Once again, Asheville City leaders are urging residents and visitors to ignore the half-naked women demonstrating in downtown this weekend.
It's a familiar performance:
Scene 1 - An out-of-state man organizes a topless rally. He says it will advance equal rights for women.
Scene 2 - Outrage ensues.
Scene 3 - City leaders (fearing backlash from their local business leaders) urge everyone not to look at the breasts, while lamenting their lack of authority to ban the protests. They urge folks to lobby the State for a change in law.
Scene 1 - Protest day arrives and a handful of women take their tops off. Hundreds of dudes take their pictures while grinning creepily.
Scene 2 - State officials propose a bill to give the City power to restrict the topless protests.
Scene 3 - Outrage ensues... except this time the City leaders (fearing backlash from their local progressive constituents) refuse to support the State proposal.
This play has been performed four times now.
Here is what happened the last time the State proposed the bill (which the City leaders claimed to want). LINK.
And here is how business leaders expressed remorse at the way they let the State officials twist in the wind over the proposal. LINK.
I'm sure the Asheville City Council will be completely behind the next effort to limit these protests.
I'm sure of it.