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Underboob Banned in Springfield, Missouri, After Rally Seeking to 'Free the Nipple'

Mayor opposed law for implying sight of boobs "transforms men into raving sexual predators who rush to the nearest restroom and kidnap children."

smi7r/Flickrsmi7r/FlickrThe "Free the Nipple" movement seeks to repeal laws against women going topless in public. A recent "Free the Nipple" rally in Springfield, Missouri, elicited swift action from the city—but not in the direction activists were hoping for. Rather, the Springfield City Council voted that women should actually cover up more of their breasts in public than was previously required.

The new indecent exposure law prohibits women from showing too much of the sides and bottom of the breasts—aka "underboob"—and everyone from from showing any part of their tush. (For a highly informative video on the parameters of the new breast ban, see the Springfield News-Leader.) 

The issue was contentious among city officials, passing the city council by just 5-4. Springfield Mayor Bob Stephens voted against it, condemning proponents' claim that keeping women's breasts hidden is necessary so as not to encourage sexual assault. "If we believe what we’ve heard, the sight of a female breast, either inadvertent or deliberate, immediately transforms men into raving sexual predators who rush to the nearest restroom and kidnap children," Stephens said. 

Some took issue with the bill not doing what it set out to: ban Free the Nipple protesters from parading about with only their areolas covered, following the old indecent-exposure law to the letter but not in spirit. City Attorney Dan Wichmer said Free the Nipple rallies are still safe because they're protected political speech. Councilman Craig Hostner, who voted against the new law, said it "doesn’t do anything other than make us feel like we’ve addressed the problem, when we really haven’t done that." 

Councilman Mike Schilling, who also voted against the law, said he thought the current requirement was adequate. "I don’t anticipate a wave of people roaming the city topless," Schilling said at a city council meeting covered by the News-Leader. "I would prefer to stick with what we have, and that will work fine." 

But the new law's instigator, Councilman Justin Burnett, said it was important for protecting the city's "family-friendly image" and ensuring "the safety of the most vulnerable among us." It is unclear who Burnett thinks is made unsafe by the public presence of underboob. Burnett does not, however, fear for those exposed to erect penises. In updating the indecent exposure law, it was stripped of language banning "the showing of covered male genitals in a discernibly turgid state." 

Burnett crowed at a city council meeting that the new ordinance would shut down a planned "SlutWalk" event in early October, described by Facebook organizers as "a protest walk designed to raise awareness about the prevalence of rape in our culture and to challenge Springfield area residents to face the reality that rape is too often excused or downplayed by referring to aspects of a woman’s appearance." Protesters at SlutWalk events (an international phenomenon) tend to dress in campily revealing clothing. 

Earlier this year, the government of Thailand warned women that posting underboob selfies online could violate the country's cybercrime laws. 

Photo Credit: smi7r/Flickr

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  • DesigNate||

    Damn it, seeing underboob at fall festivals is a RIGHT!

  • gaoxiaen||

    This is a travesty inside an outrage, wrapped in an abomination.

  • ||

    Booooobzzzzzz

    I wish America could get over this breast thang. I mean I like 'em, but there are more, uh, interesting parts of the female anatomy.

  • AlexInCT||

    Axxes?

  • MJGreen - Docile Citizen||

    It's all about the legs. All about the legs.

  • ||

    As amazing as legs are, it's really the whole package.

  • Antilles||

    Who cares about legs? I've already got legs...

  • Ted S.||

    You have breasts, too.

  • Antilles||

    Yeah, but they're not as nice as my girlfriend's.

  • ||

    Depends on ones frame of reference, Aunty.

  • Antilles||

    I'm unable to place a certain part of my body between mine. Because if I could then I wouldn't need her anymore.

  • ||

    And some men have quite responsive ones.

  • Antilles||

    The amount of bourbon required to make this acceptable would prevent me from being responsive.

  • ||

    "You know, I find the most erotic part of a woman is the boobies."

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Ah, a fellow foot fetish man.

  • GILMORE™||

    I once knew a rapper with a foot shoe fetist.

    It was no joke. For the first year I thought he was just sort of vaguely interested in shoes from a a design perspective. Then one day he said something really odd and I just asked him what the fuck he was talking about, and he just full on explained that for him... a woman started at the feet and everything became less interesting the farther up you went.

    I still don't fucking understand it. But he was a good dude, and did an excellent job pleasing all of the women in his life.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    You knew LL Cool J?

  • gaoxiaen||

    ( . Y . )

  • Real American||

    Like the Penis.

  • AlexInCT||

    Where is the alt text for that nice picture, huh?

  • ||

    Sorry to be a legal/grammar Nazi ENB but;

    Burnett does not, however, fear for those exposed to erect penises. In updating the indecent exposure law, it was stripped of language banning "the showing of covered male genitals in a discernibly turgid state."

    Covered =/= exposed.

  • ||

    You realize that the phrase "exposed to a covered erect penis" makes perfect sense, right?

  • ||

    And even you can type it too!

  • ||

    So, you don't realize it then?

  • ||

    Yup. The one thing he does right and we chastise him for inconsistency.

  • ||

    It makes more than sense!

  • Brian||

    Hmmm... I seem to have misplaced... my wood chipper...

    Oh, there it is.

    BRRERERERERERERERERERERERERERERERERERERER.

  • Rhywun||

    I'm beginning to think that "Free the Nipple" is more interested in making fun of "yokels" than in freeing the nipple.

  • This Machine||

    Oh, come on, man. If we can't turn every fight for a little personal liberty into a social crusade against the people we don't like, then what's the point of even trying?

  • ||

    Well they certainly were successful. What a fuckin' clown show they instigated.

    I don't think there is anything more hostile to liberty in spirit than an official dress code. Maybe when the broccoli mandate arrives I will change my mind.

  • ||

    Why can't it be both? Although shaming the yokels is rarely effective, take Eddie for example.

  • Rhywun||

    Because "freeing the nipple" is not an activity that the vast majority of American women give a shit about.

  • Choadintheroad||

    Yeah, and it's a tiny minority of men who are interested in seeing bare breasts...smh

  • Rt. Hon. Judge Woodrow Chipper||

    I'm not saying Councilman Justin Burnett is an ISIS sympathizer, I'm merely asking the question.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    Hmmm...no jokes about "five boobs on the City Council?"

    You're all losing your touch.

  • ||

    Which one had the mastectomy?

    Oh wait, only freaks run for city council. So which one is a martian with three tits?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    In Ohio, women can go topless whenever they want, except in bars. But none seem to want. True story.

  • Antilles||

    The biggest danger to women who choose to go topfree in places they're 'allowed' to is idiotic cops who don't know the law and arrest them. They're ultimately released without charge, but who wants to deal with that hassle?

  • Rhywun||

    Of course not. In western societies most women do not in fact want to walk around topless. This group is just trolling.

  • ||

    Tittrolling.

  • ||

  • SimonJester||

    I am embarrassed about how long I watched that.

  • ||

    The city attorney, Dan Wichmer, has said the new law will not outlaw the topless rallies that started this discussion, because those are protected by free speech.

    But it sure is fun punishing all the other heathens in this town!

  • Antilles||

    This is so baffling. What harm do these cretins think will be caused if women are 'allowed' to expose their nipples in public? Children suck on them for the first 18 months of life (sometimes longer, shudder), but if they see one before they turn the arbitrary age of eighteen they'll somehow be traumatized? People were so much more open about nudity in the 70s than they are now--further proof our society is going backwards.

  • Pan Zagloba||

    What harm do these cretins think will be caused if women are 'allowed' to expose their nipples in public?

    It might de-sexualize the female breast, leading to sadder, more humdrum world? That's all I can think of.

  • Thomas O.||

    I read that's what some women are lamenting, the loss of a sexual commodity if unharassed female toplessness becomes the norm. They end up sounding like prison guard union bosses whining about criminal justice reform.

  • Antilles||

    Technically speaking, there's nothing sexual about a woman's breast. They're secondary sexual characteristics and are no more sexual or offensive than a man's beard. Women's breasts are only shocking now because we rarely see them anywhere other than our bedrooms and strip clubs.

  • Pan Zagloba||

    Dunno, between nipple and beard, I know which is far more fun to tease and stroke.
    And yes, because they are covered, they are extra-sexualized, which makes it a better world for us men. Having them out in the public might ruin it.
    Of course, comes the question of what's the ratio of 'should be uncovered' to 'should be uncovered', but that's for each man (and some of the ladies) to decide on their own.

  • Antilles||

    Most people assume I only support a woman's right to go topless because I want to see tits, but that's not the case. I just believe the laws should apply equally regardless of gender. If it's ok for men to go topless, then it should be ok for women too. If it's a crime for women to go topless, then it should be a crime for men to. And you're right, it should be up to each individual to decide if they wish to expose themselves or not. Right now only half the population is allowed that option.

  • ||

    Well, the historically usual trend seems to be toward decadence and then into ruin. Not sure what role sexual decadence plays.

  • Just say Nikki||

    Councilman Craig Hostner, who voted against the new law, said it "doesn’t do anything other than make us feel like we’ve addressed the problem, when we really haven’t done that."

    Laughing too hard to breathe rn

  • SugarFree||

    They are just boobs. The vast majority of women and fat guys have them. Jeez.

  • Almanian - Micro Trumper||

    Tits about what I'd expect from those boobs in Springfield. Breast just move along - nothing to see here.

  • waffles||

    You are an artist.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "...the sight of a female breast, either inadvertent or deliberate, immediately transforms men into raving sexual predators who rush to the nearest restroom and kidnap children," Stephens said.

    That doesn't even make sense. Restroom children don't have female breasts. Do they?

  • Antilles||

    Sounds like the real problem is men. Ban 'em!

  • Riven||

    Have you any idea how it feels to be a Fembot living in a Manbot's Manputer's world?

  • ||

    I assumed the rest of the sentence might have explained things more clearly, but I'm probably wrong.

  • Long Woodchippers||

    I'm not going to go kidnap a child. Choke my chicken - maybe.

  • Coralskipper@gmail.com||

    I know Springfield, Mo and that region of the Ozarks incredibly well and it was absurdly stupid to have a "Free the Nipple" rally there. It's not a region that was ready for such a, pardon the term, frontal assault on the ban. It's the freakin' buckle of the Bible Belt and you expect that rally to go well? Really? Would it be nice for the area to be ready for something like that. Sure, but we're dealing with reality and not hypotheticals. I am in no way surprised that it backfired.

  • Rhywun||

    It's the freakin' buckle of the Bible Belt

    That's the whole point

  • waffles||

    We are all trolls now. No one would give a hoot if they did it in Branson.

  • ||

    Hey, the bible doesn't (AFAIK) say anything about boobies. In stoneage goatherder societies breastfeeding would have been as unexceptional as drinking water. Of course in those societies women were often segregated from non-related males.

  • John DeWitt||

    Oh, it talks about breasts alright:

    "Your breasts are like two fawns, like twin fawns of a gazelle."
    ~ Song of Solomon 7:3

  • Mongo||

    A few years ago, I caught a doc on the Playboy mansion where the playmates' titties were pixelized and the grossly overweight, hideous mens' juggs were allowed to flop in full view.

  • ||

    You're watching the wrong porn.

  • Just say Nikki||

    Jesus, Epi, way to be judgmental.

  • ||

    I'll be whatever I wanna do!

  • Princess Trigger||

    Where is your God now!

  • SimonJester||

    “Where is God now?”
    And I heard a voice within me answer him:
    “Where is He? Here He is—He is hanging here on this gallows. . . .”

  • ||

    If ever a post called for Lobster Girl, this was it.

  • RBS||

    Free Lobster Girl!

  • kinnath||

    my first thought

  • Charles Easterly||

  • Long Woodchippers||

    that's some nice boobie

  • Spartacus||

    I am seriously disappointed that it took this long before the first Lobster Girl comment.

    And a world without Lobster Girl is a world I don't want to live in anymore.

  • ||

    Councilman Justin Burnett, said it was important for protecting the city's "family-friendly image"

    Boobs promote friendliness, and families.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    I come from a family full of boobs.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Protesters at SlutWalk events (an international phenomenon)

    Really?

  • esteve7||

    Soon feminists will be arguing for all women to be 100% clothed except just there eyes, you know to protect them. Oh and they should always have a male escort with them to fend off the other males.

    Other countries do this too right? Maybe that's why SJWs have such a hard on for them

  • Just say Nikki||

    So, based on a post about feminists agitating against laws criminalizing toplessness, you posted that comment. Right.

  • Antilles||

    I read an article once (just searched but couldn't find it) by a staunch feminist who spent an entire day in a burqa. She said it was a liberating experience to not be judged by your appearance, and suggested that wearing them would make all women equal. I don't think what esteve suggested is that far-fetched.

  • ||

    Yeah, it doesn't perfectly match the article, but the point is valid. This is the remarkable area where conservatives and progressives often agree. Sex. Of course the law is then often transformed (see antidiscrimination law embracing affirmative action, against original meaning) -- so conservatives should be careful, currently.

  • gaoxiaen||

    ...a staunch, fat, ugly, feminist who...

  • ||

    Read it again and sound out the words you don't know. If you get stuck again, be sure to ask for help!

  • Aloysious||

    Underboob Banned in Springfield, Missouri...

    This is a sad, sad, day.

    Now there will be no more free range underb00b, only black market underb00b.

  • Aloysious||

    On a side note, it is interesting what pops up on a google search of the word 'areola'. I had no idea nipple cysts were a thing.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Burnett crowed at a city council meeting that the new ordinance would shut down a planned "SlutWalk" event in early October,...

    That's a shame. It strikes me that the Slutwalkers and the Springfield, MO City Council are two groups that truly deserve one another.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Is sideboob still okay?

    What is the cleavage standard? Are smaller-breasted ladies required to wear bras on the chance that a child could see the outline of an areola?

  • ||

    They'll know it when they see it.

  • ||

    Gotta ban that black shoulder thing that goes up

  • ||

    +1 removeable strap

  • ||

    The video is pretty funny, and no, no sideboob. Nothing from the top of the areola down, and all the way around the torso. Old law said center third of buttocks must be covered, new law says 100% buttock coverage.

    I suppose the thing to do is just to carry a protest sign with me if I want to walk around downtown topless. Then it's protected speech.

    Oh, nice moobs on the guy objecting to topless women in the video too!

  • Crusty Juggler||

    "Look at me, I watched the provided video instead of typing stupid questions."

    You are such a show-off.

  • ||

    I read one of the linked articles but can't watch the video right now. From your description, I take it that public breastfeeding of children is okay? What if, by moving babe to or from nipple, areola is briefly exposed? Hopefully the mom won't get in trouble. Does the video mention anything like that?

    nice moobs

    Look at you, with the silver tongue.

  • ||

    It's one of the local news kids with a mannequin that has no nipples, but they've put blue painters tape over the spot where the nipples would be. Nope, nothing about breastfeeding but as you know, that's totally unacceptable anywhere anyway, so this law didn't have to address that. He just compares the old and new laws with black censor rectangles held up to the mannequin.

    Look at you, with the silver tongue.

    *blush*

  • waffles||

    Lobster girl hardest hit.

  • GILMORE™||

    verbotten unter titten

  • ||

    Verboten. For whatever the loss, there's no German word for underboob.

  • Juice||

    There's a German word for everything, even complete sentences.

  • ||

    Boobies (SFW, for realz).

  • ||

    I doubt walking around naked is protected speech. Obscenity - based on local standards - is a known exception. And why shouldn't public property be regulated? As long as it exists, a plurality of standards - i.e. local standards - makes sense.

    "A recent "Free the Nipple" rally in Springfield, Missouri, elicited swift action from the city—but not in the direction activists were hoping for. Rather, the Springfield City Council voted that women should actually cover up more of their breasts in public than was previously required."

    Yeah, who ever thought that running around naked might actually reaffirm people in their belief that running around naked is not so good. Hilarious, when they are so righteous that they think the goodness of public nakedness is self-evident.

  • kbolino||

    If property is "regulated", then it is not "public".

  • kbolino||

    meant as reply to Sevens

  • ||

    I consider city ordinances regulation. A city's park is public property. It's use may be governed - regulated - by an ordinance. Where do you think we disagree?

  • ||

    *Its

  • kbolino||

    A city's park is public property.

    No, it's government property.

    Where do you think we disagree?

    That there is such a thing as "public" property.

  • ||

    Alright. Are you saying it's theoretically inconceivable, or that it's just not there practically? (What I have in mind is co-ownership of the members of some democratic, political unit. Don't be restricted by that.)

  • kbolino||

    I would say two things:

    1. That true public property is just as theoretically possible (or not) as true anarchy;

    2. That ownership in practice by the public of public property is not evident; a shareholder has a more credible claim to ownership of the corporation in which he holds stock, and even that claim is quite circumspect.

  • ||

    Roughly, I agree with that.

    The point of local standards is to reduce the number of co-owners, get closer (still great distance) to unanimity, and to make exit less costly. The problem is that there's a physical, geographic, component, which shareholding in a corporation lacks. You don't walk, or live on company property, physically; the purpose you pursue is narrow; viable alternatives exist, and costs of exit are low. What I have in mind with that park or city example is closely related to home owner associations (HOAs). Barnett desribed the aspect nicely in Restoring the Lost Constitution, Princeton UP.

  • HolgerDanske||

    It's interesting how much these free nipple people have in common with the open carry movement.

  • Choadintheroad||

    Only if you're the type of moron who would prefer to be accidentally shot in the face with a bullet than some milk.

  • DesigNate||

    Yep, if people are allowed to open carry, everything will devolve to the wild west and you'll be lucky if you never get accidentally shot in the face.

    DEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRPPPPPPP.

  • Thomas O.||

    And you'd think the pro-breastfeeding crowd would latch on (no pun intended) to the FTN movement, since they would definitely see some benefit.

  • Thomas O.||

    This happened in Springfield, Missouri. Not surprising to me, given that it's near that socon playground called Branson.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    The liquid cock comets spurted like particle lava bursting with happy space elves from three cocks into the moist vaginal paradise of a svelte sanguine lovely lady with her knees spread toward the two suns mixes and slops in a way that can, sadly, be compared to the intermingled nature of repulsive evil people like left-wing feminist excreta and church fuckwaffles that adhere to each other and reprehensibly work to degrade and violently wrack sexual expression.

  • ||

    Yes, you may have ice cream.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    I don't eat ice cream. I eat little plastic people dripping with ego soup. Against their will, of course. I reach into the misty cities and scoop the motherfuckers up off the sidewalks they saunter and then scatter on and suck them into my mouth screaming and writhing like a mass of strange eels wearing denim and nylon and cheap leather and the mobile phones are like pop rocks gushing among the crushed tendons and joints and brains.

  • ||

    Alright, no more coffee.

  • LG Erikson||

    I've just written a new blog post on nudity issues and how #freethenipple should stir up a new conversation on our questionable moral views:

    http://www.lgerikson.com/my-bl.....ble-morals

  • LG Erikson||

    I've just written a new blog post on nudity issues and how #freethenipple should stir up a new conversation on our questionable moral views:

    http://www.lgerikson.com/my-bl.....ble-morals

  • Friendo||

    I think an article about underboob should have some damn underboob in it! Show me the underboob.

  • ||

    Withholding underboobs may be a more effective form of protest.

  • Peter||

    Boob = bad
    Boner = OK

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