A Montana lawmaker has (fortunately) failed in his attempt to ban yoga pants by tightening up the state’s indecent exposure laws.
According to the Associated Press, Republican Rep. Dave Moore proposed banning any clothing that “gives the appearance or simulates” a person’s buttocks, genitals, pelvic area or female nipple, as well as the exposure of male nipples. Rep. Moore, introduced the House Bill 365 in response to the naked bicyclists event, Bare as you Dare, which rode through Missoula last summer, making him assumedly uncomfortable. According to organizers, this ride is to promote positive body image and acceptance for who you are, without judgment.
For some Montana residents, they felt it was inappropriate, especially during the middle of the day, with many children present. As a response, organizers are attempting to get a permit for the event, in order to get the word out so that people who feel uncomfortable can avoid it.
How this naked bike ride relates to yoga pants is beyond me, but David Moore clearly believes that tight-fitting clothing could be overly provocative and should be punished with a fine of $500 and six months in jail for the first offense (this is Montana’s current penalty for indecent exposure and would remain unchanged in Moore’s bill).
According to Raw Story, female lawmakers complained that “provisions in the bill apperared to single out women’s bodies and apparel.” Indeed, this is a classic case of slutshaming hidden under Moore’s claim trying to defend the decency of Montana and protect it’s children. Um, nice try. Keep in mind that indecent exposure is defined as “a person knowingly or purposely exposing their genitals to cause affront or alarm, with the intent of abusing, humiliating, harassing or degrading another.” I can assure you, when us women (or men for that matter), walk down the street to the gym in our favorite Lululemon yoga pants, we are not attempting to abuse, humiliate, or harass anyone. If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, you’ll know that you get the most out of your practice when you’re wearing clothing that allows your to move in any which way the practice brings you. Banning comfortable clothes that are made purposefully for efficacy within a specific physical activity, and that just so happen to show the outline of your body, is overstepping boundaries and specifically targeting women.
The Montana House Judiciary Committe voted this week to shelve Rep. Moore’s bill. How about lawmakers start worrying more about deficits, improving school systems, or farm subsidies, rather than what I wear to yoga class on Sunday mornings?