One of the topless women who took part in a counter-protest of an open carry gun demonstration over the weekend in Austin, Texas, said on Tuesday she bared her breasts to “draw attention to how absurd” the gun activists were.
And she plans to keep doing it.
In an essay published by the Guardian, Phyllis Masters recounted her experience as one of the women who took their shirts off on Saturday to protest against the open-carry gun group, Come and Take It Texas. Parts of the incident were later shown in a video posted online by the open-carry group.
Masters said the nudity and the “More Boobs, Less Guns!” posters were simply a demonstration of her legal rights.
“After all those gun-rights advocates brandished their weapons at Chipotle and Target this spring, everyone knows it’s legal to openly carry around your firearms in Texas,” Masters wrote. “Not many folks know that it’s also legal for women to go topless in the state’s capital city. But I did: in the late ’80s, I took part in a lot of performance art that included nudity, so I was familiar with baring my breasts in public.”
Despite her apparent comfort with public exposure, Masters said she usually covers up in public places out of “basic respect” for others. However, she said the “ammo-sexuals” (the gun rights activists) don’t seem to share that same sense of decency, and said she was tired of the “kind of people who take out their guns for play dates,” which prompted her to join her friend Lola in a counter-protest.
Masters and Lola got into a verbal argument with members of Come and Take It Texas, and she mocked the “open-carry chuckleheads” for insulting her appearance and demanding to know who was paying her to counter-protest.
“Paying us to protest topless? I have friends that would pay me to keep my tits covered,” Masters wrote. “The people who participated in the open-carry protest do not stand for freedom: they are just there to intimidate anyone who disagrees with them.”
Masters said she antagonized the group a bit, but in the end she said she closed her “pie-hole” and did her “thing,” which she plans to continue doing on the last Saturday of every month. She said she hopes others will join her and added “toplessness won’t be required.”