Don’t Wear Dresses in Texas!

Imagine "upskirting" photos being taken here.  Mrs. Laura Bush, first row-center, joins former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn Carter; former President Bill Clinton, and his wife, Hillary Clinton; Mrs. Nancy Reagan; Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, her husband Edwin Schlossberg; Mrs. Barbara Bush; Susan Ford Bales, daughter of former President Gerald R. Ford; and Patricia "Tricia" Nixon Cox and her husband, Edward Cox, upper-right, at the funeral service for former first lady Lady Bird Johnson. Photo By Shealah Craighead, White House Photo Office [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Imagine “upskirting” photos being taken here. Mrs. Laura Bush, first row-center, joins former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn Carter; former President Bill Clinton, and his wife, Hillary Clinton; Mrs. Nancy Reagan; Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, her husband Edwin Schlossberg; Mrs. Barbara Bush; Susan Ford Bales, daughter of former President Gerald R. Ford; and Patricia “Tricia” Nixon Cox and her husband, Edward Cox, upper-right, at the funeral service for former first lady Lady Bird Johnson. Photo By Shealah Craighead, White House Photo Office [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

On Friday, September 19, The Guardian reported that a Texas court “has upheld the constitutional right of Texans to photograph strangers as an essential component of freedom of speech – even if those images should happen to be surreptitious “upskirt” pictures of women taken for the purposes of sexual gratification.”

Once again, a court rules in the interest of protecting First Amendment rights of people who would stoop so low as to photograph up a skirt of a woman who ventures into public dressed like – GASP – a woman – over the rights of women to be able to go into public without fear of being sexualized or victimized simply for her choice of clothing.

“While there is a federal law against taking voyeuristic images on federal property, the issue is generally regulated at state level where seemingly outdated rules have prompted occasional controversies. Earlier this year the highest court in Massachusetts ruled that a man who used his mobile phone to take “upskirt” photographs of women riding the Boston subway did not break the state’s secretive photography law because the women were not nude or partially nude. The following day, lawmakers approved a bill criminalising such behaviour,” the article includes.

Seriously people, let’s think about this. When you get in your car and drive, you have an assumed trust that other motorists will follow the same laws you do, and thus, everyone reaches their destination safely. Maybe not always on time, as some motorists need more time to think about those laws or to finish their usage of electronic devices before discontinuing their impeding of traffic, but we digress.

It should be the same when we leave our homes dressed for our day. If a woman chooses to wear a skirt or dress to work, she should not need to worry if someone will photograph up her skirt during her day and images of her be recorded for the benefit of someone else.

We’d like to suggest that any organization, church, group or other such gathering to look for a spot to host events that include women, they refrain from considering Texas as a location option. We believe Massachusetts would be much more worth considering.

We notice there is no news of Texas following the example of Massachusetts by passing a law that bans the reprehensible behavior; we hear crickets. Yet Texas wants us to believe that men are men and women are treated respectfully within its borders. We think it would be more interesting to check the sales of small handheld cameras since the Texan court ruling.

STOP RAPE CULTURE

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This entry was posted in Civil Rights, Social Justice, Women's Issues and tagged , , , , , , on by .

About MNgranny

An activist since the age of 17, MNgranny embraced the Occupy Movement from its beginning. After earning a BA in Mass Communications and enjoying a 30 year career, she is now disabled and dedicates her life to changing the world for the next generation. Her experiences include volunteering in community service organizations and taking leadership roles throughout her academic and professional life. She is also a survivor of rape and domestic violence, a published author and a master naturalist. She has focused for the last several years on studying Middle East geopolitical impacts, and specializes in Kurdish history, culture and politics.

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