You may not know it (and you're probably not the only one), but today is "International Go-Topless Day." At least according to one group in New York City. And in order to celebrate, a large group assembled in famed Bryant Park to bare their chests.
TheBlaze happened by the protest on Sunday afternoon.
Wondering what this is all about like us? Apparently, according to Gothamist, it's an annual event:
The fifth annual event, which takes place in 30 cities worldwide, happens to fall on Women's Equality Day this year. According to their BoobMap, this year's gathering will start in Bryant Park around noon Sunday, ending around 3 p.m. in Times Square, where there will be some live entertainment. Women have the choice of going fully topless, or wearing red tape "to hide their (infamous!) nipples." Men are encouraged to wear a bikini top to show their support (which will be available there).
According to the website gotopless.org,* which is plastered on some of the signs we saw, the movement was started by a "spiritual" leader and has a motto of "Free your breasts! Free your mind!":
We are a U.S.-based organization founded in 2007 by spiritual leader Rael and we claim that women have the same constitutional right that men have to go bare-chested in public.
"As long as men are allowed to be topless in public, women should have the same constitutional right. Or else, men should have to wear something to hide their chests" Rael, founder of GoTopless.org and spiritual leader of the Raelian Movement (rael.org)
And apparently they are trying to petition the president:
The movement even has a "YouTube-friendly" video introducing the movement and asking women if they are the type that likes to garden, drive, or sunbathe topless:
At the protest in New York City, there seemed to be more men in attendance than women. And maybe that's because the group does practice what it preaches:
So what's the reaction been? According to tweets grabbed by Gothamist,* most people are a little grossed out:
The irony of the situation is that in NYC, it is legal for women to go topless. But apparently the women are hoping that will eventually extend to women everywhere.
Editor's note: We've decided not to link to certain websites that show the protests.