Richard Gere needs saving from all those offensive bosoms.

So says religious right winger Fred Nile who has called for a ban on topless-ness on all beaches.

“The law should be clear. It must say: ‘Exposure of women’s breasts on beaches will be prohibited’,” Rev Nile said last week.

“Our beaches should be a place where no one is offended, whether
it’s their religious or cultural views,” he said. “If they’ve come from a Middle Eastern or Asian country where
women never go topless – in fact they usually wear a lot of
clothing – I think it’s important to respect all the different
cultures that make up Australia.”

The practice was at risk of raising the ire of Muslim men in
particular, Mr Nile said.

“I don’t want to have any provocations or disturbances on our
public beaches,” he said.

Apart from the whole idea being Christmas Crackers, it’s the last sentence that particularly disturbs me. Nile is saying that naked breasts on a beach are tantamount to an invitation for abuse or assault. Which sounds alarmingly like the ‘raw meat’ analogy used by a Muslim leader a couple of years ago to refer to women dressing sexily and being responsible for ‘provoking’ rape.

The fact that Nile is using faux concern for the Muslim community (and Asian community – what’s THAT about?) to justify his extreme discomfort at the sight (or even thought) of female flesh….well, that’s rich.

When will silly old men stop sprouting opinions and calling for laws that determine what women do with their bodies? Back off buddy. Go play lawn bowls if you don’t want your delicate sensibilities polluted by the sight of the unclothed female body.

Fortunately, most other politicians are not insane and have dismissed Nile’s calls for the prudish misogyny they are. Acting Premier Carmel Tebbutt and the NSW Opposition Leader,
Barry O’Farrell, have both said that topless bathing is an issue
for local councils, not state governments.


“Commonsense should prevail,” she said.

“We have had topless sunbathing on beaches in NSW for quite some time now.”

“I think the real issue is we want people to take some care in the
sun, and topless sunbathing or any sort of sunbathing does expose you
to a risk of melanoma.

“I’d just say to people, cover up and get out of the sun because you don’t want to place yourself at risk of sun cancers.” The Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell says topless sunbathing is a
third rate political issue that does not warrant the State Parliament’s
“This is not a subject for a conscience vote,” he said. “Local government has the power to regulate what’s going on at our
beaches whether people can smoke, whether beaches are going to be free
beaches or not.”

Undaunted, Mr Nile has said he believes most politicians would come around
once all the issues were considered.

“I think if you survey Australian women you’ll find a lot of
women would be uncomfortable if it became the custom [to be]
topless at the beach,” he said.

“Australia’s always been a conservative country as far as
beachwear goes.

“Once being topless is accepted as lawful the next question will
be why can’t women go totally nude on a public beach and I don’t
think Australians want to go down that pathway.”


Actually Fred, I think topless sunbathing should be considered a community
service. Where else can you see what real bosoms look like? Bosoms that
sag and bounce and aren’t made from silicone? Less boobs in mens (and women’s) magazines, more
boobs at the beach, I say.