Bikini Baristas Heroically Fight for Their Rights in Federal Court



SourceArguing that skimpy costumes and exposed flesh are an expression of the First Amendment, owners and employees of bikini barista stands in Everett are asking a federal judge for an injunction that would prevent the city from implementing two new ordinances aimed at curtailing the business.

“The Constitution doesn’t allow the government to regulate the content of speech because the government disagrees with it,” Derek Newman, one of the baristas’ attorneys, wrote in an email. “If the First Amendment was so limited, NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality would not be protected expression because the president interprets this as anti-American sentiment.” …

The city claims the scantily clad baristas feed the poisonous attitudes toward women that have led to allegations of sexual misconduct against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and comedian Louis C.K.

“The male gaze on bikinied women is on the continuum of sexualization of women,” wrote Mary Anne Layden, Ph.D., a psychologist and director of the Sexual Trauma and Psychopathology program at the University of Pennsylvania, who has been hired by the city of Everett as an expert witness. …

She suggests the women at the coffee stands are less engaged in self-expression and making coffee drinks than they are in destructive “sexual self-objectification” that has a wider impact on the community. She cited studies showing that men often think less of women for dressing suggestively or engaging in behaviors like exotic dancing.

Men who visit the stands can take those attitudes into the community and their homes, Layden claims.

“When you make the body a commodity, and sex a product which you sell, one outcome is sexual violence,” she wrote. “If you can sell it, you can steal it.”

I’m thinking about doing Cryogenics. I want to be frozen Ted Williams-style. Not because I fear death or want to live forever. I just want to be there centuries from now, after the nuclear holocaust or the zombie apocalypse or the war against the machines or the ape uprising – whatever wipes all traces of our times out of recorded history – and future anthropologists try to get a sense of what life was like in 2017. I want to be there to try to explain this to them.


To review: We live in an age where women fight for empowerment. Where governments grant them legal protections to do what they want with their bodies. Where they’ve started a social rebellion against influential men who have abused their positions of power for their own depraved sexual gratification. Where our educational institutions have been at the forefront of movements to end body-shaming, slut-shaming and Free the Nipple.

And yet here we have a government arguing in court that it should be illegal for grown women to serve coffee in bikinis. And hiring an Ivy League law professor to plead their case that … what? That adult women in bathing suits are responsible for Harvey Weinstein and Louis C.K. forcing other women to watch them jerk off? Yes. That is exactly what Mary Anne Layden is saying. In no uncertain terms, a government’s expert witness is saying “What did you expect, dressing like that? You were asking for it.” I mean, where did they find this chick? Amish Country? The 1600s? Doing legal work for the Taliban?

It’s just a fascinating time to be alive. When federal courts are deciding how much skin someone can show in a coffee shop and the arguments involve the President, the NFL and the national anthem. We live in a culture that applauds women who march in Pride Parades naked to the waist one second, then turns around and claims Barstool is sexist for posting photos of attractive females who choose to be on here the next. I met a college girl who competed in Miss America just this past year and asked her if she ever took crap from the feminists on campus and she was like “Are you kidding? All the time! They are the worst.” Because for some reason Lena Dunham is a hero for stripping down on HBO, but a pageant contestant who wins thousands for looking good in the swimsuit competition is committing “sexual self-objectification” and doing harm to the sisterhood.

Actually, the more I think about it, the more I realize I’d never be able to explain this to future generations. I’m living through it, I can’t even make sense of it to myself.