Implicit in the plethora of recent "topless demonstrations" by women protesting various issues, ranging from International Jihad Day to the objectification of women that Barbie perpetrates, is a lack of thought towards protest, a double-standard , and the milieu of much attention is paid to women's bodies. It's protest at its laziest.
The intention of being subversive by liberating yourself from Islamic morals, your tops, with a message smeared across your chest is nothing new and has proven its efficacy at getting the message across. Albeit it's protest at it's laziest. The equivalent of a bake sale or car wash, always go-to ideas but not exactly the most original. Would a fully clothed march or parka-adorned sign holders bring as much national attention? Of course not. So why not make any stand a topless one? "I don't care for the way you parallel parked, here's a diagram of a good parallel parking job, rendered on my chest".
Yes, the female form is nothing to be ashamed of. Yes, it’s unfortunate that women’s bodies often speak for them more than the minds inside them do. Turning that on its head and using the leering to your advantage is clever, but not exactly brilliant. A nude male also generates attention but there's no headlines decrying "pant-less men march" because they wouldn't receive a slap on the wrist and or/a small fine. They'd be put on a special list and would have to go door to door greeting their neighbors with with some unpleasant news. The only time you see nude men in large groups outside, they're without fail surrounded by nude women protesting a common plight, say nudism in San Francisco or something else equally pressing.
Why are we so obsessed with breasts? Kim Kardashian's pregnancy and the royal family’s have gotten more news than any two pregnancies in history. It's as if they have captured the first unicorn and its now in captivity. So that's what happens to a belly when there's a life inside it, it grows! Women gain weight while they're eating for two or more? Let's put this on the front page stat. Not one American citizen will remain ignorant on how big Kim Kardashian's breasts are getting as a result of swelling with breast milk or as journalists, we have failed. Isn't some animal being fished to extinction? Well we very well can't put something ugly on the cover.
The practice draws attention to our fascination with the nude form. Its not a terribly new visual, we can google it for free, we can browse an art book, or in days of old flip through a national geographic to spot it. I remember watching a movie once and everyone in the room became excited and giggly because there was a naked woman on the screen. This was junior high, many years ago. The situation hasn't changed much since. We'll put an article about Angelina Jolie's double mastectomy on every newspaper’s front page, high profile magazine, and every website that is dedicated to celebrities or breasts, there's no shortage. What about the IRS scandal? How're the gun debates going? In what new ways are veterans from Iraq suffering and how are we shortchanging them? Ah, but these stories have grown stale, the public has had their fill on them. But the naked body, that's something fresh, let's give that another go.
In an ideal world a woman showing skin would not make the five o'clock news. Except this isn't the world we live in. We live in a world rife with famine, war, and five dollar cups of coffee. Sometimes it outright sucks, but it’s the world we got.
As Putin put it "it's best to be clothed when discussing politics". And the look on Putin's face when confronted by a topless protestor is evidence enough of how serious males tend to take the cause of the topless-ness as opposed to the topless-ness itself.