The Daily Dose Blog The Daily Dose Blog Home

Topless women in public not breaking the law, says NYPD

Police memo says breast exposure is not considered public lewdness, indecent exposure or disorderly conduct.

By Charyn Pfeuffer - MSN Living Editor May 17, 2013 7:26PM

Women of New York, it’s OK to let the girls loose.

In February, New York City’s 34,000 police officers received a rather unusual memo: For “simply exposing their breasts in public,” women are guilty of no crime, reports The New York Times.

Photo: Still of the 2012 Go Topless Day Rally In New York City (JoseKickaha1 via YouTube) The police officers were ordered that, should they encounter a bare-bosomed woman walking in public, they should not arrest her. In fact, should a crowd form around a topless woman, officers are to “give a lawful order to disperse the entire crowd and take enforcement action” against those who do not comply, says an official memorandum included in a federal lawsuit filed this week by Holly Van Voast. Van Voast, a Bronx photographer and performing artist, is known for stripping naked in Times Square, Grand Central Station and outside a Hooters restaurant in Midtown.

More from MSN Living: Live happier on the money you have

The decision that it’s perfectly legal for both a woman and a man to bare one’s chest in public comes after more than two decades of proceedings and protests fighting for equal rights to be shirtless.

More from MSN Living: 5 fashion rules you should break

No one bats an eye at a bare-chested guy, so why is a topless woman in public so scandalous?

Read the complete story at The New York Times here.

Tell us: What do you think about this decision?

Bing: Outrageous performance artists

More from Daily Dose:

State with the foulest mouth is...

Barnett Newman painting auctioned for $43.8 million

Chong says legalized marijuana could save country

Subscribe to the Daily Dose

Love content like this? Friend us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and find us on Pinterest.

Photo: Still of the 2012 Go Topless Day Rally in New York City (JoseKickaha1 via YouTube)

6 hours ago
So let me get this straight, it's OK for a woman to go topless, but it's not OK for us guys to stand there and look at her, correct? No wonder everybody else hates this two faced country so much. I live here, and I'm starting despise it too.
Wed 2:41 AM
Yes we women should have the right to walk around without a shirt if men can! Whats the difference between having laws dictating that to leave your house if your a woman you must wear a veil or a burka to avoid "arousing men in public" with our bodies and being responsible for being assaulted.  And guys just because a woman wants to feel sun on her chest don't assume she wants/cares about your attention or approval either. 
Mon 8:26 PM
ok so if a libtard Marxist wants to paint a naked 80 year old granny and blow it up as a billboard so he can stick his tongue out at the rest of is is that ok? rem a lib will not stop at a certain age next he would want to do cow utters ect.
Mon 7:08 PM
If we're going change the rules so that women can be topless in public, we also need to change the rules so that it is not only permitted, but appropriate, for people to stare at women's chests... bare or clothed.
Apr 1, 2014 4:43AM
No one bats an eye at a bare-chested guy, so why is a topless woman in public so scandalous?..................I bet I know of two really good reasons!
Mar 27, 2014 6:07AM

When you look at my daughter in the manner discussed, I have feelings toward you I

I dare not act upon.  And as a father, I feel I have every right to feel as I do.

Mar 22, 2014 12:49AM
Oh f*** ng please. Really? I don't know...what do YOU think the problem is? Seems like 3rd grade "flawed logic" prevails once again.
Feb 13, 2014 10:18PM
It is possible to be nude and not lewd, and to be lewd but not nude.

So I've never understood the association of nudity with obscenity.

This is a good development.   I really don't think it will result in a lot of women running around topless.   But it might start causing some very evil minded people from calling the cops every time a woman breast feeds or has a wardrobe slip.

Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

inspire: live a better life

about rich maloof
buzzing now on msn living
inspire videos
editor's picks