Remember back in October when a North Dakota High School banned yoga pants, because they’re apparently too distracting for male students and teachers? Well that ridiculous argument has grown exponentially now that a Montana lawmaker is trying to make wearing them in public illegal.
You read that right. The world’s most comfortable pants is considered by Missoula lawmaker, David Moore to be a danger to society, and he would like nothing more than to put a stop to them. We’re living in a country where police brutality is rampant, racial profiling is still very much a thing, and cyber bullying has gotten completely out of control, and THIS is what our lawmakers are choosing to focus on?? Sometimes there are simply no words to express how baffled I am by our country’s legal system.
On Tuesday, Moore introduced House Bill 365 in the House Judiciary Committee which proposed expanding the indecent exposure law to cover, “any device, costume, or covering that gives the appearance of or simulates a person’s buttocks, genitals, pelvic area, or male/female nipple.” So you know those fun giant t-shirts that are painted to look like you’re a bosomy model in a tight bikini? Yeah, you’ll likely get cuffed for wearing it.
Moore drafted the bill in response to the “Dare as You Bare” cycling event, in which many cyclists rode nude through downtown Missoula on August 17th, 2014. While city officials were not thrilled with the idea of naked bikers riding through their town, they felt that denying them a permit would breach freedom of expression, so they allowed it. Apparently some residents were “outraged” by the mass indecent exposure, and Moore was no doubt at the center of them.
While the bill doesn’t specifically outlaw yoga pants, the language of it leaves a lot of room for interpretation by police officials. Moore was quoted saying, “yoga pants should be illegal anyway” after the meeting over the bill, and trusts law enforcement officials will use discretion and their best judgement in each case. Oh, and he threw provocative clothing in there too without clearly defining the parameters of it. So if you’re ever on a date night in Montana, make sure your outfit isn’t too clingy if you enjoy your freedom.
Thankfully there was some rebuttal on this bill from Republican Virginia Court. She was concerned this law was unfairly targeting women (which of course it is), especially because of the nipple clause. I mean, there are some things, like cold weather, you simply cannot control, am I right?
While it is unlikely this bill will get very far, because it is, in fact, in violation of the Supreme Court’s ruling that clothing is a form of freedom of speech, it’s still an infuriating thing with which to be faced. It leads me to wonder, if an indecent exposure bill can go as far as to include the suggestion of sexual parts, what’s to stop them from going even further down this rabbit hole? Here are a few absurd proposals of my own that we might have to look forward to if this indecent exposure thing progresses:
Ordinance #1: Your skirt hem must not reach above your fingertips.
I don’t know about you, but this was definitely a clothing rule in my high school. A teacher could stop you anywhere anytime and ask you to drop your arms to see if your skirt (or shorts) hem reached higher than the tips of your fingers. Now imagine that teacher was a police officer who could arrest you, charge you a $500 fine, and give you jail time for up to 6 months. That’s first offense indecent exposure penalty in Montana. Suddenly mini skirts take the term “risque” to a whole other level.
Ordinance #2: No outfit can expose your belly button.
Now this was originally a television rule from the 1950s. On I Dream of Jeannie, even though Jeannie was in a full on harem outfit, her pants could never be too low for fear that her belly button would be exposed to the thousands of children watching the show. She was basically wearing a bra and cropped vest on top, but God forbid we see the tiny indent in the middle of her stomach! Also you couldn’t say the world “pregnant” on air, which is censorship around which I can’t even began to wrap my head.
Ordinance # 3: No cleavage measuring longer than one inch.
If the appearance of nipples is out the window, chances are cleavage is not far behind. I mean, according to Moore’s proposal, anything that simulates the appearance of a butt should be against the law, and that is totally what cleavage looks like, so there you go. It’s really a shame, because, well, just look at those gorgeous things all out and proud. Only a monster would want to hide that.
Ordinance #4: No illicit dancing!
Okay, so I know this doesn’t really concern clothing, but I had to put it in here because, to me, it’s just as ludicrous as outlawing yoga pants. I don’t know about you, but I’m totally hosting a Kevin Bacon-style dance party in protest where the dress code will call explicitly for yoga pants and nothing else. You’re all invited.