Unless it’s done with the explicit goal of titillating men, female nudity is often treated as offensive and inappropriate. As soon as baring breasts becomes a source of non-sexual female empowerment, as soon as a woman makes a decision regarding her own body and what it means, the patriarchy is typically quick to respond with abhorrence.
This was exactly what took place this past weekend in Necochea, Buenos Aires Province, when 20 police officers showed up to a beach having been alerted to the fact that three women were sunbathing without bikini tops.
The operation apparently required an estimated twenty police officers and six patrol cars in order to force the women to cover up, using the threat of arrest. Although most of the surrounding beach goers seemed to be in support of the women involved, one man demanded that the women be handcuffed, according to the newspaper La Capital.
Various videos of the confrontation have since been uploaded to Youtube. During the heated discussion between the officers and the ‘offenders’, one woman insisted “if there’s a girl in a thong bikini, you don’t go and tell her to put on a pair of pants because she’s showing her butt.” The policeman responded to this: “society is not advanced enough for this.” He went on to acknowledge that the culture is machista but maintained that they were acting on laws and it’s a misdemeanor to display this kind of nudity.
In another video, a woman is heard explaining “everyone has nipples.” A male tourist gets involved after more police arrive, shouting “the law is the law, you can’t be exposing yourself”. Incidentally, he himself was shirtless, but apparently he didn’t spot the irony.
The matter ended with the cops forcing the women to cover themselves and returning to check that no one had gone topless again — because of all the crimes being committed at any given time, controlling a renegade set of areolas is a top security concern. Eventually, after crowds of people gathered round to weigh in on the commotion, the women left the beach.