Feminism Fridays: Free the Nipple

Nipples are nipples. They're not a big deal. Let's just get that out of the way up front. If women have the ability to see a man's nipples and not devolve into a puddle of sexual hormones, I think men can do the same in the reverse situation. (Yes, I realize I am putting a lot of faith in men by making this assumption, but I believe in them.) Free the Nipple believes in them too, and it believes that women should not be censored where men are not.

According to its website, Free the Nipple is "a film, an equality movement, and a mission to empower women across the world. We stand against female oppression and censorship, both in the United States and around the globe. Today, in the USA it is effectively ILLEGAL for a woman to be topless, breastfeeding included, in 35 states. In less tolerant places like Louisiana, an exposed nipple can take a woman to jail for up to three years and cost $2,500 in fines. Even in New York City, which legalized public toplessness in 1992, the NYPD continues to arrest women. We're working to change these inequalities through film, social media, and a grassroots campaign."

It's time, ladies. It's time for us to be able to go out in public without a shirt if we so please, and it's time for us to let the world know that's what we want. I'm not saying all women should walk around topless from now on until the laws are changed. I'm saying that those who want to walk around topless should be able to do so without breaking the law.

This issue goes beyond freedom of expression, though. It oppresses new mothers. Women who are breastfeeding feed their kids when they're hungry. If that means whipping out a boob in public, well, a women's got to do what a woman's got to do. But breastfeeding is illegal in five states. It is actually agains the law for a woman to feed her newborn child on her own terms. Please tell me you realize how insane that is. Please.

Women's equality is bigger than it's ever been before, but we want equal rights in every area, not just in the voting booth or the workplace. We want to be free from oppression not just from the patriarchy but from the system in general. Yeah, I took it to that level.

Get involved. Visit Free the Nipple's website. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram. Like them on Facebook. Hashtag everything with #FreeTheNipple. Let your hashtag flag fly, and while you're at it, set your nipples free. Free-boob it. Or don't. It's up to you. Just do something that says, "Screw you censorship, and screw nipple-phobia." Just do something that says, "Free the nipple."