In 1991 a woman named Gwen Jacobs took off her shirt because it was damn hot outside. She was a college student in Canada and she was hardly the only shirtless person walking around that day. But she was the only woman. Jacobs was arrested and found guilty of public nudity. Jacobs thought it was a classic double standard. Matthew McConaughey, for instance, would have spent his whole life in jail had he been forced to live under the law that got Jacobs arrested.
So Gwen Jacobs appealed. And she won. The law changed. So Canadian women’s breasts have ever since been free to meet the air unsheathed. (Not that it happens much.) In the US, in most states, it’s still illegal for a woman to be topless in public. A new indie film coming out called “Free the Nipple” explores a group of women as they try to get these laws changed in the US. The chief complaint of the filmmakers is that in US society, women’s nude bodies are censored while violence is not. Take a look. Decide what you think.