on this page:
Men don’t think twice about stripping off their shirt to cool off on a hot day — we just take it for granted. Apart from beaches in a few oases of progressivism, however, it’s not so for women. Although there is no objective reason for treating the sexes unequally, the law prevents women from enjoying this simple comfort in most places where it goes unquestioned for men.
Brave women and their supporters have challenged this
unfairness on constitutional grounds in a number of jurisdictions, with a mixed
result of victories and setbacks. A case was pending for a long time against a
top-free activist, Liz Book, stemming from her shirtless demonstration for
top-free equality in
Liz and several other women, some of them our friends from
To refocus public attention on the issue, Liz held another
top-free demonstration in
Liz vowed to fight the new charges, and her initial
hearing was set for Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2005. Exactly one year later, the
Seventh Judicial Circuit Court of Appeals in
Liz held another top-free public “demonstration” (she just
stood on a bridge and fished) in
For more information on this issue, see:
GoTopless (National Go Topless Day, late August of every year)
* Daytona Top-Free Protest (A Personal Account)
(Article in Summer 2005 issue of The SunDial, a journal that SFFB/FNA used to publish)
the Boob Ban (
Sun safety and skin health – some common-sense suggestions
note: The following letter to the editor from several dermatologists appeared
in the Nov. 14, 2006 edition of The Miami Herald. For additional information on this topic,
visit the website of the
Re: Dr. Robert D. Bibb's Nov. 2 Other Views column, Sunscreen and skin cancer: Bibb's claim that the use of sunscreens has seriously increased the incidence of melanoma is incorrect.
Sunscreens, properly used, provide protection from the damage of harmful UV rays that cause skin cancer, including melanoma. We must all be educated on how to properly use sunscreens. Most people apply only 25 to 50 percent of the amount actually required to achieve the rated sun-protection factor. They also do not apply sunscreens uniformly or often enough to achieve the rated SPF value.
Sunscreens are not a free pass to sunbathe. UV rays should be avoided during peak hours, and everyone should apply sunscreen as part of the daily skin-care ritual.
The idea that sunscreen use increases the risk of melanoma by prolonging exposure of susceptible individuals to the sun was disproved in several case-control studies. Unfortunately, however, melanoma is increasing for other reasons. According to one study, melanoma incidents in fair-skinned populations increase with proximity to the Equator. Unsurprisingly, it was found that people's risk of melanoma increases when they move from areas of low- to high-sun exposure. A second factor was the role of the depleting ozone layer. And third, genetics may be just as important as UV exposure in development of melanomas. Genetic attributes such as skin, hair and eye color, presence of mutations in tumor suppressor genes and presence of atypical moles all play a role.
Other factors that may be attributed to the increase in melanoma include the increased popularity of tanning booths, diagnosis of thinner lesions, early detection of lesions, better reporting techniques and increased life expectancy.
We are not suggesting that sunscreen is a panacea. Individuals should minimize sun exposure during peak UV hours (10 a.m-4 p.m.), wear protective clothing, hats and sunglasses and seek shade in addition to using sunscreen daily. Anti-oxidants are also recommended, with the best-studied agents being vitamins C, E and Ferulic Acid.
Except for total sun avoidance, sunscreens along with the above protective measures remain the best method of protection from UV-induced damage to the skin, including skin cancer.
KEYVAN NOURI, MD, professor, dermatology and cutaneous surgery
LAWRENCE A. SCHACHNER, MD, chairman,
Department of Dermatology,
University of Miami, Miami