This column will appear in Friday’s print edition.
Once upon a time, in the story that is America, Puritan law forbade any hint of sexuality. If a Puritan woman showed any signs of impropriety, she was scornfully called “light of carriage” and harshly punished.
If hers was a small offense, she may have gotten away with just having some rotten fruit thrown at her, but if the infraction was bigger, say, a shameless display of ankle or engaging in topics unbecoming, she was most likely strapped to a “ducking stool” and basically waterboarded in the closest river. Public shaming was the intention of such an exercise, but it was not always the result. As they might have said back in the day, “stuffeth happens.”
Fast forward 300-plus years and find that a woman allegedly stood outside a drive-thru espresso hut in Puyallup Washington giving little consideration to the fact that the equivalent of a string and two Band-Aids were all that stood between her and the elements. A mother, with child in tow, happened to be driving by the coffee establishment when she saw the nearly bare barista and called authorities.
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