Moira Johnston is making big news in the Big Apple. She proudly walks around New York City without a shirt or bra.
There’s a little-known state law that permits women to be topless anywhere men can do the same. The law has been in effect since the 1992 case of People v. Ramona Santorelli and Mary Lou Schloss, in which two women argued what defines ‘private or intimate parts’ with respect to breasts. The ruling went in their favor.
Johnston told HLN’s Dr. Drew Thursday night that there is double standard among men and women in our culture concerning our bodies.
“I understand that it's not as socially acceptable and there are safety issues involved. … [but] I would like women to feel empowered … about their own bodies and go topless whenever they feel comfortable in their own social context in their own communities,” she said.
Although the 29-year-old says she is an advocate for women who choose to use their breasts in a sexual manner -- she revealed she works as a topless dancer -- the Philadelphia native also advocates for women “being able to bear her breasts in situations that are not sexual and not commercial.”
“I am confident about my body and I was confident before I started the job, but yeah, of course, it reinforces the notion that I'm comfortable with people seeing my body in spaces such as public spaces,” she said.
Recognizing that many people don't know that going topless is legal in New York, she noted her one and only arrest earlier this spring in Union Square for not covering up, but insists she's simply trying to promote equality for all women.