"We've had the most fun with this bill
for about the past week and a half,
and that's OK. You need to laugh sometimes,"
-North Carolina Representative Rayne Brown
of the House Judiciary Committee.
What are the honorable state legislators in North Carolina doing these days with their valuable time? They're having a lot of fun playing around with sponge cakes, humdingers, sweater puppies ... you know -- bOObs.
Well, to be honest, they haven't been handling breasts, but they have been discussing a proposal to put women who expose certain parts of their breasts in jail for a long time.
But all this laughable lawmaking limiting the lines on loblollies is serious work according to Representative Brown:
"But there are communities across this state, there's local governments across this state, and also local law enforcement for whom this issue is really not a laughing matter."
Would you believe that even though a law that specifically outlaws "sexually explicit nudity," including nipples exposed in the presence of minors, is already in the books, the legislature is worrying about whether the exposure of breasts as part of a political protest could be defined as "sexual"?
A bill that could send women to prison for going topless in public
appears headed for approval by the North Carolina legislature.
The Republican-backed bill headed to a floor vote in the House would amend the state's indecent exposure law to expand the legal definition of "private parts" to explicitly include "the nipple, or any portion of the areola, or the female breast."
Depending on whether such exposure is judged to be "for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire," the woman could be charged with a felony, punishable by up to six months in prison for first-time offenders. More mundane exposure would be a misdemeanor meriting up to 30 days in jail.
("Topless Women Could Get Prison Time Under North Carolina Proposal,"
Fox News, February 14 2013)
The proposed bill leaves in place exceptions for "incidental" nipple exposure by breastfeeding mothers and retains the ability of local governments to regulate sexually oriented nightclubs, but
co-sponsor Representative Rayne Brown, R-Davidson, told members of the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that her bill was triggered by topless rallies promoting women's equity that were held during the last two years in Asheville.
Even though her district is more than a two-hour drive from Asheville, which doesn't have a local ordinance barring women from going topless, Brown said her constituents are concerned whether the topless protests are legal. She believes a "blanket solution" (no pun - the actual language) is needed to give law enforcement officers statewide the clear authority to make arrests when nipples are exposed.
Two Democrats on the Judiciary Committee questioned whether the issue really rises to a level requiring legislative action:
Representative Nathan Baskerville, D-Vance, reiterated that any city or county having a problem with public toplessness is free to pass a local ordinance.
And Representative Annie W. Mobley, D-Hertford, suggested a woman wanting to get around the proposed law could simply cover her nipples with tape.
To which Representative Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, replied,"You know what they say, duct tape fixes everything."
Go Topless Women and Equal Bare Chest Time
A group called Go Topless is fighting for the so-called right of women to expose their breasts without violating any indecent exposure laws. They've held topless protests in Asheville, and they have successfully joined in legal challenges that have resulted in laws permitting women to expose their breasts just as men do in New York State and in Ontario, Canada.
The president of Go Topless, Nadine Gary, argued, "Our rallies are aimed at bringing attention to a serious matter of unconstitutional, unequal treatment…women are still persecuted or arrested for going topless, while men aren't…To uphold the constitution, Representative Moffitt should honor its references to equality…Instead, he's attempting to widen the inequality gap when he should be protecting women's rights to go topless in his state or striving to see that men's nipples remain equally private."
(Mark H. Creech, "The Right to Bare Breasts," CP Opinion, February 13 2013)
GoTopless claims that women have the same constitutional right to be bare chested in public places as men. They further claim constitutional equality between men and women on being topless in public. In 2009, they used August 26 (Women's Equality Day), as a day of national protest.
Looking At Society and Exposed Eclairs
In some parts of the world, bare breasts in public cause far less alarm. In many indigenous, non-Western cultures it is generally acceptable for both men and women not to cover their torsos. Female toplessness can also be a traditional aspect in indigenous cultural celebrations. And, even in Europe and Australia, topless swimming and sunbathing on public beaches has become socially acceptable.
Still, in much of contemporary Western society, it is not culturally acceptable for women to expose their nipples and areolae in public. In most Western societies, once girls enter adolescence, it is the social norm for them to behave modestly and cover their breasts in public (Which makes me wonder how long it will be until a huge fracas develops over age of exposure).
Women who go topless in the United States are usually cited for indecent exposure or lewdness, a misdemeanor and a comparatively minor charge. Yet, a conviction of indecent exposure can result in a criminal record and the possibility of lifelong registration as a sex offender.
The legal and community standards of what states of undress constitute indecent exposure vary considerably and depend on the context in which the exposure takes place. These standards have also varied over time, making the definition of indecent exposure itself a complex topic.
Ironically, neither women nor the law in most western countries generally regard breasts as indecent.The strictness of the etiquette varies depending on the social context. For example, at specific cultural events the norm may be relaxed, such as at the Mardi Gras in New Orleans and Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro. The same may also apply at a designated topless beach.
Historians record that some social attitudes began to soften about going topless during the late 1960s, but contemporary Western societies still generally view toplessness unfavorably.
During a short period in 1964, "topless" dress designs appeared at fashion shows, but those who wore the dresses in public found themselves arrested on indecency charges. However, toplessness has come to be a feature in contemporary haute couture fashion shows.
Shakers Cause Quakes
Now there is news from Iran that something incredibly deadly has been attributed to toplessness.
Hojjat ol-eslam Kazem Sediqi, a noted prayer leader in Tehran, said women should stick to strict codes of modesty to protect themselves.
"Many women who do not dress modestly lead young men astray and spread adultery in society which increases earthquakes," he explained.
Tens of thousands of people have died in Iran earthquakes in the last decade.
("Iranian Cleric Blames Quakes on Promiscuous Women," BBC News, April 20 2010)
I really wonder about the necessity of enacting a new law in the State of North Carolina when sufficient standards can be adopted by local communities. I question the interests of Representative Brown. Is she bent on forcing more standards of creating a strict morality that opposes all sexuality or any questionable freedom of expression?
Most places already have indecent exposure laws in place, and the laws seem to be working just fine. What if the State of Louisiana would pass similar legislation on toplessness? I can't imagine how many new jails it would take to house those flashing their bazooms during Mardi Gras.
I imagine topless protesters in most American communities will be arrested and charged with a minor offense. Anyway, they probably expect to be jailed to draw more attention to their cause.
I completely understand that families should not be subjected to exposure, yet, to me, in a form of public protest, exposing a nipple is less offensive than waving a gun, parading a swastika, defacing an American flag, waving signs showing graphics photos of an aborted fetus, or chanting "death to U.S. troops and their families." I also find shouting, frenzied sidewalk preachers to be equally offensive.
On the lighter side, Karen Heaven, one of the two dozen topless women who protested in a New York City park on a hot, sweaty August Sunday in 2012 as part of "National Go-Topless Day" to draw attention to inequality in topless rights between men and women said, "We say there is nothing wrong with the female nipple."
She was wearing white pants and not much else besides a purse over her shoulder. Karen explained, "My dog has six, I have two, but I can be put in jail for showing my nipples. It's 2012 -- what are we thinking?"
Nipples? Most dogs have six, but this cutie has only two.
Besides, the "new cleavage" is butt crack exposure. To me, wearing droopy drawers in public is just plain nasty. I believe more jurisdictions should impose stricter butt crack limits . In fact, I think the North Carolina legislature could better use its time to pass decency standards about pubic exposure concerning whale tales, sagging, and low slung jeans that expose yards of underwear instead of worrying too much about nipples.
In fact, some Southern towns have already taken such measures:
* In 2007, the Town Council of Delcambre, Louisiana, passed an indecent exposure ordinance, which prohibited intentionally wearing one's pants in such a way as to show underwear.
* In March 2008, the Hahira, Georgia, City Council passed a controversial clothing ordinance, in the name of public safety, that bans citizens from wearing pants that are below the waist and reveal skin or undergarments.
* And, on November 23, 2010, Albany, Georgia passed a city ordinance that banned the wearing of pants or skirts more than three inches below the top of the hips, and placed a fine of $25 for the first offense up to $250 for subsequent offenses. By September 2011, City Attorney Nathan Davis reported that 187 citations have been issued and fines collected of $3,916 since the ordinance went into effect.
Sagging in public
I'm going to check with Hojjat ol-eslam Kazem Sediqi. I'm pretty sure sagging and whale tailing are responsible for the recent rash of meteors that have been crashing into planet Earth. Mooning could be causing someone upstairs to be hurling space debris our way.
The new cleavage and a whale tail
One last comment to North Carolina lawmakers: You may want to be sure to include some wording about "natural" content in your toplessness legislation. According to some recent statistics, about two million of U.S. breasts today are fake. And, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast augmentation was the number one cosmetic surgery in the country in 2011 with 307,000 women getting the procedure. This is a 4 percent increase from the previous year and a 45 percent increase from 2000.
My question is simple:
"If what a girl may be revealing is not totally real,
can you rightfully legislate against exposing what really
isn't anything but 'skin deep'?"
Two-plus-twos have the normal increase of 2 cup sizes, so much of what is there is augmented, reconstructed saline and silicone. I don't believe there are any indecent exposure laws against showing these substances in public.
And, if the law decides not to arrest those ladies who expose fake ones, wouldn't this be "breast profiling" to arrest women with the "real McCoys"?
I'm so confused. Fake? Real? Half and half? The whole subject of breasts makes me bonkers.
Stand-up comedian Tracey Morgan said, "I used to deal with this chick that had them implants. Every time I was with her, I felt like I was at a Tupperware party." And I know what he means-- there's nothing like the real thing, baby.
Lacey Wildd, the mom with L cup implants, wants MMM's for the World's Largest Breasts.
These things look more like blimps to me -- nothing natural here.
And, I do get it. I understand the culprit. It's the nipples that cause all the problems with indecent exposure and toplessness. Yet, what would a nipple be without the rest of a breast. It would be an unset diamond without a beautiful golden ring. I have nothing against the nipple. I believe they are beautiful, but isn't it amazing how a derma dumpling on a conical, fatty gland can ignite the imagination and passion of an adoring male? I confess that a breast is nothing but a bump without a sensual nipple.
The magical center of the controversy exposed
Ugh... Maybe this guy should be arrested for exposing his moobs in North Carolina.
Cameron on Jay Leno - Do you see too much of them or not?
“Breasts are a scandal because
they shatter the border
between motherhood and sexuality.”
― Iris Marion Young