“The Constitution and Societal Norms: A Modern Case for Female Breast Equality” argues that laws prohibiting the public display of the female breast, but not the male breast, are unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. That these laws discriminate against women is obvious, yet courts have historically refused to recognize an Equal Protection Clause violation. However, the primary reasons courts rely upon are ripe for review. Most significantly, courts typically justify female breast censorship laws based on the government interest in protecting public sensibilities, without recognizing that public sensibilities change. Indeed, perceptions of the public female breast have changed. Taking these modern-day perceptions into account reveals that the protection of public sensibilities is, in fact, an inadequate governmental interest. Moreover, the Equal Protection Clause principles, as articulated in US v. Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges, provide further support for finding female breast censorship laws unconstitutional. This Article also explains why female breast censorship laws are normatively harmful to both women and society. Ultimately, “The Constitution and Societal Norms: A Modern Case for Female Breast Equality” argues that laws prohibiting the public display of the female breast, but not the male breast, are harmful, outdated, and unconstitutional.
The Constitution and Societal Norms: A Modern Case For Female Breast Equality,
DePaul J. Women, Gender & L.
Available at: http://via.library.depaul.edu/jwgl/vol5/iss1/3