Child Abuse Complaints Cited Against Asheville Over Go Topless Rally

On August 21, 2011, women in Asheville, NC participated in a Go Topless rally. The rally was a civil protest over the old ethical catch-22: why are men allowed to walk around topless in public and women are not. The rally took place in Pack Square near the Vance monument, an essential hub for business in Asheville, and has been met greeted with disgust by many conservative Western North Carolina natives.

North Carolina doesn’t have any laws barring women from exposing their breast in public, despite a generally held public opinion that women shouldn’t. And so the city of Asheville had no other choice but to permit the event, allowing women to remove their tops and publically expose what was under the hood for the day.

However, Carl Mumpower, a former Asheville city councilman, filed a formal complaint of child abuse with the Department of Social Service against the Asheville City Police Department, The city of Asheville, and the function’s organizers for child abuse according to WLOS News 13.

The complaint itself may place civil rights in a pickle, so to speak, as the objection also acknowledges, generally, the parents who participated in the topless rally and brought their children.

North Carolina may not have a law barring women from going topless in public, but the state does have laws that protect children from being exposed to public indecency, so the opponents are going through pictures on the web in an attempt to verify names of parents who may have had their children at the function.

This leaves one to wonder about civil equality in its entirety. Is it fair that these parents may be charged with child abuse? Yes, they broke the law; however, if the world changed its moral politics on the matter tomorrow, would children really be seeing anything new in our media run world? Is it not the parent’s right to decide what to expose their children to within reason? It is not known at this time what the ages of the said minors are, but that makes no difference under law. A minor is a minor.

What is interesting is opinions of the men and women whom I’ve spoken with. Though more women seemed to have liked the notion of the rally, whereas most men were either indifferent, or against it, most women feel that the children who attended this event were being abused.

“It is child abuse to allow these kids to be at this rally. They are exposing their children to things that they simply can’t understand. It sends mixed signals about what is considered privates,” said Heather Wells of Asheville, NC.

Chuck Irwin of Sylva stated, “I think if the parents knew that the rally was topless, the parents should have had enough sense not to take their children. But in my personal opinion, they shouldn’t be charged with child abuse. I just don’t feel child abuse is suitable.”

It will be interesting to see where this story leads and what may be the final outcome. There’s more than one double standard here that the needs to be resolved.


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