EDITORIAL: Bare chests bring RCMP confusion

It’s OK for a man to bare his chest on a hot summer day.

It’s OK for a man to bare his chest on a hot summer day.

And it’s OK for a woman to bare her chest on a hot summer day.

Most of Canada may not be as accustomed to seeing the latter, and some may disagree.

But a 1996 appeal court ruling granted women the right to bare their breasts in public.

That decision was supported by the B.C. Supreme Court in 2000, though it drew the line at fully nude sunbathing.

Yet, a police officer in Kelowna told a young mother, bathing topless at a beach with a friend the other week, to cover up.

And three sisters in Ontario, while riding their bikes topless in a residential area recently, were stopped by police and told to put shirts on.

The Mohamed sisters are now filing a complaint against the Waterloo police force and organizing a rally in support of their rights this Saturday.

Police are allowed to ask women to cover their chests if there have been complaints or if children are nearby.

But would they ask the same of a man?

It seems odd today to have such hang-ups about public nudity, given what we can see on TV or online at any time.

Of course, public nudity shouldn’t be sexual in nature, and one must keep deviants in mind.

But if a woman wants to take her shirt off on a hot summer day, just to tan, who is a police officer to tell her she can’t?

It’s not like breastfeeding at a restaurant, which caused a stir in Maple Ridge some months back.

Women’s breasts are so sexualized that their primary function is lost on many.

It’s time we get over that. This is no longer a morality issue, but one of equal rights.

And common sense.

It’s time for police to bare some.

-Black Press