Nipple Equality: Women Could Go Topless In Berkeley Under New Proposal

By Kimberly Veklerov
San Francisco Chronicle

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Under a new proposal, anyone in Berkeley could go topless in the city without regard to gender.

San Francisco Chronicle

A Berkeley law that makes public displays of the female breast illegal could be abolished this month if a city councilman gets his way.

The nudity ordinance as it stands makes it a misdemeanor or infraction for a woman to expose “any portion of the breast at or below the areola” — similar to municipal codes across the country.

Under the new proposal, anyone could go topless in the city without regard to gender.

Kriss Worthington, the progressive councilman who has represented a student-heavy district near UC Berkeley for two decades, said the indecent exposure law is antiquated and sexist. He said it objectifies women and creates confusion for transgender individuals as well.

Worthington’s proposal, which will be considered at the Sept. 12 City Council meeting, referenced an exception in the law for breastfeeding to make his point.

“If a woman’s nipples are fit to be seen by the most innocent and impressionable portion of the population, babies and toddlers, then it stands to reason that nipples are not inherently sexual and are fit to be seen by the rest of the population, if that woman so chooses,” the proposed ordinance reads.

Despite a “free the nipple” equality campaign that gained traction in recent years, there are prohibitions against topless women just about everywhere in the Bay Area.

Oakland’s “immoral dress” law says that women cannot wear “any type of clothing so that any portion of such part of the breast may be observed.” San Jose bars anything “less than completely and opaquely covered” female breasts.

Women cannot be topless in San Francisco parks without advance permission from city authorities.

Related News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *