Worcester, Mass. Woman Fights For Topless Equality

| by Sylvan Lane
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Stacey is a software engineer from Worcester, Mass., who’s been a self-proclaimed nudist for years. About a month ago, she became an activist for a woman’s right to be topless in public. Since then she’s taken her fight to the Internet, and most controversially, the streets of Worcester, where she can be seen driving, biking and walking around fully clothed below the waste, but topless above the belt, save for a pasty on each nipple.

Stacey, who does not wish to be identified by her last name, told The (Springfield, Mass.) Republican she believes topless equality will lead to greater self-confidence and body acceptance for women. She currently serves as the spokeswoman for the commonwealth’s chapter of Topless Equality, and wrote on its website, "Speaking out for Topless Equality is simply a fundamental right that I will shout from every rooftop that I am allowed to.”

According to The Republican:

“[H]er activism takes place through everyday moments, striking up conversation about her campaign when possible. While walking or biking through Worcester, she carries business cards to hand out. The cards read "I Support Topless Equality for Women" with a link to the Mass. chapter of Topless Equality and her twitter handle. The flip side of the card provides a brief definition for the movement.

Recently a young woman came up to her who said she supported her efforts. Upon Stacey agreeing to take a photo with her, the woman took her top off as well and posed for the picture.”

Massachusetts’s crimes against "chastity, morality, decency and good order" defines nudity as, "uncovered or less than opaquely covered human genitals, pubic areas, the human female breast below a point immediately above the top of the areola, or the covered male genitals in a discernibly turgid state. For purposes of this definition, a female breast is considered uncovered if the nipple or areola only are covered." This makes what Stacey is doing illegal,

While Stacey believes women should be allowed to bare their breasts in public, she understands the need for a dress code—as long as it’s equal for men and women.

"A business has a right to set a dress code," she said. "When a restaurant posts a sign that says 'no shirt, no shoes, no service,' I'm fine with that because it's a standard for both men and women."

Sources: The Republican, The Commonwealth of Massachusetts