State Rep. David Moore (R-Missoula) apparently thinks women in America ought to be restricted more like women in Saudi Arabia. He has introduced House Bill 365 in the House Judiciary Committee in response, reports the Billings Gazette, “to a group of naked bicyclists who rolled through Missoula in August.”
The bicyclists, it should be noted, had a permit.
The American Taliban strikes again. Moore’s bill opens a new front in the War on Women in Big Sky Country:
A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: “AN ACT GENERALLY REVISING INDECENCY LAWS; PROVIDING THAT 5 INDECENT EXPOSURE OF A PERSON’S PRIVATE PARTS OR SIMULATED PRIVATE PARTS IN A PUBLIC 6 PLACE IN SUCH A WAY THAT A REASONABLE PERSON WOULD BE OFFENDED OR ALARMED 7 CONSTITUTES THE OFFENSE OF INDECENT EXPOSURE
Well, that’s not at all vague. And the idea of a “reasonable” person as defined by a Republican these days is not at all problematic, oh no…
I’ll help out: it’s not that he’s just trying to ban nekkid bikers, but that he doesn’t want to see even the outline of any of your body parts, specifically, those parts identified as “naughty bits” by the Puritans. According to HR 365, “a a person commits the offense of indecent exposure if the person knowingly or purposely,”
(a) exposes the person’s genitals, pubic hair, or anus or exposes the areola or nipple of the person’s breast with anything less than a fully opaque covering while in a public place or visible from a public place without taking reasonable precautions to prevent exposure, and disregards whether a reasonable person would be offended or alarmed by the act; or
(b) exposes any device, costume, or covering that gives the appearance of or simulates the genitals, pubic hair, anus region, or pubic hair region or exposes any device worn as a cover over the nipple or areola of the female breast that simulates and gives the realistic appearance of a nipple or areola while in a public place or visible from a public place without taking reasonable precautions to prevent exposure, and disregards whether a reasonable person would be offended or alarmed by the act.
If you’re wondering what, precisely, this means for women, while not mandating burqas, it might as well.
“Yoga pants should be illegal in public anyway,” Moore says, apparently agreeing with a high school in Massachusetts. So should anything else that “gives the appearance or simulates” any female body parts has to go.
It is not that, like designer Jean Touitou, that he thinks yoga pants are, aesthetically speaking, “an insult to civilization” but that they are indecent.
Yes, yoga pants are tight. There are even instances where I sympathize with Rep. Moore:
But what’s the problem? He can’t, like me, just look away when he sees something he doesn’t want to see. I’m offended by boobs too, when, like Moore, they’re waving a Bible in my face.
With the stroke of a pen, Moore would undo the last century.
They are already headed that way in the Montana State House, which got a new dress code for women last year:
“Business formal” for women is defined as a suit or dress slacks, skirt, jacket, and dress blouse or suit-like dress and appropriate shoes (flip flops, tennis shoes, and open-toe sandals are not considered appropriate). Leggings are not considered dress pants.
Women should be sensitive to skirt lengths and necklines.
Moore said he would trust the discretion of law enforcement officials to determine whether or not clothing violates the law. Because recent history has shown that’s such a good idea. You will always be more guilty if you are a minority or a woman.
Rep. Virginia Court (D-Billings), pointed out that the bill targets women:. “I think you are kind of being a little prejudiced against women.” Is she really surprised? Every year the rest of us move forward, Republicans leap back a few decades – or centuries.
Though there is one nod toward men in the Moore’s legislation, and it is restrictive of the restrictive: Speedos would also go the way of the buffalo – well, and the way of the U.S. Constitution – if Moore gets his way.
He’s not exactly proposing beheadings, but the proposed penalties are bad enough, even if they are surprisingly more lenient than existing law: five years in jail and $5,000. Currently, a third offense can get an offender life in prison. So keep your clothes on in Montana. And stay out of cool breezes, ladies.
Personally, it is difficult to see where five years in jail for wearing tight pants that show the outline of your bottom is in any way lenient. And it’s not that Moore wants to be kinder to offenders, but that he thinks if the laws are less draconian they will be more likely to be enforced.
Given the Republican position on rape, next thing we’ll be hearing is that Republicans agree with Saudi historian Saleh al-Saadoon that women uppity enough to drive “don’t care if they are raped on the roadside.”
It’s not like this is not already a pastime in this country for some cops, after all.
Montana sounds an awful lot like ISIL’s Islamic State when he says it ought to be a “decent state where people can live within the security of laws and protect their children and associates from degrading and indecent practices.”
Moore says tight pants and shirts are degrading. But they are not nearly as degrading as his small-minded and misogynistic attitudes toward women. I don’t want to see bigots like him strutting around either, but you don’t see me trying to outlaw him.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.