LONSBERRY: State should stay out of your blouse

Her boobs aren’t any of the state’s business.

I’m talking about mixed martial artist Pearl Gonzalez and her implanted breasts. On Friday, as she weighed in for a UFC fight Saturday night in Buffalo, the state threw a flag.

The New York State Athletic Commission said that boxing and fighting rules forbade breast implants. And she had breast implants, the state claimed, and so she was disqualified. She couldn’t fight. She was out that bout and out the money it was going to bring her.

That was early Friday.

By late Friday, after special consultation with her boob doctors, the state reversed itself. In this situation, the commission said, it was ok for Pearl Gonzalez and her silicone friends to go into the cage.

As it turned out, on Saturday night, unaugmented Cynthia Calvillo dashed Gonzalez’ hopes the old-fashioned way – by beating her into submission in the third round. 

But the issue – and the rule – remain: Does the state of New York have any business inside an athlete’s blouse? 

Here’s the answer: Hell no.

Boobs are nice. Really nice. But they are private. Unless they’re shared with you, they’re none of your business. That’s true whether they were grown or made, and that’s true whether you’re some letch on the corner or some regulator in Albany.

The state maintains that breast implants could rupture during a boxing or MMA contest, and therefore shouldn’t be allowed.

Well, spleens and septums can also rupture during boxing or MMA contests, and yet we allow those. And the idea that a breast implant would break during a fight is a matter of theory, not fact. Which means, there is no record of it every happening.

And, do they punch each other in the boobs? Is there pressure or force applied to the augmented breast during a boxing match that might not inadvertently be applied to it during any number of routine life activities? What if you fall off your bike, or slip on some ice, or are in a wreck with a seatbelt and an airbag? What if you study judo or karate? What about wrestling or love making or spelunking? What if you put on a parachute harness or an air-tank strap? What about a push-up that gets away from you? Doesn’t experience indicate that breast implants are fairly durable objects?

And isn’t the filling specifically selected to be harmless in case it ever were to leak?

So why the implant fixation by the boxing commission?

And have they thought it through?

For example, in this era of the trans people, would the state ban a guy who thinks he’s a girl and got implants from doing MMA as a woman because of the implants? Wouldn’t that be some sort of intolerable discrimination?

And what about a woman who has had a mastectomy and subsequent breast reconstruction? Is it the position of the state of New York that she is forever banned from these sports because of breast cancer? That’s crazy.

So, too, is the leering titillation that goes along with any talk of breast implants. It’s translated as an open invitation to ogle and comment on the breasts in question. That’s creepy. Unfortunately, judgmentalism of several sorts is associated with implants, and women and men alike often whisper disparagement about those who have implants.

None of that is right. All of this falls under the none-of-your-business category. Boobs operate on an invitation-only basis. If they’re not your boobs, and you’ve not been invited to enter their circle of trust, it’s none of your business – as to motivation or anything else. 

The athletic commission needs to let that sink into its thick head.

If an athlete has had implants, then that athlete can seek counsel of appropriate medical staff and decide whether or not she wants to compete. If she and her doctor are cool with it, that’s all that matters. The state can back the freak off.

This illustrates the sad reality that state government in New York acts as if it has absolute and unquestionable power over people’s lives. New York is a state of regulation and repression. It took years to get state permission to even hold MMA events, now an athlete must suffer the public violation of having her medical history revealed by a state that believes it can reject her because of that medical history. 

It’s none of the state’s business what’s in her blouse.

A case-by-case review isn’t good enough. This rule needs to go away.

And New York state government needs to learn its place, and stay there.

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