Topless Arnold Protestors Arrested

Two women from the aptly named Breasts Not Bombs bared their breasts, not their bombs, in an effort to demonstrate that they disapproved of ballot measures which were about neither bombs nor breasts.

2 Protesters Arrested After Going Topless (LAT)

Police arrested two members of an organization called Breasts Not Bombs after they removed their tops during a protest on the steps of the state Capitol on Monday afternoon. The women, who were protesting Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ballot measures for today’s special election, took off their shirts despite warnings from the California Highway Patrol last week that doing so would lead to their arrests — and possibly their inclusion on the state’s list of sex offenders. A federal judge Friday refused to grant a request from Breasts Not Bombs to block the police from arresting topless protesters.

Officials at the Sacramento County district attorney’s office said they have not decided whether to prosecute the protesters, and if they do, whether to seek to have them listed as sex offenders.


Soon after, Glaser, 45, removed her top and was promptly arrested. Renee Love, 40, also of Albion, was arrested after she removed her top. Both were charged with indecent exposure, disorderly conduct and going beyond the scope of their permit to demonstrate on state property.


Angered that Glaser and Love could be listed on the sex offender registry if convicted of lewd acts, state Sen. Gloria Romero (D-Los Angeles) joined the protesters before their arrests to announce that she would introduce legislation to decriminalize the baring of breasts in public. “While it is legal for men to go shirtless in public in California,” she said, “women risk being classified as sex offenders for baring the same body parts.”

I would have to see photographs before deciding whether baring their breasts was lewd or merely in poor taste. Still, what sort of society do we live in where women baring their breasts and NFL cheerleaders having sex with other NFL cheerleaders in bathrooms are arrested and yet Dennis Franz is allowed to go free after showing his ugly butt on televison?

That said, while I agree with Romero that baring ones breasts –thus rendering them into what is popularly known on Google as nude breasts — in public hardly constitutes a “sex offense,” men, as a norm, do not have “the same body parts.” I would wager that there are far fewer Google searches for, say, “Brad Pitt shirtless” than, say, “Janet Jackson breasts.”

Update: Drudge has the following photo associated with his link to the story:

Photo: Woman bares breast to protest Arnold

I will still have to withhold my judgment based on this evidence, which I deem inconclusive.

Photo Sheryl Glaser of Albion, Calif., has a shirt put over her bare upper body after she was arrested by CHP officers at the state Capitol Monday. (Robert Durell / LAT)Update: Rodney Dill forwarded this link to a decidedly not-safe-for-work photo of 45-year-old Talent Gateway model Tantra Bensko. She’s apparently involved in this somehow that’s not clear to me. That page has a link to a photo gallery which features many more photographs of the parts which she is apparently not authorized to display in public under the terms of the permit. [Update: Now I see. The LAT story linked above has a photo gallery which includes a larger version of the Drudge photo. Its caption: “Tantra Benkso of San Francisco talks to the press on the west steps of the state capitol. She wore two political buttons taped over her nipples.” The gallery also includes a better photo of Sheryl Glaser, which I’ve cropped and posted to the right.]

Meanwhile Bithead uses one of Rodney’s recent OTB Caption ContestTM photos to illustrate the viewpoint of counter-protestors Breasts AND Bombs quite nicely.

Commenter SherriJo links to a decidedly not-safe-for-work photo gallery of a Breasts Not Bombs rally from July 23 which also featured an appearance by a male counterpart entitled Dicks Not Draft. Your tastes may vary but I would not recommend clicking the link; it is provided only in the interests of archival completeness. Naked ugly people await you if you click the link. You have been warned.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. the Pirate says:

    You also have to consider the hairy armpit factor.

  2. Kent says:

    If I didn’t know better, I’d wonder if you were trolling for Google hits.

    Thanks for keeping us abreast of the situation.

  3. Bithead says:

    I ended up posting a different one.

  4. Alan says:

    I think women should be allowed to bare their breasts as a form of expression — whether politcal or otherwise. The court barred this form of expression, stating there are often children on the grounds of the state capitol and they should not be exposed to bare breasts. This seems like its going overboard and a lesser restriction would solve the problem. The court or other authorities in charge of the capitol ground could simply set a time period during which bare breasts would be allowed, publicize it and warn people in advance. Then the protesters would be able to protest at the designated time, while parents who wanted to keep their children away would be able to, and everyone’s interests would be accomodated.

  5. John Burgess says:

    Legalize bare breasts! If this must be controlled, then put an upper age limit on the exercise, but otherwise, hands-off and eyes-on.

  6. Rodney Dill says:

    Interesting point John, but this needs to be gov’t regulated. They’ll need size, shape, and quality control. They need a bunch of volunteers engineers to organize and run the whole shebang.

  7. Rodney Dill says:

    It was a little confusing for me too, as I found a copy of the Drudge picture at this link.

    The picture Gallery at the right shows Glaser, but if you open the picture gallery the first picture is the one Drudge used of Tantra Bensko. I’d found this picture by googling around, but didn’t realize you didn’t have the name associated with it.

    She’s not one of the two arrested though.

  8. “Interesting point John, but this needs to be gov’t regulated. They’ll need size, shape, and quality control.”

    I am opposed to government regulation in the above areas as they are subject to individual preference. However, I would be amenable to a back-fat regulatory committee.

  9. anjin-san says:

    It seems strange that the GOP hates breasts so much 🙂

  10. SheriJo says:

    **Warning, not work or hurl safe**
    You can see the Breasts not Bombs “gals” here. (You’ll see why I use scare quotes when you follow the link.) Glaser is the one who whose breasts hang below the belt line of her tan capris (the others are wearing different pants, otherwise no differentiation.) As I would say to Glaser before she does jumping jacks, “knock yourself out.”

  11. DL says:

    This childish act is so Sixties! Grow up liberals! The world is not a college campus for you to play in.

  12. wavemaker says:

    Now this really overdoes the meaning of “letting it all hang out.”

    Ugh…James, your warning was certainly not understated.

  13. This Gloria Romero? Sadly, no.

  14. Many corporations get involved with social conscience movements. Perhaps we could encourage the Hooters chain to get involved with the Breasts Not Bombs group…

    “She’s not one of the two arrested though.”
    * insert rimshot sound effect here *