In theory, women have the right to go topless, but for a myriad reasons we just don't. Hence “Go Topless Day” events occurred in 45 cities recently. But a march in Vancouver simply led to voyeurism, with people whipping out tablets and smartphones to ogle the flesh on display.
According to an article in the National Post, crowds even had to be warned to back off a bit as the women convened on the stairs at the city's art gallery.
Though a spokesperson talked about the need to separate "nudity from sexuality," if the march was anything to go by, we are still a long way from that distinction. Yes, on hot humid days women ought to enjoy the same (topless) rights as men. But for now at least, the sight of a topless woman remains a spectacle.
Even the mayor of Kelowna, B.C., found himself distracted recently when the women’s rights activist and blogger Lori Welbourne removed her top partway through an interview.
Interestingly, the mayor admitted that just because a woman can go topless "doesn’t mean she should because her actions may be distracting to others."
Do you agree? Are we too puritanical a nation to embrace public toplessness?
In case you didn't catch the MTV Video Music Awards, the internet will gladly fill you in on what was unarguably its most-talked about performance. For all the wrong reasons.
According to an article in People, former Disney pet Miley Cyrus began a performance of her summer hit, "We Can't Stop" while frolicking with giant teddy bears. She later ripped off a scant onesie, leaving just a flesh-coloured bra and pantie set as she went on to join Robin Thicke on stage to sing "Blurred Lines," another ditty that treats women as sexual playthings.
Music award shows have always been about upping the ante, to get the crowds talking. Madonna made a career out of it generating such publicity. (Who can forget the crucifix-wielding and the pointy bras?)
So why should seeing 21-year-old Miley stripping, twerking, and generally grinding the night away be any different? She stole the show—managing to shock even more than leading shock artist Lady Gaga—but now faces the backlash on social media.
Did we really need to see her thrusting a foam hand prop repeatedly, her tongue dangling out like a Labrador? Probably not. Her routine has been described variously as embarrassing, slutty, tacky, gross, etc. (Not that Gaga's clam thong was much better.)
Well, if it's sad performance, then it's a sad commentary on what the industry itself has become. Read: that young female artists feel the need to bare themselves and sex up to sell their music. Not least of which that young teens are watching and taking their lead on what's hip and otherwise acceptable from what they see on MTV...
Did you watch the 'performance'? Discuss.
Once the epitome of the modern dream, flying for many has now become a teeth-gritting nightmare. Sure, air travel gets you there faster, but it's about as pleasant as root canal. The food isn't what it used to be. Sardines have more breathing room, and to top it off some baby starts wailing, expressing the existential anguish that mirrors your own.
Most elements that suck the pleasure out of air travel are beyond our control, except the latter. Some airlines are now offering kiddie-free sections, so you can pretty much guarantee if not a quiet journey then at least one without the sounds of babies. Of course, silence comes at a premium.
According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, one of Singapore Airlines' subsidiaries, Scoot Airlines allows passengers who pay an extra $14 to sit in a “child-free zone." They've cleverly called the section, which effectively bans children under the age of 12, the “ScootinSilence.” The area only spans a few rows, though there is the bonus of a few more inches of legroom.
Scoot isn't the first to offer the child-free zone. Already Air Asia X has a “quiet zone,” primarily aimed at business people. The premium isn't a sure thing. After all, that baby may still be wailing, but at least it will be doing so a few rows down... And some adults make for equally annoying travel mates.
Is it fair to ban kids from certain sections of a plane, thereby limiting the seats available to families?