Year(s) ago, I posted on this board and asked about modesty. Since then, I've written a 200 page book on the subject of female toplessness. Obviously I'm not going to make all of those points here, but following are some of the highlights. And if you have any challenges or questions, feel free to present them.
- Adam and Eve covered their genitals after the fall, not their tops. When God further clothed them, he covered both the male and the female; thus, Gen 3 gives no reason to believe in an unequal standard based on sex.
- In the Genesis account, nudity is called shameful; this is not the same as sin. Also, the words used (arom and eyrom) both pre- and post-fall imply that their nakedness wasn't sinful.
- 1Ti 2:9 isn't talking about skin exposure. Review Κόσμιος and Καταστολή.
- If toplessness is a form of nudity, then we already permit it via cleavage. It's chiefly the fat of the breast (aka "teats") that the Bible concerns itself with, and which is visually most distinct from the male counterpart.
- Isaiah walked literally naked. He wasn't merely topless; the text says " Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot" ... "So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt." ... Also, he had to be naked to be a symbol; the slaves were often topless, so that would have little to no shock value.
- Vilifying toplessness has, ironically, an effect that's opposite to the heart of Romans 14. By making it taboo, men become obsessed. Also, their moral compass becomes corrupt; they believe this sight is a sinful one, and when they look anyway: they've sinned by acting contrary to their (incorrect) distinction.