This article caught my attention because it good example why not everyone is a fan of government. Several examples show common traits of bad government: discrimination, encroachment on personal freedom, behavior modification, hypocrisy, and the difficulty of getting rid of laws.
Paris trouser ban for women could be lifted (Telegraph.co.uk)
A law banning women from wearing trousers in Paris may finally be lifted more than two centuries after first being enforced.
Discriminates against women, check.
The curious rule was first introduced in late 1799 by Paris’ police chief, and stipulated than any Parisienne wishing to “dress like a man” must seek special permission from the city’s main police station.
There are those who will say it was a law for the times, and since we don’t know what things were like back then, we shouldn’t judge. It’s an encroachment on personal freedom regardless of the century. They would not have passed the law if there weren’t some women wearing trousers at the time.
But a group of ten French MPs has now submitted a draft bill to parliament to remove the law, which has survived repeated attempts to repeal it.
In 1892, it was slightly relaxed thanks to an amendment which said trousers were permitted “as long as the woman is holding the reins of a horse.”
Then in 1909, the decree was further watered down when an extra clause was added to allow women in trousers on condition they were “on a bicycle or holding it by the handlebars.”
Spell out when its appropriate to wear trousers–behavior modification, check.
In 1969, amid a global movement towards gender equality, the Paris council asked the city’s police chief to bin the decree. His response was: “It is unwise to change texts which foreseen or unforeseen variations in fashion can return to the fore.”
Difficult to get rid of a bad law once it’s on the books, check.
Given that trousers are compulsory for Parisian policewomen, they are, in theory, all breaking the law.
I’m sure no policewomen in Paris has been charged with violating this law. Here is government hypocrisy of not following laws they are supposed to enforce.
Last by not least is the failure to learn from history. France is considering banning the burqa. While France is trying to shed one discriminatory encroachment on personal freedom, it’s trying to add an almost identical one.
Compare the trouser law in France to laws in the US. Replace the word “trouser” with any of the following: motorcycle helmet, recreational drug, gun, seatbelt, or pornography. US laws have the same underlying dynamics and flaws.
Until the US government follows its own rules and removes discriminatory laws which invade personal liberty and seek to modify behavior, there is no reason to cheer for the government.