Auckland women to Free the Nipple in the name of equality, again

Participants and admirers at a Free the Nipple event in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, USA (Reuters)
Participants and admirers at a Free the Nipple event in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, USA (Reuters)

Auckland women will once again bare their boobs in the name of equality this December at the city's second Free the Nipple event.

It's part of an international campaign to change laws and encourage social acceptance around females going topless in the presence of strangers, as males do.

The movement has seen events take place across the globe featuring women proudly presenting their naked bosoms for leering men, indifferent women, confused children and all manner of other members of the public.

"The aim of the event is to assemble in Albert Park, march to the bottom of Queen St, and then head back to the park for some relaxation and possibly entertainment," says the official Free the Nipple Auckland 2016 Facebook page.

"It is a movement about creating equality between genders; part of this is that while it is legal for women to go topless in many places (NZ included) it is still not socially accepted. We aim to change this and build a society in which women are able to comfortably express themselves, free from the oppression of others just as men do."

Free the Nipple's roots lie in the US, where some states still prosecute women for getting their breasts out in public. The movement is named after a documentary by filmmaker Lina Esco.

Last year's inaugral Free the Nipple Auckland attracted tens of thousands of scheduled Facebook attendees, but only a small handful actually turned up - and just three women freed their nipples.

It was a far cry from the jam-packed streets seen at many of the Boobs on Bikes parades, an annual event since 2003 which claims to have the same feminist goals, but is widely seen as shameless promotion for founder Steve Crow's Erotica expos.

Free the Nipple Auckland 2016 takes place on December 4, starting at 11am.