Show us yer tits!

Months after the Red Mile craze struck Calgary, the nudity that took place on 17th Avenue during the Calgary Flames Stanley Cup run is about to be analyzed.


A University of Calgary Professor, Dr. Mary Valentich, is conducting an anonymous study on why so many women decided to display their breasts to the public.


“It’s uncommon behavior,” said Valentich. “I want to understand it from their viewpoint.”


Numerous websites spawned from the Red Mile, displaying various pictures of women exposing themselves in public. It left some to question if these websites–which were eventually shut down due to legal reasons–had any effect on the atmosphere on 17th Ave.


“The flashings generated so much publicity that the media just picked it right up,” said Valentich. “Some may have done it because of the attention it was getting, but some were probably just caught up in the moment.”


Even with the nudity during the Flames playoff run and the backlash that it received, Valentich believes the overall Red Mile experience was a positive one, and the Flames generated a festive celebration in Calgary that hadn’t been seen for awhile.


The first major legal case of feminine nudity in Canada occurred when a lady from Guelph, Ontario was charged and convicted with indecent exposure in 1991, while she was protesting against the fact that men were allowed to roam topless in public and not women. In 1996, the decision was reversed.


Despite being in the early stages of her study, it has already generated media interest and received its fair share of criticism from various angles. Valentich has already received numerous phone calls asking for the details of her study.


“One reporter from Chicago talked about nudity at the race track and football games,” said Valentich. “My coworker joked that it’s too cold in Calgary for women to be flashing at football games.


“I think that anytime women do something that is uncommon, there will be some group that becomes unsettled.”


Despite these negative comments from various media sources, Valentich feels that her work is necessary, and shows great things about the social direction of Calgary.


“The vast media coverage shows that there is greater permission for people to talk about what happened,” said Valentich.


With the upcoming Girls Gone Wild tour through parts of Canada, there is the possibility of further backlash from the public, as this tour relies on female nudity. While this does raise some concern for Valentich, she is sure this behavior is not a common thing.


“It is certainly not common or unconventional behavior,” said Valentich, “but it could end up polarizing the public and could leave people asking ‘where is our society going?'”


Valentich is still looking for women to volunteer for her anonymous study and she is really interested to figure out why there was such a outbreak on the Red Mile. She feels that the more this type of behavior gets studied, the more we will know about it.


“When one group studies one aspect and another group studies another, our body of knowledge grows,”said Valentich.

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