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Today my friend took her top off in a public place - to 'make a stand against all the men doing it' - and got told off! AIBU to think... I'm a total hypocrite/shit friend?

(86 Posts)
WhistlingNun Fri 19-Jul-13 23:09:24

I was out shopping with my friend today and we got ranting chatting about all the topless men walking around, and how annoyed i was that i got berated the other day by a complete stranger for letting 5yo dd take her top off (another story) - when my friend suddenly declared she'd had enough of it.

We stopped to get some ice cream and went to sit on a bench so she could feed her baby ds, too. Anyway, she took her whole top off, and she wanted me to bet with her how long it would take for someone to pull her up for fully exposing herself. She knew it was going to happen, and sort of seemed to be looking forward to it.

Anyway, I'm ashamed to say i was mortified. We were getting tons of looks. She stopped feeding her ds, put him back in his pram and sat for a few minutes with her top still off. She started waving at people who were looking at her and asking them if they wanted a picture.

Again, i was mortified and wanted the ground to swallow me whole. The more i asked her to put her top back on/cover up a bit, the more she laughed and seemed to determined to keep it off. She suggested we get up and continue shopping - i told her no chance until she puts her boobs away.

Anyway, we sat for a while longer and a man wearing a fluorescent coat came up (think he was a council worker as i could see his name badge a little) and said my friend ought to 'get dressed before she gets into trouble'.

Anyway, i found myself apologising. And i then pleaded with my friend to do what he said as she was really embarrassing me (still waving to everyone looking at her).

She accused me of having double standards. Why is it okay for the men to waltz about with their nipples showing, but not her? Why would i let my dd walk around with no top on the other day without embarrassment, but cringe when friend does it? etc etc. She said she's shocked by my attitude and that i'm not the confident person she thought i was.

Anyway, on reflection i feel i was being entirely unreasonable. I should have supported her. Especially after the humiliation of getting pulled up the other day because i'd let my daughter take her top off.

She had a huge rant about the council worker on FB and got lots of support from other women that she should have got up and carried on shopping with no top on. But then some people are saying she could have gotten 'done' for indecent exposure.

Anyway... i feel i ought to go round tomorrow and apologise. But at the same time, i think she was doing the waving and saying hello to the starers because she knew it was making me squirm.

Should we both apologise? Am i just a big fat hypocrite?

WhistlingNun Fri 19-Jul-13 23:51:48

Thanks everyone. I think i'll go round tomorrow for a chat. Doubt i'll come home with her apology though.

She's 26 and has a professional job albeit not in this town. But again, she just laughed when i said 'Imagine if your boss was to walk by right now.'

She's not immature. But does love attention and a bit of drama. I think she was a bit disappointed actually by the lack of people approaching her. She had a whole list of comebacks ready to go.

zoraqueenofzeep Fri 19-Jul-13 23:54:12

I would walked away, she sounds deranged. It's outrageous for anyone to complain about a young female child not wearing a top because that insinuates that there is something sexual about the childs body which is perverted and wrong.

The reason why it's unacceptable for women to be topless in public is because our culture views adult, female breasts as being sexual. It's irrelevant whether your friend or anyone else believes that to be wrong, it is what it is and because of that her bare chest will offend some people although most probably found the crazy woman hilarious. Any normal person would have been mortified to be seen with someone behaving in such a socially inappropriate manner and feel embarrassed for the ridicule they are exposing themselves to. Don't apologise.

Shakirasma Fri 19-Jul-13 23:59:19

I think your friend is fantastic. It is people like her who are willing to make a stand, who bring issues of equality to the forefront and enable change through challenge and debate.

I'm not brave enough to do it, and I understand why you were embarrassed by her challenge of social norms and inequalities. But if she were my friend I would explain and apologise.

Shakirasma Sat 20-Jul-13 00:01:39

Zora...our culture does see breasts as sexual, all the more reason for people like the OPs friend to make a stand to action change to the better.

LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops Sat 20-Jul-13 00:04:23

She's mad! You should have just told her that you were embarrassed and walked away until she put her top back on.
Don't apologise to her, just put it down to the fact you have different ways of dealing with things. No need to fall out with her either.

mayoandchips Sat 20-Jul-13 00:04:57

Haha this thread reminds me of Nude Girl in Balls of Steel. grin

It's interesting to see the reactions, especially the bumbling men.

Technotropic Sat 20-Jul-13 00:05:32

Isn't that because breasts are sexual?

kim147 Sat 20-Jul-13 00:06:48

But isn't that the issue people have with people who breastfeed in public - because breasts are seen as sexual so should not be seen out.

Which kind of makes BF difficult in public.

Breasts are for making milk.

scottishmummy Sat 20-Jul-13 00:09:46

Pointless and big bit wow lookey at me miso riiiiight on

tigerdriverII Sat 20-Jul-13 00:13:50

What Shakirasima said. I'd love to have a friend like this, don't apologise but do support her (though from what you say, little support needed!).

Technotropic Sat 20-Jul-13 00:15:19

Full circle.

For most women, breasts are erogenous.

Breasts make milk but not all women use them for that purpose i.e. those that don't breastfeed or have kids. Thus it's not unreasonable to say that breasts are perhaps more sexual than they are for making milk. I guess this is where societal views come from.

EvaM Sat 20-Jul-13 00:19:55

Next time you and your friend are in company of men, convince one of them to go bottomless.

To me a woman getting her breasts out in public is like a man walking around showing of his penis. Ok, on a nudist beach, not ok in a shopping mall.

Then again I don't think it's ok for men to pop into tesco's minus a shirt (that being bad style rather than displaying sexual stimuli)

Let me get my hands
on your mammary glands

Szeli Sat 20-Jul-13 00:24:35

It's not illegal to be topless either; iirc for 'indecent exposure' to be cited someone else must have made a complaint - more likely with boobs than chests hence council man saying "could get into trouble".

I don't think you should apologise - she made you uncomfortable. She also chooses to live in a society where topless women are not the norm. If she wishes to spend the day sunbathing with her norks out there are places to do so

EvaM Sat 20-Jul-13 00:25:24

kim147: mammal glands are for making milk, they could be 'housed' in a flat chest.

Breasts are breast-shaped because apes began walking on two legs buttocks stopped being a conveniently-placed sexual stimulus.

I won't say anything about breastfeeding in public because all of mn can't be wrong but breasts are the way they are because of sex.

I'll send a postcard from Argentina...

BlingBang Sat 20-Jul-13 00:30:01

Good for your friend. If no one challenged the status quo then nothing would ever be debated or changed. And I don't find my breasts erogenous, doesn't really do anything for me.

PerchedOnMyPeddleStool Sat 20-Jul-13 00:32:27

Your friend is a twat.
No one likes men with their tops off. It is not acceptable.

superstarheartbreaker Sat 20-Jul-13 00:32:59

Fair play to her but I can understand why you fely awkward. C'mon op...this thread is HILARIOUS but at the same time making an important feminist point!

kim147 Sat 20-Jul-13 00:34:30

Why shouldn't men have their tops off?

How much clothing is acceptable? Is it age and body dependant?

Maybe we should go back to the days of Adam and Eve. Except it would be a lot colder.

superstarheartbreaker Sat 20-Jul-13 00:35:13

Breasts are primarily for feeding babies. I personally have never felt mush sexual pleasure from having them played with..
I guess they look pleasing but whatever; a six pack looks pleasing but we don't demand it's put away!

superstarheartbreaker Sat 20-Jul-13 00:36:17

much

superstarheartbreaker Sat 20-Jul-13 00:44:30

Perched..... I LOVE men with their tops off!

EvaM Sat 20-Jul-13 00:52:25

And while I'm here:

I think I should also point out that when you display your breasts in public, it doesn't matter if you personally like them played with during sex.

Personally I'm really sensitive around my neck but have been displaying it for most of today.

The reasons humans (that is female ones) have enlarged mammary glands as a sexual signal. If you are still wondering find a female mammal (eg you cat) and look for her 'boobs'.

I found a female mammal - she was a cow. Boobage was quite easy to spot!

KingRollo Sat 20-Jul-13 06:47:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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