Have you ever wondered why men are allowed to walk around shirtless damn near anywhere that they want to while women are forced to cover up in public? It turns out that the answer to that question is not only incredibly complicated, but it has also spawned a movement dedicated to ending the double standard that has made it illegal for women to be topless in public throughout more than two thirds of the country.
Free the Nippleis a film by Lina Esco about the gender inequality inherent in laws that punish women for exposing their nipple—including while breastfeeding—in public. The film is based on the true story of a group of women who did fought for their rights not just to go topless, but to have the same rights as every man in this country. Since the film is bringing even more attention to the subject the lines between the reality of the movement and the film are a bit blurry, but Esco is at the heart of both.
In the film you will see how women were able to utilize a combination of protest and social media savvy to forward their agenda. In reality by using the hashtag #FreeTheNipple women all over the country have shown their support for gender equality, and they were soon followed by men who also saw the hypocrisy in the current laws throughout much of the country.
What's the big deal? Nipples are nipples. We all have them. If anything one would think that the law would go the other way around, because of breastfeeding women actually use their nipples for the greater good. It's time that we end this silliness and free the nipple.
Last year we hit the streets of New York City with adult film star Bonnie Rotten and did our part for the movement. As Bonnie strolled through the greatest city in the world showing off her nipples (and her signature spider web tattoos) we filmed the reactions of passersby. While some were surprised and delighted, this is New York after all, and a lot of people barely even raised an eyebrow. Which is exactly the way it should be. You can see the video from the adventure here.
Free The Nipple is available for streaming on Netflix. You can find out more about the movement and #FreeTheNipple events by going to their homepage here.