Artvoice: Buffalo's #1 Newsweekly
Home Blogs Web Features Calendar Listings Artvoice TV Real Estate Classifieds Contact
Previous story: Free Will Astrology

Ask Anyone

take it from the top

I am under the impression that it is legal in New York State for a woman to be topless in a public place, or basically, in any space where men are allowed to be shirtless (“no shoes, no shirt, no service” applies to all). I have a neighbor—a real pioneer—who takes full advantage of this “legality,” whether she is gardening in her front yard or walking her dog or getting her mail. I personally have no problem with this and she is a perfectly attractive individual (not that it matters), but the response she garners has turned our block into a noisy one.

Sometimes she gets shouts like “put a shirt on,” to which she shouts back “it’s my legal right!” But mostly it’s guys in cars doing the “whoo-hoo” at the top of their lungs. I mean, the screeching is deafening sometimes. So that part really bothers me.

I’m all for defending her right to wear or not wear whatever she pleases within the confines of the law, but there are serious noise ordinance violations I’m sure. But it’s the obnoxious guys who are violating the law, not my neighbor, so I hesitate to complain to her about it.

What’s the PC, feminist position on this matter?

Lady Liberty

Dr. Sigmund Fraud says: Would you believe I used to date a woman who knew this portion of New York State law, and was unashamed to use it to her advantage in more ways than one?

Not only would she unleash her girls around her home, as your neighbor does, but also at the park, the beach, the farmer’s market, and the public pool.

I believe she said the landmark case was the People vs. Santorelli (I remember the name Santorelli because it’s the name of the pizzeria I worked at as a teenager), which made NY one of only a handful of states where women can go topless anywhere men are allowed the same priviledge.

It is still illegal, if I’m not mistaken, for a woman to bare her breasts if it takes place in a commercial context. So, I guess that means women taking their tops off to increase business at a car wash, maybe? I don’t know.

But get this—pushing the envelope, she, on more than one occassion, chose to exercise her topless right with the full intention of turning it into a money-making venture. She would take her top off and walk down the street until she found a police officer who was not familiar with the obscure law. When he would tell her to cover up, she would refuse. When she refused, he would arrest her. When he arrested her, the DA would refuse to press charges, since what she’d done was perfectly legal. Then she would sue the municipality.

I never liked that aspect of her character.

So tell me, what part of town do you live in?

A Buffalo Cop says: It’s important that you report these disturbances to the police, so that we can make regular swings through the neighborhood and discourage the clods who are ogling your neighbor. In addition to her address, please include in your report approximate times your neighbor is likely to be in the garden or walking her dog. The better for us to protect her.

facing facts

Facebook can be a wonderful part of a social network and re-connecting site, but it can also open up too much drama and insight into another person’s life.

I’ve been friends with someone on Facebook now for several months, but knowing that much about them, their life, and their lifestyle has let me to start judging their actions. Unfortunately, this is also the mother of my boyfriend’s children. Simply removing her as a friend could cause more unnecessary tension between the two of us, but remaining her Facebook friend, and continuing to know how she spends her personal time and money will in no way benefit our relationship in the future.

How do I go about removing her as a FB friend without causing more drama, and rema ining on good terms with her for the sake of my boyfriend & his children?

—Facebook Flustered

The Practical Cogitator says: It’s called “Block.” It’s in your settings. There is no need to delete this person form your friend list, as you know Facebook Friend Finder will just recommend that you become friends again. When this happens the deleted friend will know you deleted her. Rather, I suggest you go to your settings option, select that friend and block all her wall posts, status updates, etc. The only way she can reach you is if she sends you a message directly. The “friend” will not be notified and you won’t have to read her ramblings anymore. But let this be a lesson to you, a person should be discriminating of cyber friends just as they are in real life. Simply because someone is an acquaintance, or knows someone that you know, doesn’t mean you have to accept them as a cyber friend. This could have been prevented with a simple click of “ignore.”

Please send your questions for our panel of experts to

blog comments powered by Disqus