A ballot initiative in next month's elections may give the Berkshires what other cities have only pretended they can get away with: legal female toplessness in public. Equal rights activists hope the maneuver, which required only 200 signatures, will soon bring naked breasts to the rest of the state, which has declared them "indecent."
The ballot question, if approved, would ask the district’s state representative to support legislation — not yet introduced — to amend the nudity definition, “so that no part of the female breast is included." [The Boston Globe]
While it seems a bit presumptuous to assume something like this will eventually lead to female nudity in public places, several area business owners are behind the plan for obvious reasons:
“The human body is the human body, and a woman’s body is a beautiful thing,’’ said Mark Papas, 55, third-generation owner of the Lantern Bar and Grill. “It’s fine with me. I believe in women’s rights.’’
In addition to gender equality, Papas said, “I can see where it would be a real boon to tourism.’’
Of course, there's a tough road ahead, as evidenced by the Globe's example of what happened in Brattleboro: they reversed their decision and banned naked female breasts:
The decision was reached after a small group of young people began to gather downtown in the buff in 2006 because no local or state ordinance prohibited nudity. After out-of-state visitors began arriving to glimpse the scene, and at least one tourist strolled through downtown without clothing, town officials put a stop to it.