August 25, 2000
A little while back I saw another landmark
decision for equal rights reported in the paper. After a complaint
a Canadian judge ruled that it was sexual discrimination for
a public swimming pool to require women to wear tops.
That's right - its discriminatory to not let
women go topless. I must have missed that section of the Charter
of Rights. The right to jiggle in public must be wedged in between
free speech and freedom of religion.
It was probably put in the Charter by our
elder statesmen after a few too many Jello shooters at Hooters.
What going topless has to do with equal rights,
I have no idea. And as you can tell, I've thought about it -
Of course it's one of the cruel tricks of
fate that for the most part, the people who insist on going topless
are the ones you least want to see, whether it's an important
statement about fundamental human rights or not.
So with that battle for civil liberties now
behind us, I guess we can get back to those less important equality
issues for women, like equal pay for work of equal value.
Personally, I think we have a far more serious
problem - male toplessness.
Maybe it's because the Lautens physique is
nothing to write home about. One of us with our shirt off looks
more like a posterboy for Tim Hortons than anything else. The
skin is pasty, the love handles will soon require a forklift,
and the only way we're going to get rock hard abs is if we accidentally
It has been commented that I don't so much
have a chest as I have a really tall stomach.
Maybe my problem is there wasn't a lot of
bare-chested role models for me growing up. I had no proof that
one of my grandfathers even had arms. I never saw him once out
of a long-sleeved shirt, let alone in a bathing suit. In Florida
he sat under an umbrella and wore a white dress shirt and tie.
For all I know, his entire body consisted solely of a pair of
hands and a head.
My personal shape and feelings aside, the
fact is unless you're at the beach men look goofy without shirts.
I don't care how hot it is, a guy wandering around town topless
is either a Chippendales reject or looking to be arrested on
the next episode of 'Cops'.
If I've learned one thing from watching Cops,
it's that the guy running around without a shirt is definitely
going to jail. Usually right after someone with a badge stands
on his neck and asks why he was running if it really is his cousin's
Walking around shirtless in public is the
same as advertising that you've been forced out of your trailer
because the young 'uns have friends over to watch themselves
on 'The Best of Jerry Springer'.
Then there are the tattoos. For some reason
shirtless men and tattoos go together like politicians and taxes.
And they both get under your skin.
And don't get me started on men with nipple
rings. They remind me too much of human hand grenades. The urge
to yank and take cover is almost irresistible.
So do us all a favour and cover up.
As a wise man once said - no shirt, no service.