Go topless… and let me tell you about some UFOs
The second annual National Go Topless Protest Day will be held this Sunday, August 23, in various American cities. It happens to be run by Raelians, members of a UFO religion founded by Rael, a former French sports-car journalist and test driver born Claude Vorilhon. (Coverage of last year’s protest in New York City, which is, as one might suspect, NSFW.) Though the current “Go Topless!” site talks more about women’s rights than Raelism, in 2004, Raelian women were marching topless not for the legalization of bare breastedness, but against “the repressive Myth of God.” Don’t remember the Raelians? This is just the most recent stunt by the publicity-hungry group that capitalizes on media-friendly controversy: in 2002, during the slow news week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, they announced the creation of the first human clone, gaining what Rael estimated at over $500 million of free media coverage. In an interview, Rael unabashedly discusses his passion for publicity.
From a press release:
The organization has decided to hold its protest events annually on the Sunday before Women’s Equality Day, which is celebrated Aug. 26. On that date in 1920, after a 72-year struggle, women earned the right to vote. In 1970, Congress declared Aug. 26 Women’s Equality Day “to remind people of women’s continuing efforts for equality.”
GoTopless.org includes not only Raelians, who believe all life on Earth was created by advanced extraterrestrial scientists called the Elohim, but women and men representing many other beliefs. GoTopless’s primary goals: nationwide legal recognition of women’s right to go bare-chested and its acceptance by the public.
“Breasts are noble parts of the anatomy,” said Raelian Priestess Nadine Gary, president of GoTopless.org. “They shouldn’t have to be hidden any more than arms or legs. ‘Free your breasts, free your mind!’ is our message to women. Men can practice respecting a freedom they take for granted and help end the puritanical idea that children shouldn’t see breasts unless a woman is nursing.”
“Concern for children can be used as an excuse to violate human rights,” said psychologist Daniel Chabot, a Raelian bishop. “But a child who sees breasts experiences no adverse effects. European children have been proving that for 40 years.”
Protest events will include marches, art displays; musical performances and speeches about top-less freedom.
“The art works won’t be censured for including nipples,” Gary said. “In fact, we’re encouraging the artists to celebrate the entire breast in all its magnificence and beauty!”