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Ponnada: Gentlemen, cover yourselves

BY SRI PONNADA | JUNE 10, 2013 5:00 AM

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Summer is finally here.

Now, instead of working out at the gym, I can go on my daily runs outside and enjoy the fresh air (Who am I kidding? I never run … or go to the gym). I can, however, sit on the Pentacrest lawn and people-watch while eating frozen yogurt from Yotopia.

That’s exactly what I was doing a few days ago, when all of a sudden, a shirtless guy raced past me. I was taken aback. No — not because I haven’t seen shirtless guys before. I was just under the impression that public nudity was illegal in Iowa. So, instead of being a good Hawkeye and doing something productive like binge drinking, I Googled to find out what Iowa law said about public nudity.

It turns out, I was misinformed.

Iowa Code 728.5 prohibits the exposure of the genitals or buttocks or female breasts (nipples).
I probably wasn’t paying attention during my high-school biology class, but I’m pretty sure that men have breasts. And those breasts have nipples, too.

The laws didn’t say anything about man-boobs, though. I figured they must be OK — except they’re really not.

If it isn’t OK for women to frolic bare-breasted, then why should men be allowed to doff their tops to show off their washboard abs (or lack thereof)?

Men shouldn’t be allowed to expose themselves in public. I think guys who go around shirtless are indecent and simply rude. Don’t you?

I remember that when I lived in New York, there were always admirably toned shirtless guys who stood outside Hollister stores.  Tourists and even New Yorkers sometimes (secretly of course) would stand by those gorgeous guys to ogle and take pictures. It was all very off-putting.

Call me old-fashioned, but I just don’t believe in public nudity. I don’t think anyone should be walking around topless. There’s a reason it isn’t legal for women to do so, and that reason extends to those of the male sex as well.

Seriously, we’re not at the beach. We are at the University of Iowa. There are easily shocked elderly folk and children downtown. There are students trying to enjoy their fro-yo.

So, bro, please wear a bikini top with those shorts or cover up with a shirt, because the boys aren’t welcome to stay.


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