Lifelong Nantucket islander Dorothy D. Stover, nicknamed "Naughty-Dottie," is a lover of life. She recently filed what's called a Citizen's Warrant article with the town, asking that women be allowed to go topless because it's a matter of equity and justice. She can't understand how we're still in the archaic space of men can go topless but women can't, and is asking the next town hall meeting in May of 2022 to vote on and pass her 21st-century request.

Stover believes that Nantucket has always upheld the traditions of fairness and impartiality. So I had to ask around to see if how neighbors on the mainland felt about it.

My first call went to Stover's website, which asked me to give my full name and email and submit – but to my surprise, I signed up for Love Bubble Therapy by accident. I know my wife won't buy that excuse. Not being proficient with websites, I went to an old reliable: the phone. I started calling people I know to get their reaction to this topless issue.

A female pastor and dear friend in the area offered some insight.

"Since the Stone Age, a woman who doesn't wear any clothes has been considered morally flawed," she said. "Although people now are more open-minded, they still don't accept topless women."

Then she hit me with the big one.

"Hey Phil," she began, "Let me ask you, can you imagine your mother or wife being topless in public and being stared at by men?"


A local restaurant owner said it depends.

"Women being topless is accepted all over the world, except in this country," they said. "Here, women have to follow the dress code men thought up, and if they don't, they end up in jail. Anyways, if going topless is legal and doesn't harm anyone, we should let them do what they want."

A former television journalist friend laughed at the notion of who would support the measure and for what reasons.

"Do you really think men, with wretched eyes, who support topless women are doing it for social justice? Ha! We have a problem of gender discrimination because of our history, tradition and bias," she said.

I asked if this would raise the public's awareness of women's rights? She didn't see it that way. "Our society has decided that women's breasts are sexual objects," she said.

But Dorothy Stover insists that going topless for women should be allowed because it promotes equality and civil rights equally for all persons.

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Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.

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