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Oh, my.

PORTLAND – About two dozen women marched topless from Longfellow Square to Tommy’s Park this afternoon in an effort to erase what they see as a double standard on male and female nudity.

A group of women and men who had shed their tops march down a Congress Street sidewalk from Longfellow Square to Tommy’s Park. They were promoting the freedom of women to be topless in public. The group attracted many amateur and professional photographers.

The women, preceded and followed by several hundred boisterous and mostly male onlookers, many of them carrying cameras, stayed on the sidewalk because they hadn’t obtained a demonstration permit to walk in the street. About a thousand people gathered as the march passed through Monument Square, a mix of demonstrators, supporters, onlookers and those just out enjoying a warm and sunny early-spring day.

After the marchers reached Tommy’s Park in the Old Port, some turned around and walked back to Longfellow Square, but most stayed and mingled in the park. Some happily posed for pictures.

Police said there were no incidents and no arrests – nudity is illegal in Maine only if genitals are displayed.

Ty McDowell, who organized the march, said she was “enraged” by the turnout of men attracted to the demonstration. The purpose, she said, was for society to have the same reaction to a woman walking around topless as it does to men without shirts on.

However, McDowell said she plans to organize similar demonstrations in the future and said she would be more “aggressive” in discouraging oglers.

(I feel it’s a fair assumption that that the Mothe and Sistah had nothing to do with this biznay.)

Soooo…….. protesting to be able to do something which apparently is already legal, and then loudly griping that making a public spectacle out of oneself causes people to stare.

‘Kay.  Reminds me of the dear old days at the People’s Glorious Soviet of Middletown, where one could major in this kind of thing.

Ms. McDowell and her ilk are not, in fact, seeking any kind of “freedom” for themselves.  Ms. McDowell already is welcomed to take off her top in the middle of the street act like an idiot if she chooses.  What she wants is the ability to act like an idiot without anyone else being allowed to think that she’s acting like an idiot or, in this case, to enjoy her idiocy.  (How she expects to obtain such freedom – whether through legal fiat or just by wearing down generally accepted standards of behavior – is unclear.)

No doubt those “boisterous and mostly male onlookers” are eager to see how Ms. McDowell goes about being more “aggressive” in the future.

Well, Happy Easter to all of you, my fellow port-swillers!

Yes, our redemption has been celebrated, the fatted calf (or, in this case chicken) has been consumed, the tumult and the shouting have died and the captains and the kings have now departed.

Robbo is about ready to go back to bed.  Yawn.

Yesterday morning found the Family Robbo, together with my brother and his wife and three children, in the C&E scrum at RFEC.  (I had gone to the Easter Vigil Mass the night before.)  Most of the kids sat together, but when everything had been sorted out I found that the ten year old had inserted her person in between Mrs. R and Self.

This particular gel has been involved in yoot choir for three years now and is getting to be quite the pro at singing hymns.  Not only does she already know far more of them than I did at her age, she also has developed the knack for picking up tunes very quickly.  Even if you catch her out with the first verse, she can come back and finish gamely. Thus, it’s an absolute pleasure to share a hymnal with her.

One of the communion hymns served up yesterday was “Welcome Happy Morning“, which goes to the tune of Fortunatus by Sir Arthur Sullivan.  It’s a lively and, well, happy little piece of musick, especially when played at the jaunty tempo favored by our organist, and also when accompanied by trumpet and drum.   The gel and I were practically laughing with delight as we let it go, and I’ve been unable to get it out of my head since then.

(That’s one thing I’ve got to give the Palies over the RC’s – they know what they’re about when it comes to the matter of singing.  My RC parish choir and organist can run circles round the crew at RFEC, but among the pew-dwellers the talent is all in the other direction:  Where the Palies embrace St. Augustine’s dictum with gusto, the RC’s tend to mutter and murmur, especially as their organist usually leads them at what I consider to be a funerial pace.  I’ve never decided whether this has some theological basis or is just because the organist doesn’t think they can handle anything faster.)


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April 2010