Submitted Date 06/19/2022

Between men and women there can be no denying the stranglehold and control that male privilege holds in societies around the world.

Certainly female privilege exists, as do many other types. However female privilege seems to center around negative issues. Women are believed over men in domestic violence events which I absolutely do not agree with. Unfortunately many women abuse the legal system to their advantage in this area. Women get the kids in a divorce. She gets half his stuff in a divorce. Notice they call it his stuff. So many of the things called female privilege revolve around negativity. Not so much with men.

There is child privilege – I mean, could an adult get away with clinging to a person's leg or innocently touching a woman's breast as they admire her shiny necklace? Privilege exists in many forms towards many groups of people. None of it to me has a generally positive affect or outcome.

Take the simple issue of equality between men and women in regards to our bodies. I live in Florida near the beach. I go to the beach often, laying out, swimming or walking with girlfriends. I find it incredulous that in this day and age of supposed equality that a woman does not have the right to display her body in public as a man does. A man can wear nothing but a pair of shorts, nearly anywhere in public. Yet if a woman does that she's either ticketed or arrested.

A man, any man regardless of size or gross abundance of body hair, can strip down to his swimsuit showing his fat and hairy man-boobs. Believe me, there are plenty of men I see on the beach daily that need to cover that junk up!

So being a woman, even though my breasts are smaller than some men I see on the beach, I am required and governed by laws (passed by men!) to cover my little boobies up or face a ticket, fine or jail time. Yes, we certainly do live in a time of equality! We've come a long way, baby??

Something so simple as being able to express my bodily freedoms that every single male can do, is so shunned and controlled, by men (and some women). Many argue that it would cause rapes and assaults. That is utter nonsense.

Go to any European country or nudist resort in the USA where women can go topless or even nude, and there isn't this ongoing outbreak of mass rapes or sexual assaults because of it. No, those events occur and are perpetrated by those who are deviant predators in the first place who lack any form of self control.

I refuse to capitulate to male domination when it comes to my body! Because it is just that, my body. If I want to lie on the beach topless, that is my right! It is not anyone's right to touch me because they have no impulse control. That's a huge difference.

So in that vane, when I do go to the beach, though it is not allowed, I remove my top and lie on my blanket topless. I get up and go swimming, topless. I have gone and used the ladies' room, topless. I walk the miles of beautiful beaches, (wait for it)…topless! Oh, and I have never been approached by the police because of it!

Now, I do get looks and stares from virtually everyone as I go by, but it doesn't bother me in the slightest. In fact, I smile and laugh at people's total shock as I walk along listening to Shania Twain's, Man! I Feel Like A Woman! on my headphones.

People take photos of me, gawk, make snide remarks, you name it. I've been bullied and verbally abused (by a woman!) for supposedly flaunting my toplessness by sitting in my chair minding my own business. It took every ounce of self discipline to not retaliate against her ignorant views.

When I realized that you cannot reason with ignorance it allowed me to see this woman for who she was — angry, more than likely unhappy with herself and her own body and self image. One would think that a woman would be supportive of another woman choosing to protest against inequality — sisterhood and all that. But instead I had to endure her angry, hate-filled speech aimed at me.

All of the negativity that people hurl at me simply for being me can take a toll if I choose to let it, and I used to. But then I realized that I could not care less what others think of me. I am so happy just being me and loving myself that in the end, it really doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.

It is time to put mere words into action! It is time for women to stand up for this most basic element of equality. It is wrong to shun, denigrate or disparage women's bodies and the natural act of being topless.

Breasts are not indecent or lewd, they're natural. We need to step out from this prudish puritanical umbrella that women have been submitting to and demand the very same equality that men enjoy each and every day.

In the end, it must be up to each of us to decide how we will engage inequality. It is my belief that you know what is best for you just as I know what is best for me.

I will not be dictated to by anyone as to what I will or won't do with my body.

I'll let you be you — please, let me be me…


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