Beaches, children, and topless women

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Beaches, children, and topless women

Postby aerius » 2009-07-30 06:47pm

This is based on an incident we saw at a local beach today, but first some background info. Here in Ontario it's perfectly legal for women to be topless in public, there is actually a law which states that. It's 100% legal for a woman to show her tits while walking down the street, in a public park or a beach.

Earlier today my wife & I were down at the beach catching some sun and swimming in the lake. Not too far from our spot was a group of women who were doing some topless sunbathing, and right beside them was a family with several kids who looked to be around 5-10 years old. And everything was going great, the family didn't care that there were naked titties beside them, and everyone else on the beach was either enjoying the view or didn't care.

Then another family came onto the beach and I heard one of their kids go "daddy! look!", I looked towards the kid and saw him pointing at the group of topless women. Dad wasn't happy, he marches over to the women and says "excuse me, will you put on some clothes?" in a rather rude tone, then it went something like this:

Woman: Pardon me?
Dad: will you please put on some clothes
W: No.
D: For god sake there are children here!
W: So? They don't seem to mind
D: Look, I will not have my children
W: <interrupts> That's your problem.

And after that they yelled at each other for maybe half a minute or so before dad left in a huff with his wife & kids, and everything went back to the way it was before.

Question: Should the women consider the "rights" (for lack of a better word) of others when going topless in public? Do people who are offended by exposed titties have the right to make the topless women cover up? What should topless etiquette be in a public area where there's children, families, and people of all sexes & ages?
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Re: Beaches, children, and topless women

Postby Plekhanov » 2009-07-30 06:59pm

aerius wrote:Question: Should the women consider the "rights" (for lack of a better word) of others when going topless in public? Do people who are offended by exposed titties have the right to make the topless women cover up? What should topless etiquette be in a public area where there's children, families, and people of all sexes & ages?

Of course they shouldn't, anymore than women who go round with uncovered ankles, arms, hair... should consider the 'rights' of people who are offended by such things not to see them.

What is supposed to be so terrible about women's breasts that children should be prevented from seeing them anyway?

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Re: Beaches, children, and topless women

Postby Rahvin » 2009-07-30 07:04pm

Question: Should the women consider the "rights" (for lack of a better word) of others when going topless in public?


Why should they? They have the legal right to be topless in public, they aren't doing any demonstrable harm...I don't see any reason why Douchebag Dad's delicate sensibilities give him the right to dictate what parts of another person's body must remain covered.

Do people who are offended by exposed titties have the right to make the topless women cover up?


If I were a Muslim offended by women not wearing burkhas, would I have any legal or even ethical right to insist that all women in my presence immediately cover themselves head to toe? Mr. "Titties Are Dangerous" doesn't have the right to do anything of the sort. He has the right to move to another public place where there are no topless women if he wishes, but he doesn't get to force his feelings on others with no legal or rational ethical reason for doing so.

What should topless etiquette be in a public area where there's children, families, and people of all sexes & ages?


I assume you're restricting this to locations where it's currently legal, in which case - the only etiquette is the personal preference of the women involved. If they want to go topless, they should be able to. The personal preferences of another person alone carry no legal or ethical weight.
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Re: Beaches, children, and topless women

Postby Frank Hipper » 2009-07-30 07:31pm

Did Assholedad have a shirt on?
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Re: Beaches, children, and topless women

Postby Darth Wong » 2009-07-30 07:34pm

If unwanted sights are to be treated like a form of environmental pollution, then I would like to say that I don't want to see Christian crosses in public. They're extremely distressing to my family and my moral values, so wearers should be forced to either cover up or stay indoors.
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Re: Beaches, children, and topless women

Postby aerius » 2009-07-30 07:39pm

Frank Hipper wrote:Did Assholedad have a shirt on?


Yeah, he was wearing a wifebeater.
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Re: Beaches, children, and topless women

Postby Darth Wong » 2009-07-30 07:48pm

aerius wrote:
Frank Hipper wrote:Did Assholedad have a shirt on?

Yeah, he was wearing a wifebeater.

That's not a shirt. That's an offense to the eyes. Did she inform him that his armpit hair was no doubt far more visually offensive than her titties?
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Re: Beaches, children, and topless women

Postby Batman » 2009-07-30 08:35pm

Ah, but his armpit hair was merely gross. The bare tits were IMMORAL!!! Think of the children!!!
Who used to feed on them of course and probably have at least a dim recollection of what they look like anyway.

And the guy can go fuck himself. It's apparently legal to be topless there and if the guy takes objection to it he can always go elsewhere.

But going down this route can I demand that landwhales NOT wear spandex or just plain stay home period? Because I find that a WHOLE lot more offensive.
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Re: Beaches, children, and topless women

Postby CaptainChewbacca » 2009-07-30 08:37pm

From some of the things I've seen on topless beaches, bare breasts is one of the less-offensive things you could worry about. Hell, I've seen folks having sex on a crowded beach, and the people ignore them.
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Re: Beaches, children, and topless women

Postby TheLostVikings » 2009-07-30 09:10pm

aerius wrote:Question: Should the women consider the "rights" (for lack of a better word) of others when going topless in public? Do people who are offended by exposed titties have the right to make the topless women cover up? What should topless etiquette be in a public area where there's children, families, and people of all sexes & ages?


Most kids spends their early days literally having tits showed in their face whenever they are hungry, and still somehow manage to turn out okay (surprise, surprise). Frankly the only thing providing a bad influence on the kids in your scenario was the puritanical dipshits who probably raised their kids by lecturing their kids on how their bodies are "wrong" and "sinful", and how they should be deeply ashamed of themselves. (Notice how none of the other kids batted an eye? That was because their parents didn't raise them to think the body is something that ought to be hidden away)

Frankly, the only "rights" available to people who are offended by "exposure to titties" is the right to pull the stick out their collective asses.

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Re: Beaches, children, and topless women

Postby ThomasP » 2009-07-30 09:30pm

I never understood what the fixation was with female boobs was anyway, at least as far as public exposure. It's not like men's chests are terribly different in visual terms, especially some overweight men.

Some people treat it like the end of the world because a kid might catch a glimpse of...the human body? Surely they'll never run across that in real life, right?
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Re: Beaches, children, and topless women

Postby Surlethe » 2009-07-30 09:32pm

And seriously, it's not like the kid's not seen breasts before: I'm sure they've seen mommy in the shower or breastfeeding a sibling.
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Re: Beaches, children, and topless women

Postby Darth Wong » 2009-07-30 09:46pm

ThomasP wrote:Some people treat it like the end of the world because a kid might catch a glimpse of...the human body? Surely they'll never run across that in real life, right?

Some won't. My brother-in-law is a >40 year old virgin.

Surlethe wrote:And seriously, it's not like the kid's not seen breasts before: I'm sure they've seen mommy in the shower or breastfeeding a sibling.

Dude, your wife came from a fundie family. You should know as well as anyone that there are plenty of women out there who would never let anyone see them breastfeed a baby, not to mention plenty of women who don't breastfeed at all.
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Re: Beaches, children, and topless women

Postby Jim Raynor » 2009-07-30 09:49pm

Darth Wong wrote:If unwanted sights are to be treated like a form of environmental pollution, then I would like to say that I don't want to see Christian crosses in public. They're extremely distressing to my family and my moral values, so wearers should be forced to either cover up or stay indoors.


Especially those crosses with Jesus's dead and tortured body on them. Thank God for Christian family values!
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Re: Beaches, children, and topless women

Postby ThomasP » 2009-07-31 02:20am

Darth Wong wrote:
ThomasP wrote:Some people treat it like the end of the world because a kid might catch a glimpse of...the human body? Surely they'll never run across that in real life, right?

Some won't. My brother-in-law is a >40 year old virgin.


Touche. Doubtless there's going to be the occasional oddball, and parents that would like to encourage it. For Jesus, even.

It's just a bit funny that human body = horrible abomination that we must shield children from at all costs, considering the circumstances you'd reasonably* expect most people to run into.

* I imagine this is the real issue
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Re: Beaches, children, and topless women

Postby Bluewolf » 2009-07-31 06:08am

Reminds me when I was in holiday in Corfu a few years ago. A few of the women on the beache near where we stayed had tended to bathe in the sun topless (with sun glasses on). On one occasion what I think was a school bus parked in a the street nearby and many of the kids saw the said topless women. I think they were about 12-13 ish and they seemed fine. Not grossed out at all or anything, actuall many were peeking. :lol:

But the point is that I hardly thing that the site of breasts are going to upset or distress a child unless upbringing has changed that otherwise. Out of interest Aerius, is it common knowledge that women are allowed to go topless in some places? On top of that, is there any like signs or something. I am curious as to howe well known that law is.

Obviously the man was on unsteady ground as to be asking that but not only that but he seemed rude. Though I disagree I can understand why some people may be uneasy but surley being more polite would probably help. Even explaining why. May get turned down but its better than how he went about it in this case. :)

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Re: Beaches, children, and topless women

Postby dragon » 2009-07-31 07:33am

Hell here in Germany it's no big deal to see topless bathing in the beaches, parks swimming pool. Hell its no big deal in most places here if the person is completely naked. And the major religion here is Christan yet they have no problem with nudity and sex. Matter of fact downtown Wuerzburg is a adult store between the church and the school and no one pays it any attention. But then what can you expect with a country that have familiy orientated co-ed nude saunas.
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Re: Beaches, children, and topless women

Postby PeZook » 2009-07-31 08:10am

I'm sure the sensitive dad will help his children get over the shock and horror of seeing bare breasts by buying them an Xbox with the newest GTA game so that they can forget about those evil mammary glands!

Somewhat less extreme: kudos to the women for telling the guy off. It would've been even more hilarious if he threatened to call the police though. And no, I don't think that women doing a perfectly legal thing should be required to cover up on the goddamned beach.

On an official function or at the office, well...let's just say that men aren't allowed to go to business meetings without their shirts on, either.
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Re: Beaches, children, and topless women

Postby Zixinus » 2009-07-31 09:43am

Are women's breasts that ugly that they must be kept hidden? And so what if someone sees a topless woman? Will the child turn into a pervert in the spot or something? Besides children have already seen breasts: on their mothers, especially when they were breast fed (yeah, they likely can't remember that, but I'm trying to make a point). They don't have their sexual drives developed yet (that's puberty and teenagers), so its not like they can get anything naughtier than "lets use markers on them to make faces".

If anything, actually seeing breasts will remove their mystery: their just lumps of fat with nipples on the end. Men have nipples too.

Question: Should the women consider the "rights" (for lack of a better word) of others when going topless in public?


I would say that from a more feminist point of view, yes. A woman should not allow other's judgement to tell her what she can show of herself and what she can't. She has/should have the right to show what she desires of herself.

The opinion that's more mine, says: what rights? Unless the woman needs to put on clothes for a very practical reason (whether environmental or other) or for some reason can't decide for herself, why not? Some like the view and it turns out that most people aren't that beautiful naked.

Do people who are offended by exposed titties have the right to make the topless women cover up?


Not more than anyone else has the right to tell anyone else what they're wearing.

What should topless etiquette be in a public area where there's children, families, and people of all sexes & ages?


If you don't like what you see, don't make a scene and instead just go to a beach (or a section of the beach) that does not have topless women.
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Re: Beaches, children, and topless women

Postby Molyneux » 2009-08-01 02:51am

I'm fairly certain that every time somebody makes a scene about protecting children from the sight of a woman's baby-feeding apparatus, I lose some brain cells due to sheer annoyance.

Of course, the banging of my head against the nearest wall, desk or convenient fundamentalist may have something to do with that.

Answers to the OP questions in order: No, hell no, and if it's legal then I can't see any reason to make it taboo as far as etiquette goes. They're tits, for crying out loud. Not the end of the world if somebody sees a pair or two.
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Re: Beaches, children, and topless women

Postby Lord Revan » 2009-08-01 12:45pm

For some reason I funny stuff like this rather funny, while I'm up to date with current public-exposure laws here, most people I've met here wouldn't go berserk over a pair of breast.

Hell both genders going to the sauna together isn't unheard of though most public instalations have segerates rooms/turns for male/female and before you ask, people go fully nude into saunas here, it's considered wierd/rude to do it otherwise.

and of course most here are christians of some domination (lutherian being the most common).
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Re: Beaches, children, and topless women

Postby Skylon » 2009-08-01 01:03pm

An anecdote about public breast feeding: I stumbled across a woman sitting in a corner of a museum while I was in San Diego a couple weeks ago doing just that. I went to look at a meteorite fragment on display and while I did register the woman sitting behind it, I did not notice what she was doing until my eyes were a foot away from the exhibit. I promptly said "sorry" and turned to look at something else until she was done, as from my position I looked like I was leering over her.

I would have cared far less if she was standing right next to me doing that, than in a position which resulted in my eyes, being pointed not only at the exhibit but in the direction of her breasts and baby. I just find something fucked up that she felt it necessary to duck into a corner to feed her baby.
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Re: Beaches, children, and topless women

Postby SCRawl » 2009-08-01 09:01pm

Bluewolf wrote:But the point is that I hardly thing that the site of breasts are going to upset or distress a child unless upbringing has changed that otherwise. Out of interest Aerius, is it common knowledge that women are allowed to go topless in some places? On top of that, is there any like signs or something. I am curious as to how well known that law is.


There don't need to be signs, as it became the law of the land a little over 20 years ago. A university student, I think, was convicted of indecent exposure, and after appealing to the highest court in Ontario the conviction was thrown out. In short, if it's public property, no one has to wear their top.

With respect to the OP, did the women have any obligation to cover up? No, of course not. Did the Disgruntled Dad have the right to ask them to do so? Sure, but not to demand it. Ultimately he voted with his feet, and left, which was probably the best thing he could do for everyone involved. Is there an etiquette involved with public beaches and bare boobies? Yes, it was established by the Ontario Court of Appeal.

Oh, I remember the student's name: Gwen Jacob. I was in university when the whole thing was before the courts.
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Re: Beaches, children, and topless women

Postby Pick » 2009-08-01 09:36pm

If he doesn't want his kids to see breasts in public, he shouldn't live somewhere where it's legal for women to bear their breasts in public. (And then take them to a place where public breastitude it as its height.)
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Re: Beaches, children, and topless women

Postby aerius » 2009-08-01 10:56pm

At least he wasn't dumb enough to take his kids to a nude beach. Yes, we have a nude beach in Toronto, and I imagine there's going to be hundreds of naked, stoned, and drunken people there this weekend with the Caribana festival going on. Don't you all wish you lived in Toronto?
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