I would say the reason for the double standard is the social construction of gender in America. It is only due to the social construction of gender that we as a society see women as the feminine and in need of protecting. Basically it comes down to the patriarchal nature of society, men have long held the upper hand in society and therefore chose to protect their women and this is true in the case of protecting their bodies from objectification.
This world belongs to men and they are a very selfish spices. They come up with the rules and we have to follow them. They forget even in the beginning people never used to wear ant cloths and even today, there are still some tribes somewhere in the world who still walk around naked.
it's just the way we have made our society over the years... if things stayed the way they started out, we would all walk around naked and never have to worry about things like "indecent exposure" and "public nudity"
It doen't make me uncomfortable to see women with their tops off at some of the beaches, but I can see why some people don't want it to be seen.
But really? Whats the difference between a man's chest and a woman's? .. ours is just bigger... (generally...)
Well I know in Europe women are allowed to lay topless on beaches and people there aren't so phased unless there's american tourists hanging out. Because of the way we treat sex in this society, if women were to walk around topless they'd be raped or molested or exploited somehow. It would just really really confuse the population if we decided to all of a sudden start going topless.
I don't think it's because men make the rules.. uhm, men love breasts and wouldn't mind seeing them! It's because we unnecessarily connect breasts to sex.. when breasts primary purpose are to feed babies. Breasts are not sexual, but we make them that way. For that reason, I wouldn't want to see a bunch of women topless (and I wouldn't go topless either). Even though I'm aware of the function of breasts (and nipples and areola), I still find them sexual due to social conditioning. This isn't going to change anytime soon.