MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Lawmakers in South Carolina are discussing punishing people who wear saggy pants. A bill in the House would make it unlawful to wear pants too low and that expose “skin or undergarments.”
It would not be a criminal offense, but offenders could be fined $25 for a first offense; $50 or three hours of community service for a second offense; and $75 or six hours of community service for a third or subsequent offense.
“It is unlawful for a person to appear in public wearing his pants more than three inches below the crest of his ileum exposing his skin or undergarments,” reads House Bill 4957. “Ileum,” according to Dictionary.com, is part of the small intestine. It has been noted the bill could have meant to use the word “ilium,” which refers to the broad part of your hipbone.
The bill refers to the unlawful act in terms of the male pronoun “his.” Females are not included in the wording.
“Now I’m not focusing too much on women,” said Rep. Joe Jefferson, (D) Pineville, who is a driving sponsor of the bill. “Women to me are doing an admirable job in terms of taking care of themselves and their dress attire and what have you.”
“When you walk around all day long with saggy pants, you’re only asking for trouble,” Jefferson said. “Having a decent interview is certainly out of the question. I call myself looking out for the benefit of men.”
But not everyone sees that benefit. “You can say what you want, I’m still gonna bust the sag,” said Myrtle Beach resident Joshua Fortenberry.
His pants hang low, and he is proud of it. “I bust the sag every day.” He said passing the law would mean “every plumber in the country” would be out of a job.
Derrick Hooks, a Myrtle Beach resident, thinks the state should focus on bigger problems. “The people who run South Carolina really need to refocus what their priorities are,” he said Wednesday.
“If you care about the people, you don’t care about pants,” Hooks said.
Support for the bill has weakened since it was introduced last week. Eleven house members signed onto the bill last Thursday. At last check Wednesday, six ordered their names be taken off, including one representative from Georgetown County. In 2016 the City of Timmonsville approved allowing fines for people who intentionally show their underwear.