© 2024 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Nantucket votes to allow topless women on town beaches

A view of Madaket Beach on April 25, 2020 in Nantucket, Massachusetts.
Maddie Meyer
Getty Images North America
A view of Madaket Beach on April 25, 2020 in Nantucket, Massachusetts.

Residents of Nantucket approved a measure allowing women to go topless at all town beaches.

The Gender Equality on Beaches bylaw amendment passed following debate at the annual town meeting Tuesday.

In part, the amendment reads, "In order to promote equality for all persons, any person shall be allowed to be topless on any public or private beach within the Town of Nantucket.”

Resident Dorothy Stover is a seventh-generation Nantucketer behind the effort. She said she was originally inspired to act several years ago after reading a comic strip.

"I saw this comic strip that had a male and a woman that had the same exact body and they were both topless," Stover said. "The man said to the woman, 'Look at you, you're so indecent, how dare you?' And she replied back, 'Look at me? look at you!' They had the same body, yet only one is allowed to be topless."

While Stover said she personally knows people against the measure, the overwhelming reaction she had to its proposal was positive.

She said securing the freedom for both genders helps normalize bodies of all shapes and sizes, and fosters an environment of acceptance.

Under current state law, only men can go topless in public.

Though the amendment was greenlit by residents, it still needs approval from the state's attorney general.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.