Defining decency

statue-1There is a group on Facebook that bears, or bares, the name Critical Tits.

Their page announces a bike ride in Tucson on August 23 that will provide an opportunity to protest the double standard on nipples, female versus male.

Arizona’s law is quite punitive. Click here to read the law.

13-1402.  Indecent exposure; exception; classification

A. A person commits indecent exposure if he or she exposes his or her genitals or anus or she exposes the areola or nipple of her breast or breasts and another person is present, and the defendant is reckless about whether the other person, as a reasonable person, would be offended or alarmed by the act.

And this examination of the effects of changing the law in New York where female nipples are now legal:

And if people are not telling women to cover up for the sake of public decency, they are telling women to expose themselves for the benefit of the viewer rather than for themselves.

Over the warmer months I’ve spent in this state, I’ve heard many men try to encourage their female friends to take advantage of their topless rights with the tone and persistence of horny teenagers. And this, my friends, is the problem. Although encouraging our female friends to be comfortable in their own skin, take advantage of their rights and wear the level of clothing that is most comfortable for hot weather is wonderful, it is often clear that the encouragement women receive to go topless is less positive and more manipulative.—Nicole Howley

How long can a mother breastfeed her son? This is a moral issue for some people. The innocent and nourishing joy of the breast becomes a threat to innocence and propriety according to many people.

Men do not resolve the decency dilemma Ms. Howley describes. Men accept their own hypocrisy. How do we define “reckless” as it is used in the law? How do we define “reasonable”? What does “alarmed” mean? The people who passed this law left all these terms undefined and debatable. Men do a lot of that these days, and they get paid for it.

One of the rewards of photography is that I can invite women who pose nude to pose for me. They enjoy the experience, and so do I. It’s a better way to live than passing incoherent laws.

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