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July 08, 2005

House Passes Constitutional Amendment To Ban Bra Burning

[Special to Creek Running North]

Amid rousing speeches invoking the horror of 9/11 and this week's tragic terrorist bombing in London, the US House of Representatives Friday approved a constitutional amendment that would prohibit the burning of bras as a feminist political statement.

The House measure passed 286 to 130, with Republicans united in their support for the measure, and Democrats split along party lines. Supporters said the measure reflected patriotism that deepened after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and they accused detractors of being out of touch with public sentiment.

"Ask the men and women who stood on top of the World Trade Center," said Randy Cunningham (R-CA). "Ask them and they will tell you - pass this amendment. When the twin towers fell on that dark day in 2001, Americans shuddered as a nation. Opponents of this bill would inflict that tragedy every day on our most vulnerable citizens in the bosom of our nation, as the twin towers fall again and again on every American woman."

The measure now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to easily win the two-thirds vote needed to be sent to the states for ratification. If three quarters of the states' legislatures then ratify the measure, the Constitution will have been amended. Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee and has long favored a bra-burning amendment, plans to hold hearings on the measure next week. Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) plans to schedule a floor vote in August, his aides said.

Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT), said he believes the measure will pass in the Senate. "I think acts of bra desecration are offensive conduct we ought to ban in the interest of protecting the greatest symbols of our country," Hatch said.

Senate Democrats plan to oppose the measure. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) says that she will introduce a rival measure making bra-burning a federal crime with stiff penalties, but avoiding the amendment process. "All Americans are rightly appalled at callous acts of bra destruction," said Senator Clinton in a prepared statement, "But the Constitution is the foundation of our nation, and we need to make sure that it continues to support our body politic." Aides to Utah Senator Bob Bennett say he will also introduce a compromise bill, in which the proposed amendment would bar only the burning of bras belonging to other people unless their permission has been secured.

Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) was unavailable for comment, but a highly-placed source in his office told Creek Running North that the Senator's opposition to the amendment was based on "respect for the legacy of the Constitution of the United States of America. No American favors the burning of bras," the source said. "But enshrining their protection in the nation's most fundamental law will only further divide an already polarized nation. The Senator feels strongly that the Constitution should lift us as a nation, not separate us."

House Judiciary Committee chair F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-WI) said during the debate that lawmakers "must act with bipartisan dispatch to ensure that the Bra Protection Amendment is speedily returned to the hands of the people themselves." Representative Walter Jones (R-NC) dismissed allegations that bra-burning is political speech protected under the First Amendment, and that no verified cases of political bra-burning have happened in the United States. "This is just unconstructive nonsense," Jones replied. "That's the kind of thing you'd hear in a country like France, where our traditions are not respected. You know, the French don't even have a word for 'brassiere.'"

Posted by Chris Clarke at July 8, 2005 07:24 PM TrackBack URL for this entry:

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From a letter to the editor in today's Libby, Montana Western News: "Support America's women. Burn books, not bras."

And how could the French not have a word for "brassiere?" Absolutely amazing.

The worst of it, though, is that while bras may well be protected in the very near future, panties are likely to remain vulnerable to a concerted left wing assault for some time to come.

Posted by: tost at July 8, 2005 09:32 PM
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Is this for real? You're not being facetious, right? The Senate and the House of Representatives actually spent valuable time that could have been used to address less important things like global warming and the Iraq war or the running out of petroleum to debate whether or not bras should be burned? And they never stopped to consider just how inane it all was? Do they not even recognize absurdity when it crashes upon their heads? Or irony for that matter?

Posted by: butuki at July 8, 2005 10:27 PM
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(applause) That is absolutely hysterical! I needed that this morning. :D (Besides, I don't have to burn a bra to allow my twin towers to fall! lol)

Posted by: Brook at July 9, 2005 07:16 AM
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a blatantly feminist ploy to protect women's undergarments while leaving men's at the mercy of flames. i demand that i be stopped from burning my shorts.

Posted by: dread pirate roberts at July 9, 2005 07:18 AM
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Yeah, I'm hoping you're joking, too, though I'd totally believe it if you weren't. On the upside, though, I hear that now that Ashcroft has left office the breast of Justice has once again been bared.

Hey, here's a fun idea: Let's send individual Senators all our unwanted bras and ask them to walk them over to the DOJ. (We could call it the "Bras for Justice" movement). We could say, "I was going to burn it, but I think Justice could use my support." Or something like that. Make sure you embroider an American flag on each cup, and if you can manage to scorch it before you put it in the mail, to make it look as though you really were just about to burn it, all the better.

Of course, the point of this kind of statement is let Congresss know that we, too, know what's really important, that we the American people are not deterred by little stories about faraway wars and bombings, that we know that the central issues facing our civilization today revolve around the right of each woman to treat her bra exactly as she chooses. It's important that Congress know how well it is representing us.

Posted by: Sara at July 9, 2005 07:25 AM
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I'm sure Randy Cunningham would much rather burn subpoenas.

Posted by: the_bone at July 9, 2005 08:32 AM
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*bwahaha, snort, choke, giggle*


Don't the esteemed Senators know that the respectful way to dispose of an old bra, worn and full of holes, is to burn it? Now what will we do with them?

Posted by: Rana at July 9, 2005 11:45 AM
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Rana - keep them on life support with a feeding tube, of course. Don't you watch The Daily Show?

Posted by: Paul Tomblin at July 9, 2005 12:59 PM
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i demand that i be stopped from burning my shorts.

Unfortunately, Bush's Clear Skies Act requires that you burn your shorts every day.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at July 9, 2005 01:07 PM
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Pretty much everything Bush does burns my shorts.

Posted by: Paul Tomblin at July 9, 2005 06:11 PM
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Berube had better watch his back, Chris.

Posted by: Abby at July 10, 2005 08:48 PM
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It's not just Justice whose lovelies have been exposed. Good old Law has also been allowed to flash his lissom thighs once again, although our het-male-centric society focusses only on the female breasts, quite dissing us gals and gay guys. (And he's totally not wearing any underwear!!!)

Posted by: bellatrys at July 10, 2005 09:08 PM
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Wonderful. Thank you for making me laugh so much. The French do have a word for bra, though.

Posted by: jean at July 11, 2005 03:04 AM
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Abby, you're too kind. Still, as funny as I may become someday with luck, Michael will always have theory. He can actually say intelligent things about that subject, where I'm reduced to mentioning Sokal and waving my arms wildly.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at July 11, 2005 10:48 AM
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I've always loved the Russian word for bra: bustgalter. I suspect it comes from something German (g/h transpositions are common in Russian import words, producing odd things like Gecklberi Fin). That does, however, raise the question of why the Russians didn't have their own word for bra.

/random linguistic tangent

Posted by: Rana at July 11, 2005 10:59 AM
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When I was in Paris, it seemed like every other block had a cafe with a sign in BIG LETTERS, "BRASSIERE!" I could be wrong, though.

Posted by: moioci at July 11, 2005 06:21 PM
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