It's not a "sit-in"
February 7, 2002 11:19 AM   Subscribe

It's not a "sit-in" but it rhymes with it. "Caroline Estes is organizing a mass protest of a new Austin police policy to ticket women who flash their breasts at the upcoming Mardi Gras celebration on Sixth Street."
posted by mr_crash_davis (46 comments total)

 
you know, not to rain on anyone's parade, but isn't flashing SUPPOSED to be illegal?
posted by jcterminal at 11:24 AM on February 7, 2002


Not in Austin:

"Caroline is upset about the police decision in light of the fact that it's not illegal for women to expose their breasts in Austin. For Mardi Gras, the police are using a state law that says it's illegal to take part in a public display that causes a breach of the peace."
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:27 AM on February 7, 2002


this is the post where I finally get to tell coldchef that I am from Austin... (now i live in new york).

i'm tired of breast flashing in the headlines. i should have probably stayed out of this whole thing.
posted by goneill at 11:51 AM on February 7, 2002


SAY WHAT???
posted by ColdChef at 11:54 AM on February 7, 2002


"I may not find your breasts all that attractive, but I will defend to the death your right to show them to me."

-Voltaire (an early draft)
posted by Ty Webb at 11:57 AM on February 7, 2002


From an opinion article in the Austin American Statesman:
"Oh, Lord, all we're trying to do is prevent the fights and disturbances," said Assistant Police Chief Jim Fealy ... "I'm not opposed to looking at a breast every now and then, but gollleee."

"Gollleee", indeed.
posted by ColdChef at 11:58 AM on February 7, 2002


The whole "illegality" of showing boobies in public will always be trampled by the right to breastfeed. Huzzah!
posted by whatnot at 12:02 PM on February 7, 2002


Men can show their breasts in public, why not women? This is blatent gender discrimination. I am calling NOW right, well... now.
posted by McBain at 12:04 PM on February 7, 2002


From the article: "I'm 43, and I'm not going to incite no riot with my (breasts),"

This woman ought to consider remedial English 101 before she starts leading ridiculous protest movements.

Fealy says the ruling is necessary because, for some reason, guys go nuts at Mardi Gras on Sixth when they are flashed. "I guess there's guys down there who haven't seen a breast before," he said.

Clearly someone doesn't get the basic fact that public drunkenness + already rowdy atmosphere + titillating public nudity = disturbances -- actually, no one seems to be getting it.

What I don't get is how it could be in the least bit thrilling or enjoyable for a woman to flash a bunch of drunk guys and work them into a lather. That's fun? That's safe? That's adult behaviour? That's worth protesting over?
posted by Dreama at 12:09 PM on February 7, 2002


huh huh huh ... boobies ... huh heh huh huh
posted by aaron at 12:12 PM on February 7, 2002


That's worth protesting over?

To my dying breath, Dreama!
posted by jonmc at 12:14 PM on February 7, 2002


"We're going to have an act of (breast) civil disobedience,"

What's with all the breasts in brackets in the article? Some of them seem like they're replacing another word, even though square brackets are normally used to denote inserted words, but that idea doesn't fly for the above quote. Which leads me to the conclusion that the author is flashing breasts at his readers. How uncouth!
posted by MUD at 12:15 PM on February 7, 2002


This issue is, at breast, a flash in the pan.
posted by Kafkaesque at 12:19 PM on February 7, 2002


MUD, I think if the editor of the article had gotten hold of Dreama's post, you'd have seen the word (breast)illating coined, if you get my drift.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:20 PM on February 7, 2002


public drunkenness + already rowdy atmosphere + titillating public nudity = disturbances

Right. "Titillating public nudity" is the important term of this equation, because this:

public drunkenness + already rowdy atmosphere = disturbances

is never true.
posted by plaino at 12:24 PM on February 7, 2002


Exhibitionism seems to be the overwhelming factor here, Dreama. Some people really do enjoy that, though whether it's the act itself or the reaction it causes in others is not something I can answer.

Any exhibitionists care to share?
posted by tommasz at 12:25 PM on February 7, 2002


Any exhibitionists care to share?

Since you asked, yes, by definition.

*Unzips*
posted by Skot at 12:31 PM on February 7, 2002


oh great, tommasz, now look what you've started.
posted by whatnot at 12:33 PM on February 7, 2002


I might be willing to be an exhibitionist, if I weren't so monstrously unattractive. Having been to beaches in France, I must say that I wish more ugly people felt the way I do.
posted by aramaic at 12:36 PM on February 7, 2002


I'm no exhibitionist but some context might be in order. Austin has always attracted hippies and rowdies from across this great state, and has a long tradition of public nudity to show for it. We have a very well-trampled public "naturist" park, and there are usually several topless women at Barton Springs.
Does this make you more interested in SXSW?
posted by pomegranate at 12:36 PM on February 7, 2002


"I'm 43 and my breasts damn sure will cause a riot if I flash 'em..." --Madonna

The regulation is absurd. Clearly, if Austin has a problem with males rioting when they see parts of women's bodies, the most fair and effective way to curtail the rioting is to ticket those men for uncovering their eyes in public.
posted by jellybuzz at 12:44 PM on February 7, 2002


Not to throw cold water on this thread, but two things should be pointed out here;

1. As pomegranate above pointed out: Austin is a Hippie Haven. Which means: yes, women are freer with their bodies, but forty and fifty year old hippie breasts are not known for their...perkiness, if you know what I mean. (bead) Buyer beware!

2. I rode in the (pathetic) Austin Mardi Gras parade last year. Yes, we saw lots of flashing boobies. Unfortunately, most of them were either of the hippie variety mentioned above or fourteen year old girls begging for beads. Either is just too creepy for words.
posted by ColdChef at 12:57 PM on February 7, 2002


I lived in Austin for about 12 years, and I can tell you that
1) the women there don't have breasts
2)the men (especially police) there do have breasts, and they don't riot
3)it is Mardi Gras every day on Sixth Street and
4)John Kelso is not a reliable source
posted by swift at 1:24 PM on February 7, 2002


ColdChef, as an ex-Austinite I have say you've hit the nail on the head with both of your points.

I'll add a third:
3. Mardi Gras on Sixth Street is mostly populated by drunken frat boys. These hippies should consider to whom they are going to be revealing their breasts. Other (saner) people should stay well away: go to Enchanted Rock or something.
posted by jeffvc at 1:32 PM on February 7, 2002


I have the impression that New York's highest court has ruled that a woman has the right to be topless in public.
posted by ParisParamus at 1:47 PM on February 7, 2002


You all would be singing a different tune if the tradition was for guys to pull out the little guy and flash it. If there were a "penis-in" (excuse the double meaning) then no one would have an issue with the participants all getting arrested. Guys just like any excuse to see some boobs.
posted by aacheson at 1:51 PM on February 7, 2002


P.S.: this is so stupid. WTF can't more people evolve beyond the age of 12 or 13? The thrill of seeing topless women in public should last about 1/2 hour, and is best accomplished in on the Cote Azur at or before age 21. GROW UP.
posted by ParisParamus at 1:53 PM on February 7, 2002


GROW UP.

I don't wanna grow up, I'm a Toys R Us kid...
posted by ColdChef at 2:00 PM on February 7, 2002


so yeah, it used to be that everyone in austin was from somewhere else, now everyone somewhere else used to live in austin.
nudity would be a safe happy nudity in a safe happy world. not this one...
there is no way that the austin hippies will be on sixth street on mardi gras. the people populating sixth street during mardi gras will be those people from your high school.
posted by goneill at 2:46 PM on February 7, 2002


oh yeah, and /the chef/
posted by goneill at 2:47 PM on February 7, 2002


Man, I never suspected that mefi'ers were so uptight about a little drunken revelry. I've been at various Mardi-Gras type events and I cerainly don't meet anyone's(with the possible exception of skallas) definition of those people.
Not to mention, several women I know, some of whom are self-desribed feminists have flashed their hooters at parties and rock concerts and the like. It's called the thrill of exhibitionism.
Intellectual pursuits and polite behavior are all well and good but methinks you all need some visceral experiences. You are hereby ordered to run down to your nearest biker bar, pound down a buncha Pabst Blue Ribbons, put some AC/DC on the jukebox, get into a brawl and flash your boobs and/or nuts at a cop.

Embrace your inner barbarian, kids.
posted by jonmc at 3:51 PM on February 7, 2002


ParisParamus and aacheson, you've hit the nail on the head. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that public sentiment in our society says that breast-feeding in public is icky and ought to be confined to a nasty public restroom, but drunken titty-jiggling for fun ought to be lauded. Embrace your inner barbarians. I'll retain my dignity and modesty. (Not that anyone wants me flashing anything in public, but even if I had Tyra Banks' body I'd keep my clothes on.)
posted by Dreama at 4:04 PM on February 7, 2002


public sentiment in our society says that breast-feeding in public is icky and ought to be confined to a nasty public restroom, but drunken titty-jiggling for fun ought to be lauded.

You're right, it's damn unfair. I'm for titties in both cases, feeding and flashing.

Embrace your inner barbarians.

Well, no, if I were a barbarian I would simply grab the female with the best rack and drag her into a nearby port-a-potty. As it is, I know that uninvited touching is a no-no, so I content myself with mouthing "THANK YOU."
posted by Ty Webb at 4:48 PM on February 7, 2002


Austin != New Orleans.
posted by ilsa at 4:52 PM on February 7, 2002


As a native of Louisiana and a current resident of Austin, I have this to say about Austin's "Mardi Gras". It is bogus. It has nothing to do with Carnival. It is sponsored by bar owners on Sixth Street. I made the mistake of going to "Mardi Gras" three years ago in Austin and it did nothing but piss me off. It was like the French Quarter in that there were drunk Texans a-hole to elbow looking for boobies. In New Orleans, the locals know to stay the hell outta the Quarter at night because the streets are filled with drunk tourists and those who prey on them. I'm sure New Orleans is happy that all the drunken idiots are staying home and pissing in their own streets for a change...
posted by shecky57 at 10:40 PM on February 7, 2002


Looks like they changed their mind. God bless Texas.
posted by pomegranate at 5:37 AM on February 8, 2002


As a native of Louisiana and a current resident of Austin

What is with all the damn Louisiana people in Austin? There's some kind of weird Austin/Louisiana connection that I haven't figured out yet. Maybe it has to do with live music. I don't know.

BTW, make sure you try Gene's New Orleans PoBoys on the east side of Austin. They're the real thing. Gene is from New Orleans and he's even got the word "dressed" on the menu.
posted by ColdChef at 5:55 AM on February 8, 2002


That's fun? That's safe? That's adult behaviour?

You are obviously totally clueless about the nature of Mardi Gras....
posted by rushmc at 9:03 AM on February 8, 2002


If there were a "penis-in" (excuse the double meaning) then no one would have an issue with the participants all getting arrested.

Wouldn't bother me at all...shrug...I'd just get bored and wander off in search of a hurricane.
posted by rushmc at 9:05 AM on February 8, 2002


To coldchef and shecky57:

I, too, am an Austinite transplanted from Looziana. And I wholeheartedly agree with shecky57's rant. And I even more wholeheartedly agree with coldchef's recommendation of Gene's on the eastside (I'm holding a menu right now). Try any of the po-boys, or stop by on Thursday for the smothered pork chops, collard greens, sweet potatoes, and cornbread. Mmmmmm...

As for the original discussion, the Austin cops have succeeded in being even more stupid by encouraging all flashers to limit their exhibitionism to the corner of Trinity and 6th between 11pm and 11:30pm. Seriously. I can't even imagine what that corner is gonna look like Saturday night.
posted by conquistador at 10:39 AM on February 8, 2002


I can't even imagine what that corner is gonna look like Saturday night.

I can't either, but, it's fun to try...

Imagine this discussion in New Orleans.

"Awright, Darlin'. We'll only allow flashing at the corner of St. Charles and Louisiana in front of the Bozeman Funeral Home (across from where the K&B used to be) from 12 to 12thirty--between Trucks and Rex."
posted by ColdChef at 12:32 PM on February 8, 2002


Men can show their breasts in public, why not women? This is blatent gender discrimination. I am calling NOW right, well... now.

I have the impression that New York's highest court has ruled that a woman has the right to be topless in public.

Yep, it is legal in NY for a woman to go topless anywhere a man can, for the very reason (apparently jokingly) suggested above. Unfortunately for frat boys, the largest public utilization of this law tends to be the dyke march.
posted by mdn at 12:42 PM on February 8, 2002


ColdChef & conquistador:

Where exactly is Gene's? I've lived here for 11 years and I've been DYING for good po-boys over here...
posted by shecky57 at 2:22 PM on February 8, 2002


Gene's Restaurant

It's a hole in the wall on the East Side. The owner's almost always the one cooking. Great soul food.

Also, whether you went to LSU or not, Austin's got a great group of Louisiana ExPat's that meet at least once a month. LSU Austin
(for some reason, the website is down right now, but it should be back up soon)

Oh, and I also love the beignets at Crescent City Cafe on Sixth (but that's probably because they get their mix from Cafe du Monde in New Orleans)
posted by ColdChef at 2:28 PM on February 8, 2002


Thanks for the info. I'll have to go to Gene's real soon. About the only expat thing I do here is Saints games at the Shoal Creek Saloon. (I'm a glutton for punishment, I guess...)

And yeah you right to Crescent City, but it doesn't have that hosing-the-powdered-sugar-off-the-floor-at-4AM kinda ambiance like du Monde. It closes too early and it's a little too clean in there...
posted by shecky57 at 3:03 PM on February 8, 2002


Grr...I hate you people. No beignets in Vegas....
posted by rushmc at 10:34 AM on February 9, 2002


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