New York City! Depending on who you ask, it's either a liberal utopia of weirdness and character or a bubbling cesspool of sin and filth. But there are two things everyone can agree on: first — technically, it's legal for women to run around topless here and second — when you do that, security guards get mad.
At least, that's according to Anna Merlan's charming take on her gallivants with a topless book club in the Village Voice. Yes. That's a real thing. A topless book club.
According to Merlan, the club meets occasionally to promote toplessness as an idea. They remain anonymous in the piece because duh — the last thing a lady needs is creeps Facebook stalking her because she dares walk around naked in public because she likes it. Members of the club also insist that their nudity isn't meant to titillate; they're just living their lives, man. Shirtlessly. In public. With books.
When Merlan tagged along with them during one of their topless book reading adventures to Lincoln Center, most people reacted blandly or with mild avoidance. The security guards, however? Were simultaneously super not into it and secretly a little into it.
As the women were almost in front of the fountain, a security guard appeared.
"I know you're allowed," he said, without preamble. "But you have to put your shirt on."
"Is this private property?" the man of the book club inquired pleasantly.
"You want to talk to our litigation team?" the security guard asked. No one had said anything about litigation. He seemed agitated. He was already radioing for backup. Seeing that their breasts appeared to be causing him some discomfort, the women retreated to a tasteful distance.
"I'm gonna refrain from answering questions," he announced. He folded his hands, averting his gaze as he waited for help, which arrived in the form of the head of security and two other uniformed guards.
Eventually, the group departed to a nearby farmer's market, where one seller told Merlan that walking around topless is basically an invitation for a lady to get raped.
Maybe New York City isn't the commie progressive boobs out utopia we'd hoped.
Image via Shutterstock.