No, Twerking Is Not Illegal

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According to numerous reports, the mayor of DeQuincy, Louisiana, made "twerking" illegal recently after the horrific display of it by what's-her-name at the MTV Awards brought it to his attention. The dance move is a "defiant act against Jesus," Mayor Maynard Wilkens was quoted as saying, and while dancing in general would remain legal, "jiggling, shaking and dry humping" within city limits would be strictly banned.

Well, no.

DeQuincy does exist, but its mayor is Lawrence Henagan, not "Maynard Wilkens." A mayor could not make something illegal all by himself, a detail that many reports just repeated without question. And its municipal code doesn't say anything about "twerking," not surprisingly, or really much about "indecent" behavior of any kind, at least compared to some other towns I could name. So is this all just a bunch of hogwash, or is there something to it?


Twerk all you want

"It's a bunch of hogwash," Mayor Henagan told the Times-Picayune. "There's nothing to it." Okay then. "Like I told the first lady [who called seeking comment], I didn't even know what she was talking about. Twerking, whatever it's called, she had to tell me what it is."

I was interested to hear exactly how she defined it for him, but the article didn't say.

This is actually the third bogus news story this year involving DeQuincy, which someone has been plaguing with fake press releases that some people on the internets recirculate without checking. The first hoax claimed DeQuincy had banned all Koreans, and the second one claimed the town had decided to issue guns to all students. The twerking tale seems to have gotten more coverage than either of those, probably for the same reason a lot of people paid more attention to what's-her-name than to the then-current plan to attack another country without asking Congress first. Hey, isn't that unconstitu— Look! A butt!

So if you see DeQuincy being accused of something else this year, you should be skeptical. DeQuincy appears to be a perfectly normal American small town with a nice railroad museum. It is unlawful to skate on the concrete sidewalks along Pine Street between Lake Charles Avenue and Lillie Street, but as far as I can tell, you could legally twerk there if you really wanted to do that.