NH citizens support “Free the Nipple” - 1,450 citizens, 4,860 responses

Aug 05, 2015

Female protestors gathered on Hampton Beach on August 23, calling for women to have the right to go topless in public. Current NH law does not explicitly prohibit female breast exposure, but the “Free the Nipple” movement has drawn both impassioned criticism and strong support. In light of the controversy, the Live Free or Die Alliance (LFDA) put the question to Facebook members, asking “Should women who are not breastfeeding be prohibited from showing their breasts in public?” 

The question proved extremely popular, with one of the LFDA’s highest-ever response rates. 
A total of 66% of respondents answered the question directly or with a concurrence, and of these a 65% majority stated that women who are not breastfeeding should be permitted to show their breasts with 35% favoring prohibition. Of the remaining respondents, 9% opted to discuss the subject in broader terms while 13% commented on unrelated issues. In sum, 1,450 citizens participated in the discussion with a total of 4,860 responses. 

Many of those arguing in favor of allowing women to go topless framed the issue as one of equal rights. “If a man can go topless, why can’t we?” one woman posted.  “The only difference between a man who is shirtless and woman who is shirtless is that a woman's chest has the potential to produce milk,” another argued. “I don’t think breasts are obscene and I don’t think there is anything wrong with a child seeing an uncovered breast,” one commenter stated. 

Those against allowing women who are not breastfeeding to show their breasts in public expressed concern at the message it would send to children. “It's not your right to tell parents what their children should see. You can undress, but other cannot unsee,” one commenter said.  “To some of us, it’s offensive. Have a designated beach at least,” another suggested. “Breastfeeding my babies and running around the beach top-less are two different things,” a respondent stated. 

For those who did not provide a direct “yes” or “no” to the question, some expressed concern that topless women might invite unsavory elements to family-oriented places. Others indicated the entire debate seems pointless, as one respondent added, “Much ado about nothing.”

Click here to read the full Facebook discussion for this question. 

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