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13 March 2007

Support Topless Women

You Have the Right to Remain Topless! I believe women must have equal rights as men. How come men can go around topless without a cop stopping them while women can't? Unless, you live in New York. It's a little known fact that NY state is one of the very few places in the US where women can legally be top free (anywhere that a man can). We can change the law, but the cultural half of the equation is much more challenging to change.

Photographer Jordan Matter defends womens’ rights to take the streets half-naked. For the past two years, he has been shooting 100 portraits of topless women in New York City's streets, restaurants and parks. Matter is also part of a project called "Topfree Equal Rights Association." TERA works to encourage women to walk around topless. In his own words:

"Challenging this inequity between the sexes is the purpose of my work. There has been a recent shift in America towards a socially conservative philosophy, so right after Janet Jackson's breast was exposed at the Super Bowl, I started asking women to appear topless in New York City. [Uncovered: Busting Out in the Big Apple] is a collection of photographs featuring bare-breasted women in public around NYC, often presented with interviews exploring the issues of body image and sexuality in America today. The informal and humorous nature of these images celebrates women without sexualizing or objectifying them, while creating the illusion of a tolerant world in which shirtless women go casually about their lives. Uncovered represents just one aspect of what America could look like if we were free of shame and liberated from moral judgment."

Many of the photos are paired with a personal statement by the subject that gives it context, which add to the power of the images. Even better are the thoughts shared by the women who have been photographed. I thought it might Not be Safe For Work [NSFW] to post the images here, so I uploaded them to Flickr.

Here is the photoset for your viewing pleasure. You can also see the photoset in detailed view. I also didn't link to the official website of the photographer before the NSFW warning because it contains nudity. Same goes for the official website of TERA. Not everyone lives in New York.

Please let us know your first thoughts by commenting here. If you choose to view the images, you can also comment on individual photographs on Flickr.

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