Because there doesn't seem to be more pressing issues for Louisiana to focus on, one representative aimed to limit a strippers' weight to 160 pounds. Rep. Kenneth E. Havard proposed the amendment Wednesday after a bill to raise a stripper's minimum age came up for vote in the Senate.
For strip clubs serving alcohol, Senate Bill 468 proposed raising a stripper's minimum legal age to 21. Havard tacked on an amendment to the bill that not only further limited stripper's ages, but also included the new weight requirement. Under Havard's proposal, strippers could only work between 21 and 28 years old and could be no more than 160 pounds.
According to Associated Press reporter Melinda Deslatte, who was at the session, the amendment received numerous jokes from other legislators. But several female representatives didn't see the humor. Rep. Julie Stokes was outraged by the amendment and the response it received.
“(Havard) was clearly insinuating that women over a certain age and over a certain weight are not attractive,” Rep. Nancy Landry told The Advocate. “We’re here representing 40,000 people back home, and half of them are women. They’re mothers, daughters, sisters, and we’re here representing the state as the face of Louisiana to some extent. [...] I just don’t think it’s appropriate.”
Havard later withdrew the amendment, claiming he only meant it as a joke.
Rep. Helena Morena took issue with the fact that Havard would have the gall to introduce a joke amendment in the first place. “You hear a lot of things behind the scenes with people joking, but for someone to put something like that in a public record and actually go to the front and introduce this as an amendment in this chamber--it was completely uncalled for and it was offensive,” she said. “And this is a serious bill that has to do with human trafficking, and it was treated like a joke.”
The Senate approved the bill, but while the state legislature seemed concerned when it came to women and stripping, they didn't seem to care about women and equal pay. On Thursday, the Senate voted against requiring private businesses to pay women and the men the same for doing the same work, according to the Associated Press.
The state clearly has its priorities all set.