Español Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana Beach hosted a scrum of media and male onlookers on Tuesday, January 20, as a group of Brazilian women staged a topless protest over a ban on topless sunbathing. Brazilian law currently prohibits women from showing their breasts in public, an offense punishable by three months to one year in prison.
“There are woman here that wear really skimpy bikinis, but it’s prohibited to go topless,” Klemente, a dance instructor, told reporters.
“We want to legalize the natural female body. It’s not a sexual concept, we’re trying to challenge society’s prejudices and the taboos when it comes to a woman’s body,” she added.
— manuel rueda (@ruedareport) January 21, 2015
A group of 20 topless protesters, joined by some 50 other demonstrators wearing T-shirts in support, focused on their demand for equality: men are allowed to go shirtless in public without punishment. However, no arrests were made on Tuesday.
“This is a space for everyone to share, to be happy,” explained activist Barbara Calmo. “In other countries, lots of people are free to take off their tops,” she said.
“We believe that this is something that is going to take a while. It is something cultural, it will take a while to change, but there is no point in us sitting there doing nothing,” protest organizer Ana Paula Nogueira told press.
“So we try to make it playful and involve people, so that this is received in a natural way and not seen as a protest,” she added.