It started a few weeks ago, with rumors that a woman was walking around New York’s East Village completely topless, and it soon became a water cooler topic in offices all around the city, much like any great urban legend.
For those who had a glimpse of the bare-breasted woman, many were taken aback, some were aghast at the sight.
But, what prompted Moira Johnston to make such a bold move? Far from being a spotlight-loving exhibitionist, Johnston claims that instead, she is a crusader for women’s rights.
The 29-year-old says she is raising awareness of a 1992 law that allows women to be topless wherever men can be, which is to say, virtually everywhere.
Another thing on her agenda: Drawing attention to breast cancer. Her mother is said to have survived the disease.
And what reaction has she garnered from this controversial exposure? First up, she was arrested on May 16 as she stood topless outside a children’s playground.
But generally, she says she does “get a lot of support”, though she concedes that there are “mixed reactions, because people aren’t used to seeing it in our culture yet”.
“Some people hassle me and tell me to put a shirt on,” she told Joey Boots in an interview.
“Usually middle-aged men, they think that it’s not legal. It’s the people who think it’s illegal who complain.”
We’d like to hear what you think of Johnston’s bare-breasted stunt.