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Should it be legal for women to go topless? CBCNews.ca readers split

Categories: Canada, Community

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More than 50 women marched through downtown Vancouver on Sunday, baring their breasts in the name of gender equality. (CBC)

Walking around topless is either liberating or horrifying, depending on who you ask.

A group of topless women marched in Vancouver Sunday to advocate for gender equality, and the reaction from many CBCNews.ca readers was mixed, with strong stances for and against women baring their breasts in public.

"Being topless in B.C. is legal. What more do the women want? Assert your rights and do this more, not just in events. Men will get used to it," wrote samgreen99.

"Breasts are sacred to a woman and ... part of what makes her feminine and beautiful. The actions of these women are actually doing women a disservice by devaluing (women)," argued newbie33.

Women in Canada won the right to bare their breasts in public in 1996 when the Ontario Court of Appeal overturned the 1991 conviction of Gwen Jacobs, saying "there was nothing degrading or dehumanizing" about her decision to take off her shirt in public.

Sunday's march was meant to support all women who want to go topless in places where it's illegal. Vancouver was one of 45 cities around the world where organizers said similar events were taking place.

Many CBC readers compared Canada to Europe, where topless woman are commonly found on beaches, suggesting Canada should be just as relaxed - if men can handle it.

"I noticed (while in Europe) that the local men did not make a big issue about a woman taking off her top. But the Canadians went totally nuts in many cases, running from woman to woman taking pictures like little children in a toy store," wrote BillI I am.

"I have no problem with the women wanting to assert their rights, but it would be nice if the men in Canada grew up and quit making fools of themselves."

Are leering men then to blame for a lack of women going topless day-to-day in Canada? Or is it something else?

"I am a woman and would not be caught dead topless in public. Like it or not society has sexualized women's breasts for years and it is going to take more than a handful of people to change that," wrote Christina R.

Or, perhaps the law is fine the way it is - just keep your breasts to yourselves, ladies: "If you want to go topless stay on your own property. There is no reason to want to do this in public. Sorry girls, I cannot support you in this fight," wrote pitbullbabe.

While many felt passionate one way or the other about going topless, others took a more lighthearted approach.

"Thanks for the free show I guess. What was this for again?" wrote Indigo Mary.

"I'd be more concerned if old men started marching for the right to wear speedos in public," wrote Georooney.

As well, others questioned the point of Sunday's topless march - and the topic in general.

"There are far more significant issues for women to be worried about than this one," wrote robsaw.

What do you think? As always, we appreciate your comments and invite you to continue the conversation below.

Tags: Canada, Community Reaction

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