During a debate about a bill to regulate strip clubs, a state representative proposed an amendment — in jest, he says — that the strippers should be youthful and thin.

The joke, which is now an official part of the legislative public record, upset several female lawmakers in the House, who called it a new low for inappropriate and sexist comments that regularly pervade the State Capitol.

State Rep. Kenny Havard, R-St. Francisville, officially submitted a written amendment to legislation that would have mandated dancers at strip clubs be no older than 28 and no heavier than 160 pounds. When challenged by other legislators, he quickly withdrew the amendment and later called it a joke about overregulation.

“Looking out over this body, I’ve never been so repulsed to be a part of it,” Rep. Julie Stokes, R-Kenner, said on the House floor after the amendment was pulled. Stokes said the amendment was just the latest exercise in commonplace misogyny that women in the Legislature frequently endure. “It has got to stop. That was utterly disrespectful and disgusting.”

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