Women were encouraged to go topless on Sunday in San Francisco, and various cities nationwide, in support of equal rights for women.


The event is hosted by GoTopless.com. “The more you repress a body part,” says president of GoTopless Nadine Gary, “the more obsessed you become about it.”

The origin of the event was in 2005, when a woman was unlawfully arrested in New York City for being topless – everyone has the right to be shirtless in New York. Since then, other gender equality issues and #FreeTheNipple activists have joined the GoTopless movement. The day occurs on the Sunday closes to August 26 every year, Women’s Equality Day.

Nudity laws vary by state, and then by city and county within each state. California, for example, has no state law preventing nudity, as long as it is not deemed offensive, or specifically banned by the city or county you are in. In San Francisco, being topless is legal; however, one would need a permit to expose his or her genitals, anus or perineum.


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Interestingly, while the Venice Beach neighborhood has agreed to accept public nudity, the law in Los Angeles doesn’t allow female nipples to be exposed. Thus at the 2015 GoTopless rally in Venice Beach, women came up with creative and colorful ways to cover themselves as little as possible.

See a video from last year’s Venice Beach rally below.

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