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Right to sunbathe topless triggers spontaneous protest in Rio beaches

Thursday, January 22nd 2015 - 06:09 UTC
Full article 12 comments

A scantily clad group of female protesters drew a heavily breathing gaggle of journalists and cell-phone wielding onlookers to the beaches of Rio de Janeiro. The protest was not meant to draw attention to another corruption scandal, police killing, or unwanted hike in transit fares, rather demand women’s right to sunbathe topless, a cause that most of the onlookers appeared to support.

 It’s not a fake issue. It might come as a surprise, but it’s illegal for women to show their breasts in public. The offense is punishable by three months to a year in prison under Brazil’s penal code. Men, on the other hand, are free to go topless, a contradiction that irks protest organizer Karla Klemente.

“Here there are woman that use really skimpy bikinis, but it’s prohibited to go topless,” Klemente, a dance instructor complained.

“We want to legalize the natural female body. It’s not a sexual concept, we’re trying to challenge society’s prejudices and the taboos when it comes to a woman’s body.”

None of the 20 or so to topless protesters were arrested. About 50 other women participated by wearing pro-topless TV shirts.

For a day, the taboo was successfully challenged, but event founder Ana Paula Nogueira says there is still a long way to go before they achieve women’s liberation.

“It’s a cultural question. Brazil doesn’t have a topless culture, and we’re only going to change it over time,” she insisted. “But if we don’t keep trying, insisting, we’ll never get there.”

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

Top Comments

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  • Heisenbergcontext

    I hear The Sun has finally ended it's page 3 hook, perhaps MP is taking up the baton?

    But seriously, Brazilian women - I feel your pain. Another example of patriarchal overreach. One day your breasts will be free! Just don't forget the sunscreen...

    Jan 22nd, 2015 - 09:28 am 0
  • Conqueror

    @1. You might have 'heard', but it ain't so!

    Jan 22nd, 2015 - 01:01 pm 0
  • Chicureo

    It's really a mute issue as the dental floss they wear now is near to nothing.
    A substantial number of Brazilian women on the beach need to cover up more.

    I had my share of sharing European beaches with topless grandmothers. Not a pleasant sight...

    And yes, the two topless pictured are very very attractive.

    Jan 22nd, 2015 - 01:11 pm 0
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