Remember when “progressives” were all about personal freedom? That’s OK. Neither do they:
New Yorkers have been freaking out over the last few weeks, via their local media, about topless women performing at Times Square. Women. Topless. Asking for money. The horror! What do they think this is, America? Any complaints about the women physically harassing other people, of course, should be possible for police to handle using existing laws against things like harassment. The cops would rather take pictures with them—a telling sign of the “danger” these women actually pose.
Now Mayor Bill de Blasio has set up a task force for the specific purpose of banning the topless women, and floated one solution to the “problem”—closing the pedestrian plazas in Times Square and bringing back the vehicular traffic.
Why do government solutions to any perceived “problem” always always involve making life difficult for innocent bystanders? These women — who call themselves desnudas — dress up in panties and some creative paint and ask for money in exchange for taking pictures with them. So naturally the response to this has to be to close the damned pedestrian mall and inconvenience everyone.
De Blasio believes this would also rid Times Square of the costumed children’s characters some New Yorkers ridiculously fear. Because God forbid you live in New York and choose to spend your time and earn your money in a way some New Yorkers might find objectionable. They’ll try to use the power of government to bully you away from your choice.
Yes, that’s Mayor de Blasio, the supposed Leader of the Revolution, who has recently hired 1300 more cops — at a time when NYC is at or near record low levels of violent crime — to investigate stuff like this (said investigation involving confiscating the women’s costumes and questioning them in their robes. For safety).
It’s worth noting that going topless is not a crime in New York. In fact, nothing these women are doing is a crime. The Naked Cowboy has been entertaining tourists for years. The only reason a crackdown can even be contemplated is because of crony capitalist bullshit:
Economic activity in Times Square, one of the most famous commercial locations in all the world, actually falls under the jurisdiction of the state government, as well as the city, because it is part of the state’s economic development (crony capitalism) work, as the 42nd Street Development Project.
Because of that status, the Empire State Development corporation (ESD), the state’s “chief economic development agency,” can set rules for Times Square. Last week, the board of directors voted on a last minute resolution that insisted the topless women were breaking the law against disturbing the public order, because they had a “tendency” to disrupt commercial activity in Times Square. But the women are taking photos with tourists in exchange for money, isn’t that a commercial activity? Of course it is, but not the kind the state’s cronyist development agency is interested in.
Read this account from a New York Post reporter who spent a day as a desnuda. People were friendly and polite. Families wanted to take pictures with her. The only downside was a few creeps who stared at her. How is anything in that account “disturbing the public order”? It isn’t. But it offends someone’s delicate sensibilities so the Great White Dipshit has to call out the cops.
You can’t blame Corporate America for this. Disney and Marvel have said they want no part of the crackdown, even against people using unlicensed Disney and Marvel images. No, you can put this all at the feet of de Blasio, the supposed Man of the People who’s turning out to be just another regulatory thug.
Can’t say I’m surprised.