What’s your natural inclination to seeing a woman breastfeeding in public? One New Hampshire Republican’s is to “stare at” and “grab” that woman’s nipples, according to a now deleted — but still readily accessible — Facebook comment he made on the topic.
The comment that Representative Josh Moore quickly attempted to delete, apparently forgetting that the Internet is forever, was made in response to a little soapboxing done by a New Hampshire state legislator, Amanda Bouldin, in response to a ridiculous bill introduced that hopes to cut down on the great nipple-y menace that is women’s breasts by making it illegal to show them in public. Well, not really the whole breast, but the nipple part. The gross part:
“Such person purposely exposes his or her anus or, if a woman, purposely exposes the areola or nipple of her breast or breasts in a public place and in the presence of another person with reckless disregard for whether a reasonable person would be offended or alarmed by such act.”
What’s wrong with this bill? Let us count the ways: It doesn’t apply to men’s nipples, just lady nipples, which is weird because only one of those types of nipples is necessarily exposed to feed babies in public. To that end, even if this law assumes an exemption for breastfeeding, it’s setting up the women who do so for a huge headache, since deciding whether or not that would be “obscene” depends upon “reasonable [persons],” and we all know that when the boobs come out, no such thing exists. Ask any of the women who have been kicked out of pools, planes and cafés how reasonable people are when it comes to breasts and babies, and the answer will probably just give you a persistent case of the sads.
Still, if you need further proof that “reasonable” and “nipples” don’t play well together, we’ll let Representative Josh Moore take it from here:
“Who doesn’t support a mothers right to feed? Don’t give me the liberal talking points Amanda. If it’s a woman’s natural inclination to pull her nipple out in public and you support that, than you should have no problem with a mans (sic) inclanation (sic) to stare at it and grab it. After all, it’s ALL relative and natural, right?”
Eye roll to infinity.
As if that weren’t enough, another charming person in charge of passing laws that people actually have to live by managed to also miss the point in spectacularly sexist style, proving that there does not appear to be even a very low bar set for the spelling or reading comprehension skills of politicians. State Representative Al Baldasaro chimed in:
“Amanada (sic), No disrespect, but your nipple would be the last one I would want to see. You want to turn our family beach’s (sic) into a pervert show. Liberterians want a nude beach, put your money together and buy one, if you want to expose you kids to nudity, go for it. Some of us liberty minded Reps do beleive (sic) in family values.”
Hmmm… Which family value is that? Shouting down a woman because you, personally, don’t want to see her nipples? Comparing feeding a baby to a “pervert show”? Hard to say.
It’s important to remember that these people didn’t just show up for work in Concord one day. They were invited there by the electorate and can be uninvited just as easily if enough people didn’t fancy their nipples being deemed perverted and up for grabs by their elected officials.
With all the national focus on what big-time Dumpster people are saying in the presidential primaries, it’s important to keep your eyes and ears open to what the small-time Dumpster humans are saying at a state and local level too. This isn’t just a one-off. It isn’t just these two dude-bros, and it isn’t just New Hampshire: There’s plenty of rage fodder going on in the social media feeds and legislative branches all across our great nation, and all you have to do is listen in.
You should listen in, because chances are high that local legislation will affect you long before federal legislation does. Following your state representatives and candidates on Twitter or Facebook might not be as sexy as waiting with bated breath for Trump to say something racist again, but it’s definitely in your best interest.
To that end, you can follow Josh Moore on Twitter at @TheKingomMan if you want to let him know how you feel about breastfeeding in public. Natural “inclinations” notwithstanding, he’s a self-proclaimed “really good beatboxer!” so there’s definitely something in it for you.