriate here regarding cultural “power” and gender expectations, given the state of the world.

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