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September 20th, 2005, 10:24 am #1

Topless Women Take on Nudity Law

The Associated Press
Monday, September 19, 2005; 5:58 PM

MORAVIA, N.Y. -- Four women arrested after going topless on a downtown street last month say they didn't break any laws and want the charges against them dropped.

The women, each charged with exposure, are to appear Tuesday night in village court. If convicted of the violation they each face 15 days in jail and/or a $250 fine.


Charles Marangola, the attorney representing the women, said he's filed a motion to dismiss the case, maintaining that a 1992 state Court of Appeals decision allows women to go topless anywhere a man can.

"This thing should be dismissed outright," he said. "But if it isn't and these young ladies are found guilty at a trial ... if we have to go to the Court of Appeals, we will."

But Cayuga County Assistant District Attorney Charles Thomas said his office isn't convinced that the 1992 ruling gives blanket permission for women to go topless. Thomas said that in addition to the nudity violation, he'll argue that the women interfered with commerce.

The four women _ Carol Clarke, 54, and Barbara Crumb, 61, both of Branchport; Claudia Kellersch, 40, of La Jolla, Calif.; and Madeleine McPherson, 40, of Rochester _ were arrested Aug. 11 outside a grocery store in this village of 1,600 just south of Owasco Lake, 40 miles southwest of Syracuse.

___

Information from: The Syracuse Post-Standard: http://www.syracuse.com


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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

September 20th, 2005, 12:28 pm #2

I think it's interesting that all these women were over 40. Ironic when it use to be the youth who challenged convention. I think its surprising that in the 13 years since that 1992 NYSC ruling that there haven't been more challenges like this. And I think local officials will try hard to find ways to circumvent the 1992 ruling. For example it has been a common tactic to charge such people with "disorderly conduct" or "disturbing the peace" or in this case "interfering with commerce" whatever that means.
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Joined: September 20th, 2003, 4:27 pm

September 20th, 2005, 1:07 pm #3

This goes to inform that argument below about the topfree vs. nude pictures. If women are still getting arrested for going topfree, then breasts must still be considered nudity.

As for why more women don't challenge the 1992 ruling and try to go topfree, I would guess that there aren't many women who have enough room in their budgets to chance it. I don't know if y'all know this, but if you get arrested, you not only have to pay the lawyer, the court fees, and the fines, but there is also a maintenance fee that has to be paid every month for being on probation. They get you going and coming, and it ain't cheap. It is not something most people are prepared to cope with. And nevermind the mark on your record.
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

September 20th, 2005, 2:30 pm #4

The internet is a wonderful resource because it allows me to read teen forums and find out what today's young people think about things. Ofcourse we didn't have internet forums when I was their age but I can't help thinking how different they would have been. Like occasionally someone will post a question like "Would you girls go topless if you could?" and the overwhelming response will be something like "No way" "are you nuts". These girls would never believe that their predecessors sunbathed topfree on dorm roofs and "streaked" across campus 35 years ago. Even the idea of going without a bra seems radical and absurd to them. The guys are just as bad with their long baggy body-hiding clothes. If one was wear the short snug swimsuits we wore in the 1970s he would probably get arrested for indecent exposure.
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JB
JB

September 20th, 2005, 7:58 pm #5

I think it's interesting that all these women were over 40. Ironic when it use to be the youth who challenged convention. I think its surprising that in the 13 years since that 1992 NYSC ruling that there haven't been more challenges like this. And I think local officials will try hard to find ways to circumvent the 1992 ruling. For example it has been a common tactic to charge such people with "disorderly conduct" or "disturbing the peace" or in this case "interfering with commerce" whatever that means.
I wonder what they meant by "interfering with commerce" and if the woman had been union members picketing a store, would they be charged with the same thing.
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JB
JB

September 20th, 2005, 8:02 pm #6

The internet is a wonderful resource because it allows me to read teen forums and find out what today's young people think about things. Ofcourse we didn't have internet forums when I was their age but I can't help thinking how different they would have been. Like occasionally someone will post a question like "Would you girls go topless if you could?" and the overwhelming response will be something like "No way" "are you nuts". These girls would never believe that their predecessors sunbathed topfree on dorm roofs and "streaked" across campus 35 years ago. Even the idea of going without a bra seems radical and absurd to them. The guys are just as bad with their long baggy body-hiding clothes. If one was wear the short snug swimsuits we wore in the 1970s he would probably get arrested for indecent exposure.
I don't know if a man wearing a skimpy swimsuit would be arrested, but he would probably be thought of as gay.
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

September 20th, 2005, 9:15 pm #7

Well I exaggerated with the arrest thing- although there are places where it is illegal to wear thong-type suits- the suit must completely cover the buttocks. But in any case, it would definitely be considered gay to wear the typical '70s swimsuit today.

And I can't remember the last time I saw teen boys wearing "shorts" that didn't hang down below the knees even on the hottest summer days. Why have male knees become so taboo?
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Mike
Mike

September 20th, 2005, 11:31 pm #8

This goes to inform that argument below about the topfree vs. nude pictures. If women are still getting arrested for going topfree, then breasts must still be considered nudity.

As for why more women don't challenge the 1992 ruling and try to go topfree, I would guess that there aren't many women who have enough room in their budgets to chance it. I don't know if y'all know this, but if you get arrested, you not only have to pay the lawyer, the court fees, and the fines, but there is also a maintenance fee that has to be paid every month for being on probation. They get you going and coming, and it ain't cheap. It is not something most people are prepared to cope with. And nevermind the mark on your record.
Another big reason why women do not go topfree is simply because they are not aware that they can. If the police are not aware of it being legal then chances are the average citizen who know the laws alot less than the police do probably dont know its legal either. I beleive that if more women were made aware of the law and if the police were educated about it then more women would go topfree and it wouldnt be an issue. As for people still considering breasts to be nudity, thats only true in some areas where people are not educated about the difference in breasts and nudity, most places where people are aware of the laws can see how they treat breasts and nudity different, of course its different in certain areas depending on what the local law is but basically just being topfree is not a crime unless youre doing something lewd or otherwise criminal along with it. Alot of place simply walking down the street topfree is not enough to be considered illegal, except of course when you run into ignorant cops who do not keep tabs on the recent laws.
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Mike
Mike

September 20th, 2005, 11:35 pm #9

I don't know if a man wearing a skimpy swimsuit would be arrested, but he would probably be thought of as gay.
Most places although I do know of some where its illegal its legal to wear just a thong out in public but yes it would make alot of people think youre gay but I guess if people are immature enough to think like that then you just have to consider the source. I think people simply wouldnt wear just thongs out in public more for the social pressure than the fact that its legal or not. Many clothes are legal to wear in public but yet most people wouldnt be caught dead in them, of course as far as im concerned I dont really care what people think of how I look. Most of them dont care how they look anyways.
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Mike
Mike

September 20th, 2005, 11:38 pm #10

Well I exaggerated with the arrest thing- although there are places where it is illegal to wear thong-type suits- the suit must completely cover the buttocks. But in any case, it would definitely be considered gay to wear the typical '70s swimsuit today.

And I can't remember the last time I saw teen boys wearing "shorts" that didn't hang down below the knees even on the hottest summer days. Why have male knees become so taboo?
The solution to the kids wearing baggy shorts is to simply get people out there wearing short shorts and show kids that its actually cool to do that and get alot of these stores to stop selling the baggy stuff and only sell the shorter shorts and then theyll be forced to buy the shorts, especially in the summer when they dont sell pants that much. Same with bras, if you dont want girls to wear them then dont make them as readily available and then theyd be forced to go without and some girls would never discover them in the first place and thus prevent themselves from ever having to deal with the problem of wearing them in the first place.
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