Men can go topless. Why can't women?

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Photo credit Deagreez/Getty Images
By KYW Newsradio 1060
By Amy E. Feldman, Judge Technology Solutions
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Men can go topless. Why can't women?   

An ordinance in Springfield, Missouri banned women from going topless in public. The ordinance prohibits the public display of the female breast with less than a fully opaque covering of any part of the areola and nipple. 

That's kind of an anatomically specific definition of toplessness, no? 

A group called "Free the Nipple" felt it was highly unfair because it only applied to women - men's nipples could be on full display without penalty or anybody noticing, for that matter. 

They argued it violates the Equal Protection Clause by treating men and women differently.  

The Appeals Court just ruled it's not unconstitutional. 

According to the court, the government has an interest in promoting public decency, and the fact that the standard is different for women and men is because the bodies are different for women and men.

Most, but not all courts, who have been asked to rule on similar bans on female toplessness have made the same decision, but the ACLU says it plans to appeal.