Topless protest on Miami Beach in 2009 (Photo by Carlos Miller)

It’s been my experience that most topless women who march down the street protesting their right to bare their breasts in public are not really worth photographing.

But as photographers – and as men –  we still find ourselves pulling out our cameras to capture the bare essentials.

After all, isn’t that what they want?

Apparently not, according to a group of women who protested topless in Portland, Maine last week for their right to go topless.

According to the Portland Press Herald:

The point of the march was that a topless woman out in public should attract no more attention than a man walking around without a shirt on, said Ty MacDowell, 20, of Westbrook, who organized Saturday’s event and promoted it on Facebook.

But as the event got under way in Longfellow Square, the marchers were soon outnumbered by scores of onlookers — mostly young men eagerly snapping away with cameras and cell phones.

MacDowell said she was surprised by the turnout of those interested less in challenging societal convention than in seeing partially undressed women.

“I’m amazed,” she said, and “enraged (at) the fact that there’s a wall of men watching.”

I’m betting that they would be just as enraged if nobody even glanced at them.

I covered a topless protest last year on Miami Beach where the women did not mind being photographed.

But down here, bare breasts do not perk as much interest considering you can find dozens of topless women on the beach on any given day.