Whadda Bust! Columbia Topless Rally Draws More Men Than Women [PHOTOS]

como topless 2.jpg
Photos by Hunter Woodall
Columbia's oppressed women. Well, one of 'em, anyway.
With fewer than 24 hours until its shirtless rally in Columbia yesterday, GoTopless.org put out something of a distress call on Facebook. The organization, fronted by a religious group that believes in UFOs and stresses sexual freedoms, was still in need of someone to read a prepared speech at its Missouri protest -- one of a handful of similar demonstrations occurring nationwide Sunday. By early yesterday afternoon, GoTopless.org found that person. Though it wasn't who you might think.

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"I was simply asked [to read the statement], and I totally agree with it," said Jeffrey Frey, a Columbia man who, like other male participants, wore shorts and a bra for the 1 p.m. rally.


The 12-minute speech reflected heavily on the Nineteenth Amendment, ratified 92 years ago this month, that gave U.S. women the right to vote. It's the hope of GoTopless.org that women everywhere will be able to publicly display their nude torsos by the time the amendment celebrates its centennial anniversary. (The group chose to demonstrate in Columbia after learning that the city had no ordinance specifically prohibiting females from going topless.)

More than half of the thirty or so protestors who bared their chests yesterday were men -- much to the disappointment of dozens of male onlookers who showed up to witness the spectacle at Columbia's Peace Park near the University of Missouri campus. (None of those male gawkers, btw, wanted to give their names when interviewed for this story.)

One of the first women to shed her top was Donna Gabriel, who drove in from out of town to attend the protest. 

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Donna Gabriel (right) says she has attended two similar rallies in recent years.
"I'm not embarrassed of my body," said Gabriel, wearing only a pair of jeans and shoes throughout much of yesterday's demonstration. "If men can go topless, women should be able to."

Following the speech, the protestors marched through the streets of downtown Columbia garnering double-takes from motorists and passersby, many of whom whipped out their smartphones to snap a photo. A downpour -- the first measurable rain in weeks -- did little to dampen the enthusiasm of the protestors as they marched and sang: "Hip hip, ho ho, the war on women has got to go," and "the breast, united, will never be defeated."

Editor's note: Click to Page 2 for additional photos from the protest. But a word of warning: They're not safe for work and cannot be unseen.
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13 comments
Jack
Jack

Congratulations ladies, a male UFO Raelian has tricked you into showing him your breasts! 

James Madison
James Madison

The outnumbering of men to women simply reflects on society. It is not men who demand women cover their breasts, but women. The peaceful and relaxed atmosphere of the rally demonstrated that men can behave around barebreasted women. Several women declined to remove their tops due to the presence of cameras. Well, it is a public event. What did they think? Also, the group is attempting to garner publicity. If no one is there to look, and no one takes pics for those not attending to see, how do they expect the message to get out? Sometimes being in front of a new movement means more exposure than desired. But the reward is equality and more personal freedoms. A right that is not exercised is soon a right that is easily taken away. Women in Columbia need to be more relaxed about going topless, especially on hot days, and on rainy days - why get your shirt wet? Celebrate your right for topfreedom. Exercise it on a beautiful day, too.

some_jerk
some_jerk

"Cannot be unseen," huh? Wow. You know, intern boy, I'm gonna guess that not one of these women actually cares one bit what their toplessness does for your personal boner. Get a clue.

pensunny
pensunny

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MikeN
MikeN

Was Chrissy Wilmes participating in the rally?  That would have been worth the trip! :)

Kenneth Lee M
Kenneth Lee M

I'd envision (3) very rough looking "women" and about 200 guys trying to get laid.

JamesMadison
JamesMadison topcommenter

@Human Art by Jessica Dana , I'm betting more women would have gone topless if you had a painting booth set up for them. If you want a ride to Columbia for the 2013 event, just holler.

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