“Lisa Jones” is a contributing writer on Leavenworth St.
If you haven’t heard, David Moore, a State Representative from Montana, this week introduced a bill to expand the Montana definition of indecent exposure to include “garments that give the appearance of a person’s buttocks, genitals, pelvis or female nipple”. It has been reported that “he wouldn’t have a problem with people being arrested for wearing such provocative clothing such as tight-fitting beige garments” and that he “also said yoga pants should be illegal.”
Now, I’m going to just assume that the yoga pants comment was a joke (though in the media, Republicans don’t get to have a sense of humor). No word on how something like this would actually be enforced, which begs the question—aren’t we supposed to be the ones opposing unenforceable mandates? After the national brouhaha over this bill, it was tabled in less than a week, but the damage has already been done, of course. Dozens of national media stories, repeated, shared and tweeted . Ongoing blog posts about the war on yoga pants. And, my personal favorite, equating this bill to forcing women into burkas.
Anyone reading this expanded definition can reasonably assume that the main target of the bill would be women. I don’t know that we have too many men wearing tight clothing that shows off their pelvis in an offensive shade of beige (or even how that would happen in the first place). He submitted this bill as a reaction to a group of nude cyclists riding in a community event. Making the language in the statute more clear to avoid those situations? Totally fair. But this seems like an overreaction to say the least, and it fits right into the national narrative about how the GOP supposedly views women. It wasn’t needed. The only thing it did was hurt the brand. Again.
Why do we do things that perpetuate the myth of Republican being a woman-hating, misogynistic group of men? And more importantly—when will we stop?