Breasts are 'lewdness', Utah judge rules in humiliation for 'topless at home' mom

Considering that a very large portion of the businesses there are Mormon owned, and that a tithe is pretty much required, if you even visit Utah, the $$$ you spend there is ending up in the Church’s coffers.

So… while I’d love to visit Bryce and Zion, not gonna happen.


Hell, this woman is looking at being added to the sex offender list for taking her shirt off. In her own home.


Americans are so sexually guilt-ridden that it’s amazing they can manage to leave their homes to go to work. Margaret Atwood only had to look South of the border for detailed inspiration to write The Handmaid’s Tale.


Welcome to the crazy world of the 19th century USA, it gets a lot more silly from here.

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How is it legal, or even conceivable, that a judge anywhere, in any country on Earth, would rule this idiocy valid?

This criminalizes even the ability of any woman on earth to ever remove her own clothing IN HER OWN HOUSE. Even Iranians would laugh this out of one of their courts!

I mean that really needs no further explanation- how the hell do you expect any living being from this point forward to even change their clothes again?

Exactly how much meth are you idiots smoking in Utah? Slightly more than some idiots I left in Oklahoma about 8 years ago, I take it- and the town I lived in was overrun by meth!


So it’s illegal for a woman to be topless in her own home?
I presume it’s also illegal for a woman to have her breasts visible to her children?
I hope the ACLU has better arguments than whether breasts are lewd or not.

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I’m glad someone posted clarification that the stripping down was after the work was done; construction is one of the times when being even partly naked is a bad idea.


With stories like this, people are always outraged at the judge for making such an ‘obviously’ absurd ruling. But judges – at least at that level – are there to rule on what the law currently says, not to challenge it. In her summation, the judge actually writes “It is not for the court to decide whether the Legislature’s enumeration of lewd conduct is wise or sound policy” (which is judge-speak for “This is some bullshit, all’y’all, but my hands are tied.”)

More to the point, the charges weren’t that the woman was simply topless in front of her kids, but rather that she was drunk, that she deliberately exposed herself to them, that she was aware that the children were embarrassed by her actions, and that she told her husband that she’d only put her shirt back on if he showed her his penis (all this comes from the linked “Salt Lake Tribune” article, which is unusually comprehensive and informative for an article of this kind).

Obviously, I have no idea if the prosecutors’ allegations are true. Still, if they are true, then it’s clear how her actions might have touched a third rail that led to the invocation of Utah’s not-terribly-progressive laws on ‘lewdness in the presence of children’. And whether or not those are good laws, they are what they are, and that’s what the judge has to rule on.

In a sane society (and this is where the IMHO starts), this wouldn’t even be grounds for a court case. Someone – perhaps the ex-wife – would just have taken the woman aside and said “Look, I take your point about the double standards on male and female nudity, and I agree that the sexualization of the female breast is ridiculous, but you need to dial the rest of that stuff back a bit in front of the kids, m’kay?” And she’d have then told the kids “Listen, sorry about the other day, mom was tired and a little trashed. I’m sorry if I embarrassed you. Breasts are natural and fine. So is sex, and one day it will make you as happy as it makes mom and dad. But you probably didn’t need to see all that right then and there. My bad.” And that would be the end of it.

But we don’t live in a sane society, so we get weird prudishness about body parts and sexuality, and police and prosecutors and roomfuls of lawyers, and kids whose lives will be much more disrupted by seeing step-mom facing prison time than they are by seeing her flashing them and talking dirty to her husband.


They’re not idiots, they’re morons. Apparently that’s a religion over there.


I don’t see any reason for that in a sane society.

In a sane society, depictions of violence would be illegal and sexuality would be celebrated rather than the other way around.


The more of these shitty states we punch out and drop into the ocean, the better this country will get!

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This is exactly why I asked is this actually what the law says, or is this an interpretation? If the law states that a woman cannot be unclothed in her own home, the law is fucked. If this is an interpretation, then it is exactly her job to re-interpret it. Either way this is beyond stupid.


If the allegations that @angusm are true, I do:

I am all for casual nudity, but deliberately embarrassing your step-children with your nudity is not ok.

Why should anyone be embarrassed because another person is nude? What is the problem with that?

If the kids are embarrassed when they see a nude person, maybe they should be exposed to more nudity, until they understand that there is nothing wrong with nudity.

Kudos to the Salt Lake Tribune, though, for finding a photo of Tilli Buchanan where she isn’t hunched over a table, facing away from the camera. For extra credit, perhaps they could include some circles and arrows and a label indicating the breasts in question.

Asshats, trying to have it both ways; shaming her and exploiting her at the same time.


This is a sticks-and-stones type argument - If someone is trying to humiliate you via the social signals available, the fact the signal is not meaningful divorced of context doesn’t mean their actions were fine.

Sort of like how you can argue that the noises that make up an insult do not have to be hurtful and in a perfect world maybe there would be no noises we weren’t allowed to make because none of them would be interpretable as insults.

My mom’s a nudist so I get this distinction and yeah, we should have a society where people can be nude and not have it mean anything. I was not harmed by the sight of my mother’s body, and people insisting the body itself is some kind of scourge the mere sight of which is abusive to children is absolute absurdity and far more harmful to children than a breast ever could be.

But just as a middle finger can be rude, you can expose yourself in a rude way, because our society puts that meaning on it. If we want people to stop suppressing the nude body we can’t just be against people reacting to nudity in an over the top manner, we also have to have the nuance to identify obvious examples of nudity-as-middle-finger and also be against that - not as in “never do that it is hurtful” but “do that in a different way please.”

Basically, if the bio-mom’s story is true, my opinion is “can you just be topless without being weird about it you’re scaring the dog”


It’s does make a difference whether she intended to embarrass the kids or not, and harassing anyone is never ok.

OTOH kids need to learn that there is nothing embarrassing about nudity, and one does not need to be embarrassed what anyone else does when it’s not directed at them. This would require empathy and gentleness, but also sometimes direct action and honest and open dialogue.

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How much nudity is lewd is there a gauge?

Can you turn it down a notch?

Excuse you, it’s the mothers trying to seduce the babies with their lewdness, those whores of Babylon.