NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Crowds of women took to Times Square and Bryant Park sans bras Sunday, as part of demonstrations for National Go Topless Day.
As 1010 WINS' Gary Baumgarten reported, there were a lot of men taking pictures of the unharnessed women. But the women maintained they want to take sex out of the equation by showing that a woman going topless is as normal as a man.
"It's actually a big deal for women not to feel as comfortable in their skins in their own body, and not to love their own bodies," said one protester, Maxine.
Women Protest Topless To Make A Point In Bryant Park, Times Square
Another protester said a woman baring her breasts is no different than a man walking topless. She said it is natural and not sexual.
"I think North Americans are just way too uptight about nudity, and they equate it with sexuality, and it's not," the woman said.
But some men who saw the woman in Bryant Park were excitedly snapping pictures of her.
"I'm in love with her," one man said.
"I go on a nude beach, I'm going to be a wild dog out there, because I'm not used to this," a man said. "But I'm going to contain myself."
Some of the protesters said the men's reactions proved their point that Americans are too sexually repressed.
"Maybe they are repressed – they don't see boobs enough," another woman said. "Otherwise, they would think, 'Yeah, you know, this is wonderful. They show their breasts, and why not?'"
It is actually legal for women to go topless in New York City, and throughout New York State. But one woman said police officers are not always aware of that, and she has been detained many times.
The holiday was launched in 2007 by members of the Raelian group of UFO believers. It came after activist Phoenix Feeley won a $29,000 settlement against the City of New York after she was briefly charged with indecent exposure for going topless two years earlier.
National Go Topless Day protests were held Sunday in 40 cities in the United States and Canada besides New York, including Vancouver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, Detroit, Denver, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.
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