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It is official, Beauty and the best of the rest has it’s first ever Hero. This woman :

Her name is Moira Johnston and she regularly walks around topless in New York. Now, before you read any more, I want you to stop and ask yourself what you think about her doing this. What is your immediate reaction? Whatever that reaction is, put it to the back of your mind until the end of the post. We’ll come back to it later.

You might wonder why Moira walks around topless and the answer might surprise you, she does it for you, for women.  This brave woman put two and two together and came up with four, she took a look at the world around her and decided that if men can walk around topless then women can to. The surprising part? It is totally legal for her to do so (in New York at least)

She regularly walks around New York topless a) because she can and b) to remind other women that they can too.

In the video we learn that women in New York have had the legal right to walk around topless for 20 years so the fact that Moria does so shouldn’t be a surprise or a shock, but it is.

Why is it a shock that a woman has the same legal right as a man? Why is it a shock that she choses to exercise that right? Why are women upset with her?

I’ll tell you why, because we are idiots. Harsh I know but think about it for a minute, it is normal for a man to take off his shirt when he is too hot simply because a man will take off his shirt if he is too hot. Why don’t we do the same? We don’t do it because of societal pressure, because it would be considered ‘improper’, ‘attention seeking’ and ‘indecent’. Sure we have not done it in the past because it would have been scandalous and  society would have shunned us, but now a lot of us have the right to do it and we are not exercising our right.  If, like me, you don’t personally feel like going topless (I live in Scotland where it is freezing and I have never felt the need to or have wanted to go topless) then not going topless isn’t a big deal, but if you want to go topless and don’t because it would be ‘frowned upon’ then that is a big deal. Thinking that is acceptable for men to go topless while at the same time thinking that it is unacceptable for you to do the same means that your are essentially denying that you are equal to men. It’s fair enough if going topless simply isn’t for you, but if you would like to do it and don’t because you feel that it is unacceptable for women then you may as well not vote either. It wasn’t long ago that society deemed that unacceptable for women to, and what do you think would have happened if none of us started using that right once we recieved it simply because it was frowned upon?

I have something that I want you to think about, what have been your reactions to seeing topless women at the beach?

I’m asking this because it was a realisation about my own reaction to topless women at the beach that made me realise that I was an idiot. As some of you may already know, I was on holiday recently with my boyfriend in Portugal. While there, we saw a few topless women on the beach and we had a giggle about them, and used words like ‘flaunting’ and ‘attention seeking’. At no point did I look at my topless boyfriend and think  ‘ why do I think that it is ok for you to be topless but question the motives of topless women?’ and that is why I am an idiot. Those women have just as much right as men to go  topless and we shouldn’t see it as ‘flaunting’  or ‘attention seeking’, if your attitude is indifferent to topless men then it should be indifferent to topless women too. I’m ashamed that I didn’t work that out for myself before hearing about Moira Johnston.

Now, go back to your first reaction to reading that Moira Johnston was walking around topless in New York, has that reaction changed in any way?

I would love to hear from both the girls and the guys  on this issue, what are your thoughts? Any girls inspired and brave enough to go topless or just happy to know that you could if you wanted to? Or do you think that women should still stay covered up on top? Anyone think that both men and women should stay covered up on top? Tell me your thoughts, I’m sure they’ll be part of an interesting discussion.