Women's nude awakening
BY JIMMY VIELKIND and ROBERT F. MOORE w/ Bill Egbert
Monday, August 15th, 2005
Topless women on skates, bikes and foot drew a surging crowd of grateful gawkers in Columbus Circle yesterday when they doffed their shirts to affirm the right to bare a lot more than arms.
The 10 or so women gathered and showed nearly all to protest the arrest of Jill (Phoenix) Feeley, who said she was taken into custody this month after going half naked on the lower East Side.
But Feeley and friends soon found out that taking such a revealing stance in New York can be risky.
"It got hot, then it got rainy," said Feeley, 25.
Then at least a dozen drooling men rushed through barricades and surrounded the women shortly before 4:30 p.m. Police quickly intervened, gaining the gratitude of Feeley.
"The cops were good today," she said.
But she was still steamed about her previous encounter with police.
Jeffrey Rothman, Feeley's attorney, said he plans to file a civil rights lawsuit against the city for the Aug. 4 arrest.
He said two police officers told her to put on her top and she refused. She spent 12 hours in custody, but wasn't charged, Rothman said.
"We have to affirm women's right to be top-free, just as the other half of the population," he said.
"We're just demonstrating a right," said Feeley, a self-described "gypsy" who says she lives in an RV powered by vegetable oil.
There were no arrests yesterday. A police spokeswoman noted it's legal for women to go topless in public.
And that was fine with Bonaris Serrano, 21, an aspiring rapper from Washington Heights who checked out the protest after attending the Dominican Day Parade.
"I'm down with the feminist movement," he said. "I can dig that."
via Prefix Blog
The irony of Feeley saying "The cops were good today" is not lost on me.
Let me add that I can't walk down 6th ave in Pk Slizzope with a Rebecca Beeson (tees much flyer than C&C or Three Dot) v-neck on without getting harassed so although I believe in exposing the body beautiful and I don't believe in 'never': never will it ever be safe for a women to walk around Central Park, Prospect Park, Ft. Greene Park, that bootlegg ass Cuyler Gore down the street from my apt, etc...etc..., topless.
On the subject of exposed bodies and the parks dept., me and my friends have noticed the following: white women in bikinis sun in relative peace in Central Park throughout the summer. Black women* sunning in parks in predominantly african-american/carribean/latino neighborhoods in similar states of undress would undoubtedly get harassed. Why? (semi-rhetorical)
And I'm listening to Ohio Players "Skin Tight" right now whom my Dad took me and my sister to see one year at Bumbershoot unintentionally exposing us to all of Seattle's tired pimps. I'm thinking of that disturbing Dave Chappelle bit about a "hoe's uniform" and my affinity for tight or transparent wares and my habit of carying a jean jacket or pashmina to cover up transparent and/or tight wares. I'm thinking of Jill Scott's "The Thickness" although my asslessness will forever disqualify me from official membership (talk about being between a rock and a hard place). I'm thinking about the experience of being a pre-teen with ass and/or tits which reminds me of the original platinum pied piper. I'm thinking how walking down the street, sunning, even walking topless through the park (which L tells me some free women do in MI) shouldn't be so damn complicated.
Madonna's on my permanent shit list but this song is her indelible if not magnum opus.
*This may also be the case for Latinas.