Social Change / Civil Disobedience

Social Change / Civil Disobedience

Joined: October 11th, 2002, 2:45 am

May 11th, 2004, 3:07 am #1

I have been following the discussions on this Board for longer than I care to reveal and have found them very interesting and, for the most part, quite enlightening.

The single motivating factor for me to support "Bra Freedom" and "Top Freedom" is because I believe in TOTAL EQUALITY of the sexes -- nothing more and nothing less. Why should women be subservient to men? I am excited to see the number of men on this Board that are supportive of women's EQUALITY with men.

I need to preface the remainder of my comments with the statement that I do not have the courage to take action to be a leader -- rather I am a follower. I tend to be very much of a "follow the law" type of person. I say this because I would not do what I am suggesting is necessary for “Top Freedom” to become a reality for women. I hope everyone will forgive me for my lack of courage. Never the less, I believe my thoughts have merit.

With that said, I believe that nearly all true "social change" comes about by way of CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. Nat seems to be the resident historian and I respect his vast knowledge and hope that he will correct me if I am wrong. Some examples that have already been mentioned on this Board are: (1) Men removing the tops of their swimming suits, (2) Women baring their legs in public, (3) Women gaining the right to vote, and (4) Blacks and other minorities gaining equal rights with Caucasians. I am sure there are many more that could be added to this short list. However, this list makes the point that Civil Disobedience IS effective in causing “social change”. In fact, I believe that most laws and court cases that have solidified the above listed changes have occurred AFTER a period of Civil Disobedience.

Therefore, I suggest that a period of Civil Disobedience will be necessary before “Top Freedom” will be established as an individual woman’s right. If women wait until the laws are changed, “Top Freedom” will not happen. Civil Disobedience must occur BEFORE the laws will change. Unfortunately, isolated cases (e.g., New York State) may be inspirational but are not truly helpful to the cause because the Civil Disobedience was not widespread enough to effectuate true “social change” for the masses.

I have said this before and will repeat it again. In my humble opinion, the most effective means of gaining “Top Freedom” for women is for women and men to demonstrate TOGETHER – the more individuals involved the better. Invite the news media to a picnic in a public park on a very hot and muggy day or go to a public beach. Chose a location where men NORMALLY take off their tops. Have nearly the same number of women and men present. Have EVERYONE take off his or her top – not just a few brave souls. Everyone that attends should be expected to take off his or her top. If the police cite the women but not the men, a perfect court case is created for the “equal rights” of women. If this is done often enough throughout the country, “social change” might actually happen.

I support this forum 100% and wish everyone success in their endeavors.
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Pat
Pat

May 11th, 2004, 5:36 am #2

Laws against nudity vary widely. A woman in a southern state about 30 years ago decided to fight the law against female "toplessness" by taking her top off in public after announcing it to the press. She expected to fight the law in court and overturn it. Instead of being arrested for a misdemeaner, she found out the hard way that it was also a felony in her state. If she had lost her case, according to the newspaper reports at the time, she would have had to register as a sex offender everytime she moved. In the end, she decided to move to another state on condition that the charges would be dropped. Many and probably most states still have laws against nudity, which often includes nipples. I assume that felony laws are rare, but it would be prudent to check first. My best guess is that during the next decade, we have more to lose than to gain in terms of topfreedom. A miniscule percentage of our population cares about it and fewer still are willing to fight for that freedom, and a huge percentage is actively trying to make it illegal in the few places where it is currently legal. That is why I feel so strongly that the courts will be the main source of change in the next decade. Yes, we should keep working on it, but if a landmark case makes its way to the Supreme Court, the final determination of the legality of topfreedom will rest there. Another experiment: Go to your local state legislature and talk to the first ten representatives and ask them to support a new law giving women topfree in your state. I'll even allow that you can ask the most liberal ten in your statehouse. If you find a majority of even the most ten liberal legislators to support it, I will find a hat to start chewing on.
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Joined: October 11th, 2002, 2:45 am

May 11th, 2004, 12:22 pm #3

Quote: "That is why I feel so strongly that the courts will be the main source of change in the next decade."

I believe that most court cases evolve from some form of civil disobedience.
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

May 11th, 2004, 12:59 pm #4

I have been following the discussions on this Board for longer than I care to reveal and have found them very interesting and, for the most part, quite enlightening.

The single motivating factor for me to support "Bra Freedom" and "Top Freedom" is because I believe in TOTAL EQUALITY of the sexes -- nothing more and nothing less. Why should women be subservient to men? I am excited to see the number of men on this Board that are supportive of women's EQUALITY with men.

I need to preface the remainder of my comments with the statement that I do not have the courage to take action to be a leader -- rather I am a follower. I tend to be very much of a "follow the law" type of person. I say this because I would not do what I am suggesting is necessary for “Top Freedom” to become a reality for women. I hope everyone will forgive me for my lack of courage. Never the less, I believe my thoughts have merit.

With that said, I believe that nearly all true "social change" comes about by way of CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. Nat seems to be the resident historian and I respect his vast knowledge and hope that he will correct me if I am wrong. Some examples that have already been mentioned on this Board are: (1) Men removing the tops of their swimming suits, (2) Women baring their legs in public, (3) Women gaining the right to vote, and (4) Blacks and other minorities gaining equal rights with Caucasians. I am sure there are many more that could be added to this short list. However, this list makes the point that Civil Disobedience IS effective in causing “social change”. In fact, I believe that most laws and court cases that have solidified the above listed changes have occurred AFTER a period of Civil Disobedience.

Therefore, I suggest that a period of Civil Disobedience will be necessary before “Top Freedom” will be established as an individual woman’s right. If women wait until the laws are changed, “Top Freedom” will not happen. Civil Disobedience must occur BEFORE the laws will change. Unfortunately, isolated cases (e.g., New York State) may be inspirational but are not truly helpful to the cause because the Civil Disobedience was not widespread enough to effectuate true “social change” for the masses.

I have said this before and will repeat it again. In my humble opinion, the most effective means of gaining “Top Freedom” for women is for women and men to demonstrate TOGETHER – the more individuals involved the better. Invite the news media to a picnic in a public park on a very hot and muggy day or go to a public beach. Chose a location where men NORMALLY take off their tops. Have nearly the same number of women and men present. Have EVERYONE take off his or her top – not just a few brave souls. Everyone that attends should be expected to take off his or her top. If the police cite the women but not the men, a perfect court case is created for the “equal rights” of women. If this is done often enough throughout the country, “social change” might actually happen.

I support this forum 100% and wish everyone success in their endeavors.
Thanks for your views, BFF Supporter. We appreciate your input and hope you will continue to contribute.

For civil disobedience to work you must have the support of sizable numbers of people. This was the case in the examples you cited. A half million people marched in Washington in support for the 1964 civil-rights act. There were similar large groups supporting all the causes which were addressed in the 1960s.

I don't see this kind of activism today. People are self-absorbed, apathetic, disinterested in social causes. Many don't even bother to vote. It's a discouraging time to be an activists for any cause.

Somebody please tell me I'm wrong about this.
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Joined: April 11th, 2004, 7:40 pm

May 11th, 2004, 7:35 pm #5

I don't think we can say right or wrong but I think there must be something in between the examples cited.

Pat referred to a single woman, you referred to tens of thousands.

I suspect that the outcome would be a lot more favourable if there was a dozen rather than one - and I have certaonly seen this work when you add some shortless men so that the women can cry "discrimination".
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