Under the Dome

Baring a problem in Asheville

Now here’s a problem you might not have realized need exposing, but apparently it does out there in wild and wooly Asheville – and maybe in Lexington, too.

A bill filed Thursday would make it illegal for women to bare their nipples in public.

It’s not about breastfeeding – which the bill would allow in public – but about clarifying that indecent exposure includes fully exposed breasts. Here’s what the authors write:

“For the purposes of this section, the term 'private parts' means external organs of sex and of excretion, including the nipple, or any portion of the areola, of the human female breast.”


The bill was filed by Rep. Rayne Brown, a Republican from Lexington who is a medical social worker, and Rep. Tim Moffitt, a Republican from Asheville who is a management consultant.

Its definition of women’s nipples as “private parts” would clarify that their public display runs afoul of the law and is a misdemeanor. There have been topless rallies in Asheville in recent years.

There are just too many punch lines that will follow House Bill 34 on its journey through the General Assembly.

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