The GOP's nipple ban: The war on women gets personal — and even more hateful — in New Hampshire

A fight over a proposed nipple ban reveals much about the GOP's war on women — and one Dem leader is not having it


Amanda Marcotte
December 31, 2015 8:21PM (UTC)

The Republican war on women is mostly focused on trying to control what women do with the parts below the belt, but in New Hampshire, that urge to put conservative men in charge of lady bodies has drifted upwards, focusing on the nipple. Republican men in the state legislature, clearly having nothing better to do with their time than worry about what strangers do with their boobies, recently proposed a bill banning women from having exposed nipples in public.

As reported by Mark Stern at Slate, this bit of government overreach annoyed Democratic state legislator Amanda Bouldin, who took to Facebook on Tuesday to express said annoyance.

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Republican representative Josh Moore, one of the sponsors of the bill, reacted to Bouldin's post with some old-fashioned sexual harassment, which he appears to have quickly deleted. Sadly for him, however, one of the commenters on Bouldin's Facebook page got a screenshot.

josh moore

Moore, I suspect, does not think he should be forced to wear a hood in public to earn the right not to be tweaked on the nose. But apparently women's bodies are public property.

Unsurprisingly, Moore's deep interest in controlling what women do with their bodies isn't limited to the nipple. His Facebook profile shows that he's also an avid hater of Planned Parenthood, an organization whose work in allowing women of all income levels to enjoy some measure of sexual autonomy has drawn the endless ire of the right.

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Whose nipple would George Washington obsess about?

Moore quickly deleted the sexually harassing tweet — it's hard to maintain the facade that your obsessive desire to control women isn't rooted in misogyny when you do stuff like that — but then he tried another tactic: Waxing poetic about how women are basically children.

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Honestly, I don't know where feminists get this idea that anti-choice ideology is rooted in a hostility towards women's sexuality. It's clearly about "life," which is extinguished every time a woman's nipple is exposed to the cold air of a New Hampshire morning.

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It was not just Josh Moore who popped up in comments on Bouldin's thread. Another Republican, state representative Al Baldasaro, had to weigh in.

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Welcome to the conservative movement, 2015, where a man feels entitled to label others with the word "pervert" and crow about his "family values" while simultaneously making sure that everyone, whether they want to know or not, is well-informed about his dick's opinion of some random woman who never asked him to assess her attractiveness. If you want to know why Donald Trump is doing so well in the polls, there's your answer.

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Stern reached out to Bouldin, who reasserted that her issue with this is not that she is a "pervert" or that she has some notion that her nipple will be an irresistible lure to entrap her Republican colleagues, but simply that she doesn't like double standards. "We shouldn’t be introducing new legislation that only applies to women," she told Stern.

For the rest of us, this is an object lesson in why we should be grateful for the politics of state legislatures. National Republicans get lessons in how to manipulate their language so that attacks on women's rights are portrayed as defenses of "life" or "religious liberty" or "small government." But on that local level, you get an unvarnished reminder that it's all just a bunch of people, mostly men, who think lady bodies are gross, female sexuality is terrifying, and that women cannot be trusted to make basic decisions about their own bodies and need conservative men to do all their thinking for them.

How The GOP Is Winning The War On Women

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Amanda Marcotte

Amanda Marcotte is a politics writer for Salon. Her new book, "Troll Nation: How The Right Became Trump-Worshipping Monsters Set On Rat-F*cking Liberals, America, and Truth Itself," is out now. She's on Twitter @AmandaMarcotte

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