They are … yoga pants (and other such bewildering, tight-fitting things). They are a threat to all that we as Americans hold dear. Thank God that when the Founders were doing their Founding, there was nary a yoga pant to be seen. The most they got was the barest glimpse of an ankle, and that still sometimes left Thomas Jefferson incapacitated for weeks. We absolutely cannot stand for this.
The actual story behind this seems to be as follows: One Montana state legislator had a bad experience with some nude bicyclists, and this inspired him to craft a law banning … something. It is not exactly clear what, which is why the measure, H.R. 365, is currently tabled in committee. Everyone has been reporting that it banned yoga pants, but the bill does not mention anything about that. That is just what its sponsor said he wished it could ban. Instead, the bill bans “any device, costume, or covering that gives the appearance of or simulates the genitals, pubic hair, anus region, or pubic hair region” a ban the legislator later told the Billings Gazette could include tight beige garments.
“Yoga pants should be illegal in public anyway,” the bill’s sponsor, Rep. David Moore, added.
Why he wound up with so much wrath against yoga pants instead of directing it against bicyclists remains unclear.
Given how much American state lawmakers inveigh against the tiniest hint of Sharia law, you would think they would see the inconsistency. But it is so much easier to spot the mote in your neighbor’s eye when you are not distracted by the yoga pants in your own.
If I could ban everything that made me sexually uncomfortable, Michael Fassbender would have to be smuggled across state borders disguised as a tube of toothpaste.
This idea is a real star, in the sense that stars are giant balls of hot gas that I do not want in my general vicinity. I’m all for public decency. Nudity in public, on bicycles or not, is not a right. But modesty is a standard, not a law. Can you imagine being told what to put on your body by a legislative body? Have you seen what most state legislators wear?
As of Wednesday, the bill was dead. After all, sooner or later a bill like this was bound to infringe on our right to bare arms.
This is an absurd thing that almost happened. But such absurd things have actually come to pass, both in Montana and in other states. As ThinkProgress points out, school districts ban yoga pants for “distracting” boys all the time, and Montana Republican leaders had previously approved dress guidelines for legislators best summarized as “Ladies, not TOO much ankle, please.” This bill sounded crazy. We all had a good giggle. But as long as the idea persists that women must be responsible not just for their own attire but for men’s thoughts, it’s not nearly as unbelievable as it should be.