​new hampshire wants to make it illegal for women to #freethenipple

The state's motto -- 'Live Free or Die' -- apparently doesn't apply to its female population.

by Tish Weinstock
Mar 2 2016, 5:41pm

In yet another example of sexist bullshit, New Hampshire lawmakers are threatening to pass a bill that would criminalize the act of exposing one's breasts in public. Why? Because flashing your nips is apparently bad for business, tourism in particular. 

"It's a shame that some folks are more concerned with exposing their breasts in public places than they are concerned about how families and children may be impacted by being forced to experience this evolving societal behavior," ABC News reported Republican Rep. Brian Gallagher telling a legislative committee on Monday. "This is about a movement to change the values of New Hampshire society." The proposed legislation arose from an earlier incident in September, when women choosing to sunbath topless at a local beach upset parents in proximity and were wrongfully ticketed. 

Republican Reps Gallagher and Peter Spanos are co-sponsoring a bill that would make it a misdemeanor offense for women (yes, only women -- men remain ever free to get their nips out, which is curious considering the fact there is no visible difference between the male and female areola) to expose their nipples or breasts in public. ABC reported that "at Monday's public hearing, backers of the legislation cautioned that allowing women to go topless at beaches will create a slippery slope where women are going topless at public libraries and Little League baseball games." One New Hampshire resident, Kari Stephens, countered: "We are not lunatics, we are not radical...If there is a man in a public space who is obviously comfortable enough, then why should I not have that same right?"

Stephens and the New Hampshire chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union's opposition to the bill reinforces the notion that the sexualization of women's breasts is totally arbitrary. In Victorian times, it was women's illicit ankles that got men hot under the collar. Since 1936, men have been allowed the right to bare their breasts in public, thanks to a group of topless men from Coney Island. The opposition suggests that this ban -- which creates different rules for men and women -- goes against the US Constitution. At a December hearing regarding the Gilford beach case, defendant Heidi Lilley said "if the judge rules against her, she will take the case to the state Supreme Court."

Developments in the beach case and bill are still on-going. But it's 2016, ffs, why is this still happening?