During a Louisiana state House session on Wednesday, a member proposed limiting the weight and age of erotic dancers, drawing a juvenile exchange between members.
As discussion of House Bill 468 — which would increase the age limit on strippers from 18 to 21 — began, it became immediately clear from the childish giggling that the male lawmakers were not taking the issue seriously.
After the bill was offered by Rep. Walt Leger (D), Rep. Sam Jones (R) asked, “I appreciate you wanting to raise the minimum wage, are you going to put a maximum age on that?”
“I’m open to suggestions,” Leger said with a smile, as members of the House laughed. “I’m not looking to comment on anybody’s tastes.”
That’s when Rep. Kenneth Harvard (R) offered an amendment that would limit the dancer’s age to 28-years-old and their weight to no more than 160 pounds.
“In the spirit of this legislative session, I will offer up this amendment as a part of keeping the spirit alive of trimming the fat,” Havard said, drawing more cackling from the men.
Obviously sickened by their attitude, Rep. Julie Stokes (R) quickly brought the male lawmakers’ fun to an end.
“I’ve got to say, looking out over this body, I’ve never been more repulsed to be part of it,” she said. “I’m going to tell you one thing, the disrespect — and I saw it in 2013 in committee, and I’ve never been so disgusted to be part of a committee as I was in 2013, somebody made comments, like, ‘What if it’s a classy strip club like Cheetah’s in Atlanta?’ That’s not the way we behave in this body.”
“I don’t even know what Representative Havard was thinking,” she continued. “That’s a dangerous thing to do politically. It was a bad idea.”
She told the silenced lawmakers to “look at their own bodies, and their own daughters.”
“That was utterly disrespectful and disgusting. I really don’t have anything left to say,” Stokes added.