Female toplessness is legal in a lot of places in the US (although not where I live), and I’d be meeting the letter of the law with a couple of Band-aids. But I have a gut feeling that if I go anywhere that there are people—and particularly anywhere there are children—nobody’s going to be too happy about my Band-aids. The enforcement is social; women just don’t go around topless in the US.
It bothers me because it’s unequal, but it also bothers me in its implications: that my body is inherently sexual, and a man’s body isn’t. It feels like men are being viewed through the first-person lens of “it’s nice to feel the sun on my skin, and I don’t mean anything by it” and women are being viewed through the distinctly third-person lens of “it’s inappropriate for me, a heterosexual man, to see her sexy parts.” It ignores the experiences of people who are turned on by male chests and somehow manage to contain themselves when they see one.
it ignores plenty societies where women and men are both barechested and no one bats an eye. note these societies were called “savage” for knowing better than the “civilized” fucks.