Turning The Tables: 16 Men React To The Idea Of A Law Banning Them From Being Topless In Public


1. “Given the number of dudes I’ve seen without their shirts on I’d vote twice for that law if I could. Most guy’s chests are offenses against nature.”

—Jim, 25

2. “Obviously I’m not for that but I’m also not for women having to wear tops if they don’t want to. At the same time, I’m not sure women want to go around topless.”

—Franklin, 22

3. “I like being able to take my shirt off whenever I want and I can understand why women might want to but I feel like breasts have been too idolized by our society for that to just start happening and have men not flip out and crash cars while staring away.”

—Flynn, 24

4. “As a lover of breasts I am 100% for equality in toplessness. I am against a law banning men from going shirtless. I might even support a law demanding everyone got topless all the time, even in Winter and especially in Minnesota.

Your move, feminists.”

—Adam, 26

5. “Are guys topless very often except like at the beach or whatever? I don’t see a lot of topless guys anyway. I feel like the law’s impact might actually be minimal but I’d definitely still be against it anyway.”

—Max, 23

6. “You know what messes me up about this question? It’s that I could be all for women being topless whenever they wanted in a totally nonsexual way but then I’m afraid I’d end up having to see my mom’s boobs on the regular. I just don’t want that. I DO NOT WANT THAT.”

—Craig, 21

7. “When I was in school I spent a lot of time around tribes that go topless in Ethiopia. It was kind of amazing how quickly I got used to it. I mean, the voice in my head screaming ‘breasts’ never fully went away but it really was almost silent by the time I came home. I wouldn’t be for a law banning men from being topless but I’d support allowing women to.”

—Nate, 29

8. “No, I’m not for any law that would restrict my rights. Let women fight laws they don’t like if they don’t like them. It doesn’t effect me.”

—John, 27

9. “Yeah, I know where this is coming from. I was at a topless march back in 2010 and read the press coverage afterward. The number one complaint that the marchers had was that lots of men showed up and stared at them. I mean, what do they think it would be like if all women did this?”

—Todd, 31

10. “I didn’t even know there was a law saying women couldn’t go topless so my opinion probably isn’t worth much but this seems like one of those things where if women actually wanted to do this then they’d be doing it and no one could actually stop them.”

—Jamie, 22

11. “I haven’t thought about this in a while but I dated a girl in college who was all about the right to do this stuff. She even did a couple of slutwalks without a top on…protesting the fact that she supposedly wasn’t allowed to do this even as no one was trying to stop her and she was totally doing it. That was one of the main reasons I broke up with her soon after. The whole thing was just incredibly stupid.”

—Gene, 23

12. “With all the complaints I’ve read about women publicly breast feeding I think it’d get an interesting discussion going if someone did try to make it so dudes weren’t allowed to go topless. Maybe these misogynists would get the message that they don’t own female bodies.”

—Mikael, 24

13. “I mean, no, I don’t think women view men’s chests as sexual in the same way. Men’s chests are in the same realm as having nice arms or something. It’s not the same level of sexuality. Who thinks it is?”

—George, 26

14. “A federal law, local ordinances? What are we talking here? I’m prepared to support a constitutional amendment that ugly men and women have to wear tops. Is that fair?”

—Kevin, 30

15. “I know what this question is getting at. Laws about women not being able to go topless are super old and I’m pretty sure they could be overturned fairly easily in most places. Now the question is would women start going topless? I’m betting no. But still, women should have the right if they want it.”

—Stephen, 28

16. “I’ve never understood this double standard. Fashion comes and goes. It’s no more normal for women to wear tops today than it was for them not to in the past. It’s entirely natural to go topless or to not go topless. It’s how we think about it that makes it weird.”

—Rick, 27