Promoting Gender Equality? Yeah right!

Wellington ‘free the nipple’ event: Gender equality or open ticket for harassment?
Stuff 13 December 2016
Family First Comment: “Exposing yourself and offensive behaviour in public has nothing to do with gender equality.” – Family First

A ‘free the nipple’ event planned for Wellington this weekend has been organised in the name of gender equality, but naysayers claim it will simply put women at risk of predators.

Hundreds of bare-chested women are expected to converge on Oriental Bay on Saturday for ‘Wellington Free the Nipple Beach Day‘.

More than 1100 people have registered their interest in the event, with organiser Pollyanna Besley encouraging them to “do something that they may want to do, but be too scared to do alone”.

“People will have lots of different reasons for wanting to come to an attend an event like this, or be topless in general,” Besley said.

“I think it’s really important that we listen to the many women saying that they want to do this, that it makes them feel empowered to do something men do without even thinking.”

But critics – both men and women – have condemned it on social media.

“If men are sexual predators who view women as objects, why the f— is your solution to battling this getting your boobs out in public? This is the definition of regressive feminism and why so few women choose to identify as one,” one male critic said.

As the event is in an outdoor, public place, Besley said she was fully aware people might take photos of the topless women without their consent, and anyone thinking of attending needed to consider the risks.

Family First director Bob McCoskrie said “exposing yourself and offensive behaviour in public has nothing to do with gender equality”.

“These groups are trying to link what may be a legitimate argument with offensive behaviour.”

He said gender equality should happen in the workplace and in generally accepting and respecting each other.

McCoskrie said he had no problem with women breastfeeding in public, but “to try and link exposing yourself and gender equality is a bridge too far”.

“Police should do everything they can to stop it.”

Police said they were unlikely to have a presence at the event, “but we would obviously respond to any calls for service as required,” a spokeswoman said.

Participating women would not be not committing indecent exposure by baring their breasts.

Under the Summary Offence Act 1981, indecent exposure is when a person intentionally and obscenely exposes any part of their genitals.

Besley said her actions were inspired by similar events in Auckland, which were aimed at desexualising women’s bodies. The most recent was on December 4 in Albert Park, and another is planned for December 17.

‘Free the Nipple’ protests set for Auckland and Wellington
NewsHub 16 December 2016
‘Free the Nipple’ events are set to take place in both Auckland and Wellington on Saturday afternoon.

The protests have received significant attention on social media, with more than 1500 people saying they will be attending the Auckland protest at Mission Bay.

Christian group Family First is critical of the event, telling Newshub “families would find it offensive”. But the organisers say the current rules show a “sexist double-standard”.

“Men are able to be topless in public and on social media without consequence. A woman is unlikely to be comfortable going topless in New Zealand.

“Women are taught from an early age that their bodies are sexual objects for men, or something for them to be ashamed of.”

Just 22 exhibitionists…
Ethics debate sprouts at Wellington Free the Nipple Beach Day
Stuff 17 December 2016
WARNING: CONTAINS NUDITY: An ethics debate sprang up at Wellington’s Free the Nipple Beach Day on Saturday, as 22 topless women lay in the sun at Oriental Bay.

“It might be legal to come down and take photos of these women, but it’s really disrespectful to do things without someone’s consent,” Pollyanna Besley, organiser of the event said, as she bared her breasts on the sand.

The event was aimed at promoting gender equality and desexualising the nipple, Besley said.

It attracted a huge amount of attention, including criticism from Family First director Bob McCoskrie, who labelled it “offensive behaviour”.

Others suggested that the women were putting themselves at risk of being photographed or harassed due to the location’s outdoor, public nature.
twitter follow us