Every now and then a bill in the Legislature comes up that is quite strange and unique. In Gold Senate, an amendment to section 314 of the penal code was passed.
While it was not a very heated debate, it did cause many delegates to become uncomfortable. The bill states, “SB 2184 exempts breasts and buttock from being considered indecent exposure.”
Before the bill, the California Penal Code section 314 made it a criminal offense to show private parts in a public place, including breasts and buttocks. SB 2184 now excludes the breasts and buttock from that law.
Some people viewed this as a great bill that would empower women and was a huge step forward towards equality. Others thought it was odd and pointless.
Delegate Casey Boggini, a proponent of the bill, believes the bill would help change societies views of nudity. “Personally I would not go out and show my butt to people, but I feel like if they do it, it would be good in desensitizing people so that it is not as much of a forbidden thing.”
Delegate Celeste Baquero, a opponent of the bill, disagrees that people can be allowed to show their buttocks and breasts. “I do not want to just see anybody’s butt anywhere I might go. My children will grow up just seeing butts everywhere. That is not okay.”
It seemed that though the bill had potential to be inspirational and very beneficial for equality, people were thrown off by the fact that the buttocks was included in the exemption.
Another interesting amendment was bill 2284, which would require that the practice of masturbation be included in the mandated comprehensive sexual health education and HIV prevention education. It would teach students how to be safe while masturbating, rather than teaching them how to do so. Many had mixed feelings about this bill. Some thought it was educational and beneficial, while others thought it was going to do more damage than good.
The authors, delegates representing the South Pasadena San Marino Branch of the YMCA of metropolitan Los Angeles thought that it could prevent teen pregnancy since they would not feel the need to have sex, though it would not necessarily control teen hormones.
Lobbyist Alex Serna, an opponent of the bill, pointed out in his speech to the Gold Legislature that this subject is taboo, especially in conservative families. He argued that if the topic of masturbation were discussed through sex education, it would require students to get a paper signed from their parents allowing them to be taught sex ed, and expressed concern that seeing masturbation on that paper would change parents’ decisions to allow their students to be taught sexual education.
A proponent of the bill, Kimberly Rodriguez, believes this bill would promote safety. Not all students are sexually active, and currently sexual education only teaches students how to prevent STD’s and use condoms. According to Rodriguez, “This would actually be teaching [them] how to be safe when practicing a sexual act with yourself.”