Monday, April 14, 2014

No shoes, No shirt, No Problem?

Throughout the semester, the same question continues to resurface: what is obscene? According to some lawmakers, baggy pants and tattoos are too lewd for family establishments. I once worked at a neighborhood-dive bar. My boyfriend walked in—it was mid-July and he had just gotten off from his job working on a boat. It was hot, and he took off his thick, cotton polo shirt and was wearing a white, tank-top. My boss (not knowing that this particular patron was my significant other) escorted him out of the bar. He told me he didn’t want his bar to attract a “certain kind of crowd.”  

I agree with Mary—I am not ecstatic about the saggy pants fad but I also do not feel threatened by pants that hang below a person’s rear. What is the aim of these people who instill these rules? Where does the danger lie? 

Since 1992, New York City law declared it legal for a woman to be topless anywhere a man can be, as long as not engaged in commerce. The law has been in act for over two decades but NYPD officers are still often reminded not to arrest shirtless women. Gender activists consciously remind law enforcement with marches and rallies with displays of unconstitutional gender discrimination. Activists suggest that the female breast has become too sexualized—something that is genuinely human is now seen as obscene. There of course are many implications to consider—most who oppose this law are worried for what children might think and how it might influence their character. One articles suggests that bans are placed to “teach kids to be a better person…to be more respectable and have a decent life when they get much older.” 

In A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle teaches her audience to simply not judge a book by its cover. The theme and concept are extremely cliche, but certainly society needs to be reminded of this lesson. Aunt Beast tells Meg, “We do not know what things look like. We know what things are like. It must be very limiting, this seeing.” The truth isn’t seen, the truth is understood. 

If I were arrested for being topless on a hot summer day—frankly—I’d be pissed off. It’s insulting that some are offended by the fact that I am a woman and find my anatomy profane. I am more than a vagina and a pair of breasts, I have a mind and thoughts and feelings and ideas. Ron Paul said that the first amendment is not boundless, but that the government has no business restricting the content of language. Those who govern should protect their people from harm, not restrict subjective attitudes. 

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