Since I was a young kid, the dichotomy between male versus female toplessness has made very little sense to me. I never understood why, when my dad coached soccer, the guys were all able to take off their shirts after a game and the girls never did, no matter how hot it was. I tried to ask my parents, but they didn’t have hugely explanatory answers and besides, it’s awkward to ask your parents about things that may involve boobs. Lo and behold, a new North Carolina law insisting all women keep those dirty pillows you call breasts covered is equally unable to distinguish why it matters so much — they just know that dammit, it matters.
The Republican-backed (shock!) bill proposes that women could be put in jail for showing their breasts. It seeks to expand the definition of “private parts” to specifically include “the nipple, or any portion of the areola, or the female breast.” This way, women could be arrested for indecent exposure if their breasts were uncovered. And if it’s determined that the woman is topless “for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire” — you know, because breasts serve no other purpose than to quiver and bounce for the world’s pleasure — she could be charged with a felony and put in jail for 6 months.
Red. Rayne Brown, R-Davidson, is a co-sponsor of the bill which she claims is because there were topless rallies promoting women’s equity held over the past two years in Asheville, which is over two hours from her district. She says her constituents are worried about the legality of such protests since Asheville doesn’t have any local ordinances on women going topless, thus her decision to create the bill.
“There’s some confusion about the law,” Brown said. “I think our state deserves clarity on this issue.” Uh, then maybe just make a clear law stating that women’s bodies are equal to men’s and should not be treated differently in how much we are allowed to expose.
Rep. Annie W. Mobley, D-Hertford, suggested that women could get around this ban by wearing pasties or using tape over their nipples. Being the hil-aaarious group that they are, one Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, said, “You know what they say, duct tape fixes everything.” I can think of one thing I’d like to cover up with duct tape a lot more than my nipples.
Anybody else find it ironic that these are always the people who get pissed about Islam and insist that women are all oppressed in the Middle East — despite often getting angered about women wearing traditional burqas in America — yet they want to force women to cover up here, too? Meh, it just seems a little hypocritical. Just a little.
Photo: paukrus / Flickr