"Sick of Seeing It"? Ban it!

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Louisiana state Rep. Derrick Shepherd is "sick of seeing" low-slung pants that expose undergarments, so he is proposing a law that would impose a $500 fine and possible six month jail time for anyone wearing them.

[Thanks to reader Peter Vitale for the link]

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  1. Lemme guess, this guy has a couple of daughters that are 12 and 10 years old, and they came home last week with pants like that.

  2. Is the plumbers’ union in arms about this? Not that I’d like to see plumber’s buttcrack, but I don’t want to legislate it away.

    As far as seeing a young, attractive girl in low slung jeans, I’m for it.

  3. Mo-
    I read another story about this, and the ACLU did in fact bring up plumbers as an example.

    Seriously, though. This law would effectively criminalize the wearing of pants by anyone with a beer gut. Much as I like this idea on aesthetic grounds, it makes the freedom-loving part of me sick.

    First they went after Howard Stern, and I did nothing because I don’t care about lesbian strippers, anyway.
    Then they went after Bono, and I did nothing because I’ve never used the words “fucking brilliant” while accepting an award for my socially conscious Irish-accented music.
    Then they went after Tinky-Winky, but I did nothing because I am neither purple, nor gay, nor a Teletubby.
    Then they went after the beer-bellied guys with butt cleavage, and I did nothing because I personally have a flat stomach and all my cleavage is above the waist.
    Now they’re coming after me. Damn, I’d better start posting under a pseudonym.

  4. Jennifer, you paranoid Bush-hater, they aren’t coming after you. And we have always been allies with Eastasia in our war against Eurasia.

    Now, repeat after me: Four legs good, two legs better. 🙂

  5. Thoreau-
    Excellent point. Maybe the last line of my poem should have read “Now they’re coming after me, and when I tried to hide, Dan and Zorel ratted me out! Quelle bastards.”

    Heh heh. Four legs good, two legs better, and three legs gets no mention at all. So where does that leave the male of the species?

    No animal shall drink alcohol TO EXCESS.
    No animal shall sleep on a bed WITH SHEETS.
    No future president shall snort cocaine AND GET CAUIGHT.

  6. But at least if we make it illegal, then teens won’t think it’s cool, will they?
    I mean, nothing illegal is cool, right?

    My idea about what to do about this fad is just to take picture of all of these kids, with the goal of taking them out in 2025 to show their kids how “cool” their parents looked at their age.

  7. Decvanda has a good point. If we really want the Visible Underwear fad to abate, we need to have fat middle-aged Congresspersons start wearing such clothes in public, whilst “grooving” to Limp Bizkit and Eminem. Before you know it, teenagers will start covering their bodies and listening to Lawrence Welk, rather than hear Derrick Shepherd singing “I did it all for the nooky, so you can take this cooky, and stick it up your ass.”

    Eeew. I suddenly have this urge to put on a burka.

  8. No butt clevage, Jen? Darn, booty is beautiful.

    I will admit that when I saw my little sister in hip huggers my enthusiasm for them went down. I tried to use the classic older brother ploy of providing her with a health warning (hip huggers can cause nerve damage in the legs), but alas that did not work because apparently hip huggers are the only jeans available.

    I wonder how much more revealing clothing can/will get before we start to see things get more conservative as a response.

    2050: Parents outraged at burka clad teenagers. Abercrombie releases a line of granny panties that say, “Chaste”.

  9. North of Florida and Houston and LA, most folks have gotten sorta used to clothes.
    However, the strategy for fighting this foolishness is, as I said about drug legalization, headon.
    Even the Founders wouldn’t back me up, but one of the Bill of Rights should have been the right go nekkid when the notion strikes.

  10. Mo-
    Before you go spouting that “booty is beautiful” mantra, you must also remember the phrase “less is more.”

    If, for example, your butt is attractive, it does not follow that a butt ten times as large will be ten times as good-looking. There is actually an inverse relationship here.

    Sadly, it seems that the more a body needs to be hidden from the public for aesthetic and/or health reasons, the more likely it is to belong to an exhibitionist.

    Mullah Omar did a lot of his shopping at my local Wal-Mart, and saw the spandex-clad behemoths within, and that’s why he mandated burkas for Afghan women. Mr. Shepherd lives in Louisiana. Have you ever been shopping in Louisiana? If you did, you’d understand his motivation. Those hot Mardi Gras babes you see on the Girls Gone Wild videos are all out-of-state imports.

  11. Ruthless,

    Actually, at least the US Code backs you up. There are no Federal laws against going “nekkid” in public, only state laws.

    And then, Oregon doesn’t even have state laws against it. If you happen upon a protest group (war, environment, you name it), it isn’t unusual to find a person or two sans attire. But SHHHH, don’t tell Ashcroft. This seems to be a guarded secret of Oregonians. (But then, I live in Washington, so I’m not a sworn member.)

    I’ve been to just about every state in the Union, and Porland, OR seems to be the only place where public nudity won’t get you arrested.

    Again, this seems to be a guarded secret, so if I turn up dead in the trunk of a rental car, you’ll know why

  12. I’m surprised this proposal came from Louisiana, rather than Alabamastan, or is it already illegal there?

  13. Cut and pasted:

    Joe Cook, head of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Louisiana chapter, said the bill probably does not meet the U.S. Supreme Court’s standard for the prohibition of obscene behavior under the First Amendment.

    “What about a woman who is wearing a bathing suit under her garment or she has something like a sarong wrapped around her and it’s below her waist,” he said. “I can think of a lot of workers, plumbers, who are working and expose their buttocks . . . .”

  14. Whatya know about butts Jennifer?
    Ten times bigger is eleven times better!!

  15. Speak for yourself, Ruthless.

    A big ass is nothing to be proud of.

    The food court where I ate lunch today contained several people who would be incarcerated under this proposed law. For the life of me, I can’t figure out how the world would be a better place if we imprison them to satisfy some troglodyte’s desire to never again see a thong.

  16. Apparently, Ruthless likes big butts and he cannot lie (more cushion for the pushin’). Like breasts the butt needs to go well with the rest of the package. I’m no fan of the JLo booty, but she still wears it pretty well. A flat ass is as nice as a flat chest. I like my women with some curves.

  17. Of course this is stupid. Everyone should be free to show their crack.
    In fact all men should be able to expose themselves fully in public….what’s the big deal?
    There can’t possibly be a law against public nudity can there? Wouldn’t that be a violation of SOME right?

  18. thoreau,
    A big butt may be nothing to be proud of , but it gets my one-gun salute every time.

    Thing.
    Thing our thong.
    Thing out loud.
    Thing out long.

  19. I find slutty dressing, by women *or* men, to be rather unattractive. And unimaginative. That said, I’m all for people’s choice to walk around looking as foolish as they want, EXCEPT for kids. I truly can’t imagine any parent approving of their daughters walking around dressed like that, and yet there are so many. And it’s found its way into the office, too. I’d estimate about 60% of the twenty-something females at my office dress like they’re trying to hook up.

  20. It’s about time!

  21. For the Unix nerds out there:

    Maybe his parents erred in his name:

    echo “Derrick Shepherd” | sed ‘s/err//’

    Yep, that’s about right.

  22. For “the community’s outraged” read State Rep. Derrick Shepherd is pissed off by it. Seems like a good enough reason all by itself to walk around with my pants ridin’ low.

    “And if parents can’t do their job, if parents can’t regulate what their children wear” well then the clothes police will just have to do it for them.

    What an ass!

  23. I am so tired of seeing teens’ full, ripe buttocks everywhere I go! There ought to be a law.

  24. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

  25. IF, heaven forbid, the law passes and it becomes illegal to have underwear visible over the tops of your low slung pants, here’s my recommended Civil Disobedience:

    Buy normal pants, with a normally-located waistline, and then buy a HUGE pair of underwear, far too big for you, with a waistband capable of being pulled up to your nipples WITHOUT corresponding wedgie action down below. Find zillions of friends to do the same. Go to Louisiana.

    Seriously, though, even before the Visible Underwear fad, we’ve all had times when we saw a bit of someone’s underwear sticking up out of the back of their pants. And I’m sure we’ve all accidentally exposed a bit of our underwear from time to time. Will the law distinguish between deliberate underwear exposure and accidental?

  26. This’ll be yet another way for police to find “probable cause” to harass black youths.

  27. Just re-read the article; it’s not underwear sightings that would be outlawed, but low-slung pants, period. Wouldn’t this effectively criminalize young girls who do not yet have hips enough to hold up their pants? “Wear suspenders or go to jail.”

  28. “And if parents can’t do their job, if parents can’t regulate what their children wear, well then the clothes police will just have to do it for them.”

    Oh of course! That’s the solution! Because parents should have absolutely no control over their children anymore. Parents do a horrible job at raising their children, so hand them over to the law!

  29. Matthew-
    I never thought of that angle, but you’re right.

  30. Maybe the future will look like an Ayn Rand novel after all..

  31. Gotta disagree with ya there, Patrick. “Slutty”, by definition, means attractive, from it’s Latin root: “slut”, meaning prostitute. Not many people are up for partaking in the services of unattractive prostitutes, as that’d be self-defeating. As for parents disapproving, I would be the same.

    BUT, the kids with their pants halfway down there butts look ridiculous and extremely uncomfortable. Granted, bell-bottom jeans also looked ridiculous, but at least they were comfortable. It’s gonna suck for them if that law gets passed. If a cop were running after you to cite you a misdimeanor for wearing (during the 70’s that is) bellbottoms, at least you could run. These kids don’t have a chance in hell… Poor misguided bastards.

    Anyway, a cracked rear view is an inalienable right if there ever was one, so the proposed law sucks.

  32. WAS: “… there butts …”

    S/B: “… their butts …”

  33. Oddly enough, the proposed law appears to be silent on walking around in your underwear, without any pants at all.

  34. i love what this guy said on http://www.moron.org:

    Dear Rep. Shepherd:
    I just read about your proposed bill to ban low-slung pants in Louisiana, and I am apalled that you would even consider punishing people for something so petty. According to the article, you said the purpose of this law is to do the job of parents who aren’t stopping their kids from wearing these clothes. Are you telling me that you, a grown adult with a functioning brain, honestly believe that the government should dictate every detail about how parents raise their kids? It’s not like this is even a serious issue, it’s just clothing, yet you apparently think it justifies a fine that most young people would find pretty heavy, or possibly even jail time (at least according to the article). I admit, I don’t like low-slung pants either, but to make them a criminal offense? This is like something I would read in the Onion, not a source that reports actual news.

    The purpose of the government is to ensure the freedom and security of its constituents. You know, that whole “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” bit. I’m sure you’ve heard it at some point. Could you please explain to me how you reconcile that with the government taking over parenting, because as far as I can tell they are fairly exclusive activities. We’re not talking about something important like feeding your kids or getting them an education, we’re talking about what they wear. I honestly cannot fathom what sort of thought process goes into making a decision like this. Next are you going to fine parents for letting their kids watch TV shows that you personally don’t like? Or for buying them CDs by bands that you personally don’t like? I can see a slight counter-argument here, in that TV and music are things the kids do privately, while what they wear is something you get exposed to, but that’s hardly a good excuse. You also get exposed to people’s names, when you or anyone else within earshot talk to them. Maybe you should start punishing parents who give their kids names that you don’t like?

    Please stop this travesty. You are accomplishing nothing other than making yourself look like a petty control freak, and I strongly doubt that’s the kind of image you’re going for. Youth fashions these days tend to be pretty ugly, I fully agree, but crimes against taste are not crimes with which the government needs to be involved. And as for parents, their job is to raise their kids according to the standards that they set, not the standards that you set.

    Above all else, you should consider applying the golden rule here – “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” You believe that the government should take over the job of parents who YOU don’t think are doing a good job. Try reversing the situation. If I get elected and I don’t like the way your kids dress, does that give me the right to usurp your position as parent? Please think about this, Mr. Shepherd, and please do the right thing.

    Sincerely,
    Josh [my last name]

    p.s. If one good thing comes from this bill you’ve proposed, it’s that it may increase political participation in the 18-25 range, a goal many people consider worthy. Just hope that by the time you’re up for re-election, you’ve motivated them to vote for you, not against you.

  35. Just FYI: this guy is a Democrat. (A black Democrat, at that. But I bet he’ll be the first person denouncing “racial profiling” when it turns out that blacks are disproporionately caught up by the law.)

    http://house.louisiana.gov/H-Reps/members.asp?ID=87

  36. I always love how lawmakers are quick to invoke “parent’s rights” while pushing a bill that would put those “rights” in the hands of the state because “parents aren’t doing their jobs”.

    Another example of how,to some people, a parent is only “parenting” if they “parent” the way the other person thinks they should.

    If a kid wears low slung pants, skimpy clothes, or whatever, it is, AT BEST, solely between that kid and their parents.

  37. I like J Lo’s butt. and I am glad to know that Jen has a rack, and upset that she does not have back.

  38. That guy’s a fascist. He’s anti-youth. He hates youth culture, so seeks to ban it. I’m sick of how adults always think they have the authority to ride rough-shod over the rights of young people.

  39. State Rep. Derrick Shepherd is an idiot, He can’t pass that law, Its our freedom to show parts of our ass if we want to, We aren’t fully nude, and if he?s tired of seeing girls’ asses well maybe he should stop looking, Pedophile. He?s making an issue of a non-issue. Use your power for something USEFUL dumb-ass! I hate people who want to restrict our freedom, I hate people who want to control us and society with their crack head liberal ways in which they act as some self righteous SOB.

  40. Kwais-
    Nonsense! Slander! I have back, just not too much.

  41. If the People who live in Louisiana do not ALL rise and tell this lawmaker that he is OUT OF A JOB if he pursue’s this any further, and that he needs to take a look at this man’s oath to office, then we further travel the proverbial slippery slope.

    And remember, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    He, like every elected official, has a sworn duty TO PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF THE PEOPLE first, primarily, above and beyond all else.

    There are lots that bother each of us, things we don’t like to see, things we don’t like to have our children subjected to, etc… However, legislating away self-expression through dress is not in the realm of power that WE THE PEOPLE have given government, PERIOD. The madness of legislators creating so many state and federal laws each session is slowly turning the entire American population into a “criminal class” as it is already impossible to get through a day without having broken some law or regulation that we aren’t even aware of.

    If they can tell us how low are pants can be worn, can they also make wearing a bra mandatory because some legislator decides she is “sick and tired” of seeing big boobs sagging and drooping inside a tight-fitted T-shirt?

    Soon they’ll try telling you what color your house must be, what you are allowed to have in your own front yard, and what you can or can’t do on your own property…

    Ooops, too late… They’ve already encroached upon those rights, haven’t they?

    Enough madness people. We only need a few laws, laws that stop one from violating the Inalienable Rights of another. And last time I read it, the Bill of Rights doesn’t say government servants have a right to NOT be “sick and tired!

    Every state has indecency laws, so if it ain’t indecent, tolerate it!!!

  42. I love how this is projected as a parental issue when the law affects adults, too. Must all decisions be made with children in mind? Can I no longer have sex with my wife because children shouldn’t (have sex in general, not just my wife as a specific example)? Can I no longer drink beer because children shouldn’t? I better not vote, get a credit card, sign a contract, get a tattoo, or be out past ten o’clock if idiots like the gentleman from Lousiana get into control.

    Low pants are here to stay. The tattoos above the asses are too much of an investment for cover. Thong underwear is also here to stay, and the proof is the fact that there are maxi pads designed for them! That is a level of commitment fashion will not allow to die soon.

    Really, the next logical step is being taken already: bralessness. Like all trends, it works for some and not others. Along with the trend for hair removal, we’ll soon be in a world that looks like wickedweasel.com. Except in Lousiana and wherever else local laws restrict such things.

  43. so what we need then are immensely fat people whose waists, for our purposes, hang below their genitals. so long as they don’t show off kneecap they’d be street legal.

    maybe the rep. in question lost a bet?

  44. In addition to what everyone has been saying, who is to decide what is “too low?” Let’s say someone has an unusually long torso and finding a shirt/pant combination to cover midriffs in their entirety is difficult. They are punished for what is essentially genetics?
    And let’s say that this law, by some reason or another, is passed. Where do we draw the line on future legislature? Will there be bills passed where sleeveless shirts are banned becuase legislators are sick and tired of seeing arm flab?
    We should watch where we restrict our freedom of expression or it could be ripped out from under us…

  45. So does this mean we should expect going commando to become the next big thing in Louisiana? It’s hard to cite someone for letting their underware show if they’re not wearing any.

    PS: My annaconda don’t want none unless you’ve got buns, hun.

  46. They’ll be banning the wearing of underwear above your tights next, what’s Batman going to say about that?

    Seriously though, what’s he going to do in court? Say “Here’s a photo of the defendents arse I took earlier”? You’ll have cops running around with cameras taking butt photos of anyone wearing low slung trousers. Then they can start charging ?20 a month to view the local justice department website.

    And how will they measure ‘too low’? Excuse me madam, please stand still well I put my ‘ruler’ up against your stomach.

    6 months in prison for not accomodating the state dress code – you couldn’t make this up. The Taliban comes to Louisiana…

  47. JiminNova-
    According to the article, going without underwear wouldn’t help you; what would be illegal is not the sight of underwear but, apparently, the sight of ANY skin below the waist. That inch or so between the hips and the waist is obviously the devil’s playground!

  48. HES A NAZI! SEIG HEIL!!!

  49. Since politics has played a roll in parental rights, ie discipline, schools restrictions on punishment, etc. they now need to clean up our younger generation. Kids who dress exposing every part of their body, especially female, is asking for one thing. Look at how sexually permissive, prostition, and lack of respect (self)has filled our society. Not to mention young teens with multiple babies on their arms. Who takes care of them, us tax payers. Along with the fact that women want to jump up and down and scream rape! Well honey you asked for it. What is a man to think when you display your breast, your belly and butt—it says to me–take me I am yours. Their is a point of dressing revealing, but still classy, not like a slut. I applaud this bill!!!! They have regulated my rights as a smoker–you think I want to go to a local establishment to eat, shop, etc. and have to look at someones privates–it sickens me to set in a restuarant eating and view someones, buttocks/breast/belly fully exposed. There is a time and place–not in public.

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