Why Women Should Be Allowed To Take Their Shirts Off In Public

Trigger warning for mentions of rape, and NSFW warning for pictures of shirtless people. 

Occasionally, I ask people to explain things. My latest project has been asking people to explain why women can’t take their shirts off in public. Barring circular answers (“it’s obscene!” “it’s just not appropriate”) and irrelevancies (“hubba hubba”), the answers have mostly been in two groups:

1) “Men aren’t attractive the same way women are.”
2) “There are some men who will, you know, take that as an invitation…”

To both of which I say: bullSHIT.

I am pansexual, which basically means I have attraction superpowers. I like everyone! (And/or cooking implements.) As a pansexual, I will be pleased to inform you that she:

Amanda Fucking Palmer, naked, with words written on her.

and he:

Zach Galiafwhatever, sporting a somewhat distressing beard and only half a shirt.

Are both people I feel a quite intense physical attraction to upon looking at their shirtless pictures. And here’s the thing: I am not any less attracted to the man than I am to the woman! They are both attractive! I would like to bang both of them! There is no qualitative difference between my attraction to them, unless you count my assiduous avoidance of The Hangover so I will continue to want to bang Mr. Galiafwhatever. Our culture seems to have this bizarre idea that people would want to have sex with Ms. Fucking Palmer because tits, and people would want to have sex with Mr. Galiafwhatever because he’s funny. Nope. I want to bang them both because they’re fucksexy.

What’s more, nearly all straight women experience the same pleasurable groinal feelings as I do when they look at men. Perhaps not Mr. Galiafwhatever, though. Perhaps they prefer:

William Beckett, skinny prettyboy!

Vin Diesel, the world’s most well-muscled D&D player!

Daniel Dae Kim, who was in Lost or something oh who cares HE IS THE SEXIEST.

Or something else! The world of what turns women on is very diverse and very inadequately represented by Google Image Search, insofar as GIS is under the impression that “hot guy” means “hairless muscular white dude,” someone Photoshopped “calling Slimfast and 24-hour-fitness, Help!!!” on David Krumholtz’s perfectly attractive if somewhat chubby body, and neither Masi Oka nor Peter Dinklage nor Bill Nighy have apparently taken their shirts off in public.

Alan Rickman has, but he is quite shy and hiding behind a Grecian statue.

My point being! Straight and bi women like men’s bodies! The only reason that (1) doesn’t apply to men is that we believe that women are incapable of attraction and men are incapable of being attractive, which I hope I have adequately disproved with my collection of shirtless men of assorted body types.

(2) is horrifically sexist, of course, because as shocking as it seems the vast majority of men are capable of being turned on and enjoying it, without responding with “I must rape you you sexy person!” Most rapists are motivated by power and revenge, not sexual arousal, and deliberately select victims who are vulnerable and incapable of fighting back and defending themselves. There are plenty of shirtless people who can defend themselves! But even if you grant this “male sexuality is inherently sexist” notion, which is misandric on the face of it, what about gay dudes? You’d think they’d be running about the place raping every man who takes his shirt off when playing basketball.

Hrm. Maybe that’s why homophobes are scared of gay dudes.

Basically, it’s hot out, and I want to be able to take my shirt off when I’m all sweaty even though I have boobs, and also post lots of pictures of shirtless men. This is clearly the most important frontier of gender activism.

About ozyfrantz

Ozy Frantz is a student at a well-respected Hippie College in the United States. Zie bases most of zir life decisions on Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, and identifies more closely with Pinkie Pie than is probably necessary. Ozy can be contacted at [email protected] or on Twitter as @ozyfrantz. Writing is presently Ozy's primary means of support, so to tip the blogger, click here.


  1. It’s exactly this reasoning why I think just the opposite. The reason for covering ourselves is sex. While I think we can go without constantly raping each other that doesn’t stop us from fantasizing about each other. We do it even when we can’t see what the other person looks like. But at least if you don’t know what they actually look like you can’t actually fantasize about them naked. It’s like Photoshopping a woman’s head onto another woman’s body. Yeah they look naked but you still have no clue what they actually look like. It’s not the same as actually seeing her body because you’re actually looking at an entirely different woman. Cloths give us control over who is and isn’t allowed to be sexually aroused by our nakedness. And if you’re not attracted to someone, it also protects us from having to look at their junk. I don’t want to see other men topless any more than I want to see their dicks, which is to say, not at all, cover that shit up. But I’m kinda forced to look at other men topless on a regular basis and it’s freaking gross. Think about this for a minute, if you were straight, would you really be OK with other women walking around topless all the time? Granted women’s cloths do a horrible job of hiding the size and shape of the breasts anyway. Girls with smaller breasts already have self image issues as it is. Do you really want to make that problem even worse? Guys actually have self image problems too, they’re not talked about as much but they’re actually worse than girls considering we see other guys all the time. The reason it’s not really talked about is that we don’t really understand what exactly we’re suppose to look like. Women know that men are attracted to larger breasts so there for women are self continuous because they have smaller breasts. Women know this because it’s pretty much all guys ever talk about. But women don’t really talk about what they like in men, they just stare. The main thing they actually talk about is penis size but we don’t really look at that… well some guys do but I don’t. It’s kinda like what should your vagina look like, you don’t really know cause guys don’t talk about it. If you saw another woman’s vagina you would probably feel self continuous about how yours looks in comparison but not really understand why cause you don’t know if guys prefer hers or yours. If you’re not having sex with someone, seeing their private parts is just all kinds of awkward, either because you’re comparing yourself too them trying to figure out who’s more attractive or because you’re more likely to fantasize about having sex with them. So rather than letting women go topless why not make men wear shirts. Also it seems more likely that it would happen this way considering in some places women already have the right to go topless in public but very few women actually take advantage of it. This seems to go along with the first thing I said. They don’t want people seeing them and masturbating to them later the same night. I imagine if men realized gay guys may also be gawking at them and jacking off at night to shirtless images of them they probably wouldn’t be so eager to take their shirts off in public either… or if the guy is gay, then maybe wouldn’t be too thrilled about women objectifying him that way. A lot of people try to make the argument that breasts aren’t sexual at all but if that were the case I think more women would be more thrilled about going topless and wouldn’t care who looks or touches them. If they’re not sexual then looking at or touching your boobs shouldn’t be a big deal, it’s like looking at or touching your hand. And it’s really no different than what women do to men. They stare at and touch our chests and that’s no big deal because it supposedly isn’t sexual even though they do it in the same way that we do to them. So if it’s not sexual and you want to go topless then what’s the big deal about some guy touching your boobs? Or right it is sexual otherwise you give a damn. So there for, men put a shirt on, and women, stop touching men without their permission.


  1. […] Peck about actually exercising her legal freedom to go topless in public, I was reminded of our own Ozy Frantz’s recent post about why this freedom should be not only legal, but socially condoned. (Warning: both links may […]

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