I have a question about my History Stack Exchange post: Is there any historical reason why women don't go topless in public just like men?

I've edited my question after initial feedback. Is there still something wrong?

  • 1
    The rules concerning how people behave when in public environments are not only governed by laws, but by what the society deems appropriate. This would be covered under sociology not History. How individuals behave within that society, whether or not they choose to conform to social norms is in the realm of Psychology. Your question is about how people currently choose to behave, so is not a History question.
    – justCal
    Mar 5, 2021 at 13:24
  • 1
    Here's a rule of thumb to consider: if your question is in the present tense, it is likely to be offtopic for History.SE. You can't just tack on "is this because of history" and turn something about modern sociology into a history question. Compare and contrast with, for example, "When did it become unacceptable for European women to go topless?"
    – Semaphore Mod
    Mar 5, 2021 at 19:46
  • The linked newspaper article in my Quora answer illustrate the situation. It is totally legal to wear no top (the article is about a situation of women being stopped for being topless in public, and then the officer realizing that they weren't actually breaking any law). Except for such exceptional circumstance though, effectively no one ever actually does it. Sep 27, 2021 at 13:23

1 Answer 1


I don't know; the community decides what is on topic/off topic. I'd suggest you compare the question to the two references found at how to write a good question. I'll offer a couple of additional opinions/reactions to the question; it is up to you to determine if they are useful.

  1. There is no preliminary research. No evidence that you've attempted to solve the problem. No evidence that you've considered alternative explanations (e.g. weather, climate, etc.) No evidence that you've compared the actual frequency of toplessness among men and women. No evidence that you've considered the contexts in which toplessness does occur. (e.g. Burning Man, protests, etc.) Lack of preliminary research frequently results in question closure. Questions without preliminary research communicate "I want to discuss....", not "I have a question that I'm trying to answer...."

  2. Related but distinct - why don't North Americans go topless (why are you asking about only one gender? As one of the commenters points out the ability to go topless can be quite distinct from the preference to go topless. Addressing this question would help to convince me that this is a sincere desire to answer the question rather than an attempt to discuss/provoke/elicit response.

  3. I'm not going to speak on behalf of a community I'm not qualified to represent, but I have a hypothesis. I haven't tested this, but I strongly suspect that a casual conversation with any female acquaintances will reveal that going topless in public is likely to result in unwelcome behavior. (I'm not saying that this is appropriate; I'm saying that there are men out there who will interpret topless women in a context that is, perhaps, not intended). There are probable consequences for toplessness that I imagine are not entirely positive. If I were interested in the question, I'd be interested in the relative importance of comfort, fashion and other factors in women's apparel choices. This question ignores all these factors, which suggests that the intent is to provoke, rather than to find an answer.

  4. Not everything that happened in the past is history; not everything that happens in history is significant. There is no attempt within the question to suggest that the question or the answer is important or significant in any way. This contributes to the impression that this isn't a sincere question.

  • "Is there evidence of women being attracted to men's chest in the past" would be on topic?
    – vivek
    Mar 6, 2021 at 15:35
  • The community decides what is on topic. What research would you do before asking that question?
    – MCW Mod
    Mar 6, 2021 at 15:52
  • I have some articles.
    – vivek
    Mar 6, 2021 at 17:15
  • 1) history.stackexchange.com/a/52159 (this answer has information related to sexual attraction towards breast (he has also linked the information. 2) This talks about sexual arousal/attraction with women toplessness bbc.com/news/magazine-30052071 (sexualisation of women's bodies by men)
    – vivek
    Mar 6, 2021 at 17:19
  • would that be fine?
    – vivek
    Mar 9, 2021 at 6:15

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .