Saturday, August 22, 2015

Free The Nipple Comes to Hampton

Readers of this blog will know that Mad Dog is on the leading edge of news--"you heard it hear first" is our motto.

On May 22, Mad Dog posted about the depredation of the art work on Rte 27 near the Old Salt, which defaced a perfectly nice sculpture on the grounds  that exposed female breasts constitute a public indecency, a threat to town morals and would likely unhinge the children passing by it in school buses, who, up to that point had barely noticed the breasts, being otherwise occupied, texting their friends and playing games on their smart phones, as the buses whisked by the sand sculpture.

Now we have the "Free the Nipple" movement, coming to Hampton tomorrow, an effort to liberate female breasts and all minds with respect to the the idea that female breasts are inoffensive. 

To his great credit, the Hampton town manager, Fred Welch, has said the law is on the side of the women who wish to go topless on Hampton Beach. In this, Mr. Welch is far ahead of his less sophisticated brethren some 300 miles down the road in New York City, where Mayor Bill De Blasio has convened a commission which includes the Police Commissioner, the Manhattan District attorney's office, the City Planning Commission, the Department of Consumer Affairs, the deputy mayor for housing and economic development, among many others, to deal with the problem of women in Times Square who have painted their breasts and then pose for photos with tourists, for pay.

As the New York Times points out, "The size and firepower of this task force are more appropriate for an Ebola outbreak."  The Times also notes the women posing for these photos are far tinier than the "towering images of near naked models preening and pouting on the digital billboards all around [them.]"

Two years ago the seacoast suffered through "Nipplegate" an episode at a local hospital  in which a confused post partum nurse on the maternity ward delivered the wrong baby to a mother for breast feeding. The mother, drowsy in her dark ward room, breast fed a neonate belonging to some other mother.  This was not a case of "switched at birth" in which the wrong baby was sent home with the wrong mother, but it did prompt some high tech solutions. Mad Dog cannot recall exactly how the high tech got done, but he does not recall chips being implanted under babies' skins (as they now do with dogs). It was something less aggressive, a chip in an ankle bracelet or a Fitbit or something. Breasts were involved in that story and it had the catchy "nipplegate" tag line, which is why Mad Dog thinks of it now.

But here in provincial New Hampshire, we are, most of us, apparently, unfazed by the prospect of actual, living women exposing their breasts on our most iconic beach. It's just the idea of a sand sculpture depiction of a languorous mermaid that disturbs us.

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  • Heidi Lilley, 54, of Gilford, and Kia Sinclair, 23, of Danbury, on Thursday visited Hampton Beach, where they plan to hold a topless sit-in for women on Aug. 23 in support of the Free the Nipple movement to fight oppression of women.|
    Heidi Lilley, 54, of Gilford, and Kia Sinclair, 23, of Danbury, on Thursday visited Hampton Beach, where they plan to hold a topless sit-in for women on Aug. 23 in support of the Free the Nipple movement to fight oppression of women. Photo by Rich Beauchesne/Seacoastonline.

    • By Max Sullivan
      Posted Jul. 30, 2015 at 4:19 PM
      Updated Jul 30, 2015 at 4:37 PM 

      HAMPTON — Female supporters of the Free the Nipple campaign are planning to sit topless on Hampton Beach next month in an effort to change public perception of women’s breasts. While police are saying it's perfectly legal, at least one Hampton Beach official strongly objects.
      Heidi Lilley, 54, of Gilford, and Kia Sinclair, 23, of Danbury, are using Facebook to mobilize women to gather at the beach for the topless sit-in on Aug. 23, they said.  Free the Nipple first gained traction in 2014 with the premier of a globally supported film with the same name. The campaign’s main Facebook page has more than 52,000 likes. It is billed as an equality movement to empower women and fight oppression.
      “Really it’s us exercising our right to go topless,” Sinclair said. “We want to encourage as many women (and men) to come and support us, whether that is in Hampton specifically or anywhere in New Hampshire.”
      John Kane, Hampton Beach Village District marketing director, said he is “absolutely against it.” He said the district has “spent generations and millions of dollars along with the state and the town” to make Hampton Beach a “family destination.” A Free the Nipple event will set those efforts back, he said.
      “Hampton Beach is a family resort, and we try our best to keep it that way,” Kane said. “I don’t want to have a mother having to block her 4-year-old son’s eyes from (topless Free the Nipple supporters) trying to make a point that doesn’t matter. There’s many beaches where, if they want to prove something, they can do so. Let them go there.”


    1. Why Mad Dog, thank you for providing a public service by bringing more attention to this important and controversial event tomorrow-part of International Go Topless Day. The Free the Nipple movement was first brought to my attention by a 16 year old relative who asked my opinion on the subject. I thought she was saying Free the Nubble (lighthouse) and replied "what's up with the lighthouse?" which left us both puzzled. She quickly explained the issue and said she leaned both ways-freedom and equality on the one hand, coupled with a disinterest in ever going topless or viewing other topless women. I told her I could see her point and added I'd much rather the whole country go topless than just Hampton Beach. For purely selfish reasons, I haven't any interest in seeing Hampton become the Nipple Capital of America. My young relative also mentioned she thought there should be age limits if it were to become law. I took her to mean women of a certain age (mine) should not be allowed to expose their breasts. But no, she meant no one under the age of 18 should be allowed to go topless. Apparently sexualizing the beach experience is one of the arguments against freeing nipples-in the paper the police state they fear to many topless women will "create a stir" at Hampton Beach.. I believe my young friend figures there'd be no stir caused by older breasts. Perhaps next time, instead of Hampton Beach the topless faithful should consider gathering around the sand sculptured mermaid who's nipples have been crying out for freedom for some time now...

      As for me, in support of nipple liberation and in honor of International Go Topless Day I have instructed all the women attending a family function tomorrow to please arrive topless. This request has been met with resounding enthusiasm and delight by all the women, why my eighty five year old mother was ecstatic, she said it's been a life long dream. To drive home the point I've even had "Free at Last" stickers made for the ladies to proudly attach to their nipples-just imagine the Facebook photos..Good, clean, fun and all for a very worthy cause..

    2. Ms. Maud,

      Actually, there could be worse distinctions than" Nipple Capital of America" and if you invite the Hampton Union and Portsmouth Herald to your family function, once the visuals hit the internet, I imagine Hampton will be well on its way.

      At my own advanced age, anything which creates a stir is welcomed. At 17 almost anything created a stir; now, not so much. So I may have to visit Main Beach tomorrow.

      For my Ukrainian readers: Hampton, New Hampshire has 3 beaches, the southern most is where the nipple freeing action will be, while North Beach and Plaice Cove, filled mostly with townies or surfers, will likely remain blissfully unliberated.
      Is nipple freedom an issue in Ukraine?
      Mad Dog

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