Reactionary Laws

A Missouri legislator has decided cross dressing is inherently sexual and created a bill placing restrictions on cross dressing and drag shows in Missouri. I was discussing this with a friend, because frankly I was mystified, by the proposed bill and she told me there was another state trying to get a similar bill passed and that based on the wording letting a child watch the Disney movies of Mulan would be a crime, because Mulan dresses up and pretends to be a boy in it.

Uh, what? I loved Mulan. My nephews loved Mulan. My niece loved Mulan. At that point I decided to find the proposed bill going through the political mechanism in Missouri and I have serious concerns. This bill is in reaction to an event held on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia in January. In celebration of MLK Day, Columbia Public Schools and their students participated in a “celebration of diversity” event on the MU campus and there were drag queens at the breakfast. And apparently some people were pissed that their children were exposed to drag queens (I guess RuPaul is definitely not allowed to be watched in their house or the movie Hairspray {I loved John Travolta in that movie})

Anyway the law is very vague. We have a bar in Columbia that is known for their amazing drag shows, that bar would have to register with the state of Missouri as a sex club, meaning because men dress up as women and parade themselves around, it would need the same licensing as a strip club. I have issues with that, because a man in drag is not the same as a nude woman accepting tips from customers who like seeing women with pasties over their nipples (the women in the strip clubs in my town are not allowed to be nude, they must cover their nipples and interior downstairs lady bits – meaning strippers where I live are just very skimpily dressed dancers – surprisingly we still have 2 strip clubs in my town).

Furthermore after reading the law, I have some questions about it’s scope. By my reading, if you are a man who dresses as a women and goes out in public, say shopping, you can be arrested and/or fined. Parents who expose their children to cross dressing through videos or activities can also be arrested. Wait… does this mean as a woman, I am no longer allowed to wear jeans and slacks in public since they are traditionally male attire? On occasion, I have been known to wear my husband’s shirts which is, cross dressing by definition, could I be fined if I forget I’m wearing it and go grocery shopping? Or if he gives me his coat because I’m cold and he’s not and I didn’t bring my coat? Also, if Jude the Great Nephew and Kilian the great Nephew want to watch Mulan while they are at my house and I allow it and they tell someone they’ve seen it, can I be arrested for child abuse or endangering the welfare of a child or hell, would it count as sexual abuse of a child since cross dressing is inherently sexual?

The laws being introduced are meant to “protect children” from something… I’m not sure what they need protecting from that makes men in women’s clothes illegal and so am giving it the term gender bending for the rest of this post… so we are enacting these laws to protect children from gender bending (like it’s the 1850s all over again), but there are far reaching implications. As a woman, who likes to wear T-shirts and jeans, clothing I consider gender neutral, am I at risk of breaking the law because not everyone feels that jeans and T-shirt are appropriate attire for women? And before you think I’m being ridiculous, but at the end of 2022, this legislature passed a LAW defining appropriate attire for female legislators.

Okay, so in order to protect children from gender bending, the government is going to tell people what they can and cannot wear? The wording is “dressing in clothing of the opposite gender and going into public.” I have some flannels that belonged to my father and my father-in-law, that I wear often… sometimes I wear them as a jacket and sometimes I wear them as a shirt, that is an obvious case of “dressing as the opposite gender and going into public” especially since I am coupling them with jeans and because of my hip issue, boots. Now, I wear a size 6 1/2 in women’s shoes/boots, so I am not buying and wearing men’s boots…. but I have been known to buy men’s jeans for myself, because they have a slightly different cut than women’s. I need to know, if this law passes, will I be fined or arrested for inappropriate dress if I go out in public in a flannel shirt, jeans, and boots? Or does this law specifically target men who dress “inappropriately”? I know a few dart players who buy women’s jeans, because they prefer the cut of them. Will that become gender inappropriate attire for a man in public?

Also, what is the enforcement plan for this? The I-70 corridor through Missouri is known as a popular route for trafficking illegal guns, drugs, and people, it’s a contributing factor to why my town struggles with such a high crime rate. Should we pull law enforcement off patrolling I-70 so they can wander around shopping centers handing out tickets to people who fail to meet gender appropriate attire restrictions? Or is it going to be a citizen call in thing? Imagine the fun when citizens are calling 911 to report things such as a man wearing a woman’s shirt in Dillard’s (I use this because I once saw a man in a midriff cut off blouse in Dillard’s, he was shopping with a girl I suspected was his teenaged daughter – it was the 1990s and I think he might have been trying to make a point, because their shirts matched). My town already lacks the ability to handle crime (this is a totally separate blog post though), adding this to the list of laws to enforce creates issues.

See the first news report I read on this proposed legislation made it sound as if it were specifically targeting bars that held drag shows, but no bill is that simplistic. This was not an exception, it does target bars that hold drag shows, but it doesn’t end there and encompasses all gender inappropriate dress… but that is such a vague statement. To me, it sounds as if Dillard’s could be fined for allowing people to buy gender inappropriate dress…. Is the state of Missouri going to start pursuing criminal cases against establishments such as Amazon, Dillard’s, and Walmart for allowing men to buy women’s clothing and vice versa? Also, we literally just approved legalized recreational marijuana, so if you are over 21 you can go buy a half pound of pot, and if you are a parent you can smoke it in your house where your minor children live, but you cannot cross dress. One of those things is more damaging to the development of mental function in minors than the other… The thing is, I don’t care about legal marijuana. I voted in support of it. I think of it no differently than alcohol consumption, but in the real world, exposing children to a contact high is far worse than exposing them to Mulan or a dad who likes to wear dresses. Also, I need my local police to focus on real problems like the high murder rate (we are averaging 2 murders a month in a town of 150,000 people – that gives us a higher murder rate per capita than the three larger cities in Missouri) and massive amounts of fentanyl laced meth amphetamines in town than a guy who is wearing women’s skinny jeans or a woman wearing a men’s flannel shirt or the club south of town who hosts a drag show every weekend… Oh and guess what, that club south of town with the drag shows does not experience even a fraction of the crime as the clubs in downtown who experience near monthly shootings inside or directly outside of them.


One thought on “Reactionary Laws

  1. Government’s got to poke its nose in everything. How about parents just don’t take their kids to drag queen story hours at libraries. That would solve the problem.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s