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Chicago Women Will Attempt To Bare Their Breasts For 'Go Topless Day'

By Emma G. Gallegos in News on Aug 6, 2015 2:40PM

Men, you don't have to wear pasties like this attendee from 2008, but we appreciate the solidarity (Photo by TheeErin via the Chicagoist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)

Chicago will be rallying for a woman's right to bare her nipples in public on Go Topless Day later this month.

Go Topless Day is an national event that happens in major cities around the country. This year it will be taking place on Sunday, Aug. 23. (It always takes place on the Sunday closest to Women's Equality Day, Aug. 26.) In Chicago, the protest will be happening from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at North Avenue Beach at the walkway overpass—north of Boathouse.

Last year's event ended with a protester getting ticketed, prompting a lawsuit. Sonoko Tagami, then 41, showed up to the protest last year topless but with body paint covering her breasts. She believed that she was in compliance with the city's indecency laws—she had participated in the protest in the same way years before—but police officers told her that she needed to cover up with clothing. She eventually did, as you can see in this NSFW video below, but they still cited her:

She filed a suit in response claiming that the city's ordinance barring women from exposing "any portion of the breast at or below the upper edge of the areola" is a violation of free speech and violates the right to equal protection under the law. The suit argued that it is also unconstitutionally vague, since women routinely wear outfits that show sideboob, and breastfeeding in public is legal.

"She was making a statement that the ordinance should be repealed, that it is unfair to women and that women’s breasts are not dirty and shouldn’t have to be covered in public," her lawyer Kenneth Flaxman told the Tribune. "That if women want to be top-free, they should be allowed to be top-free."

The city filed a motion to dismiss the suit in January, and it argued that nudity isn't protected under the constitution and that female anatomy is different, writing "female breasts are considered erogenous in a way that male breasts are not."

Whether female protesters will attempt Go Topless this year isn't clear. New York and Los Angeles' events are typically pretty well-attended, unlike San Francisco where toplessness is neither illegal nor rare.

The Raëlian Movement, the group behind the Go Topless movement, is interesting, to say the least. It was started by a French race car driver with liberal views on sex. Raëlians are pro-GMO, anti-war, pro-sex and pro-feminism, and they believe that all life was created by an alien species called Elohim.

There has been a lot of activism lately around women baring their breasts through the Free The Nipple campaign, which targets any censure of topless women in public and especially social media outlets, like Instagram, that censor nipples.