Dress codes, slut shamers

Pulling ’em off…

Yesterday’s post about leggings turned into quite the Facebook debate. My Italian friend says he thinks women wear leggings to turn on men. This was his comment.

It is a pointless discussion. Wearing leggings is part of an evolving mating ritual. If there were no men, there would be no leggings. It is just a strategy to attract the attention of men. In an era of increasing sexual availability and stimulation, clearly strategies must evolve and become more extreme, hence the dismay of an older woman who used older, milder strategies. In parts of the world, the sight of a bare female foot is sexually arousing, while here in Germany a pretty woman sunbathing naked in the park might just go unnoticed. Same with men: if you can afford a red Ferrari, you might say you do it for the love of cars, but you know it is part of a mating ritual. Approaches vary, same old story. The only observation I can make is that perhaps one woman in 1000 looks good in bare leggings. All the others, who believe that revealing more of their mediocre body might increase their mating chances, are sadly deluded. A woman of class, who has more to offer than just attractive anatomy, migh wear leggings, but only under a skirt.

Many of my female friends chimed in that attracting men is not the reason they wear leggings. I was the first to tell my Italian friend that a lot of women wear them because they’re comfortable. Quite a lot of my friends agreed with me that they like leggings because they are easy to wear. So my Italian friend came back with this comment.

But you all miss the point: the article was about young women wearing tight leggings with nothing on top, basically something like a pantyhose, therefore very revealing, not comfy. At that age, EVERYTHING is about the opposite sex, both for boys and girls, as it is understandle due to the hormone levels mother nature burdens us with for reproductive purposes. Or it’s been such a long time you have all forgotten?

More debate ensued after I wrote this.

Leggings are comfortable whether you wear a skimpy top or a long one. They’re stretchy. I will grant that not everyone can pull off wearing leggings and looking good in them, but that kind of thing is in the eye of the beholder. I’ve never seen leggings that are like “pantyhose”, either.

Another friend wrote this.

I disagree about not everyone being able to pull off leggings. If you think you can pull off leggings, you can. Doesn’t matter what size or shape you are. Wear them with gusto!

To which I replied:

Well, that is a matter of opinion. You’re welcome to yours.

Let me reiterate. I basically think people should wear whatever they want. I may not like what a person is wearing. I may not think what they’re wearing is flattering or attractive. But I will absolutely defend their right to dress their bodies in the way they wish. My viewpoint is my own and it’s one of many opinions. I don’t claim to be right or wrong.

Here are a few pictures I found on the Internet that make me think that not everyone can “pull off” wearing leggings. Again, just my opinion.

That looks painful. Image: Pinterest
Actually, those look like tights. Image: Pinterest
An oldie but a goodie. These just blow my mind. Image: Facebook
Bet she does. Image: Pinterest

Just because I don’t think these leggings look so great on the women who are wearing them, that doesn’t mean I don’t think they have the “right” to wear them. I don’t think wearing them in public is wise, but certainly a person should be able to wear what they want to wear “with gusto”, as long as they aren’t at school, church, or work, where there might be a dress code of some sort… or perhaps not.

Some people think dress codes are stupid. But uniforms are a form of identification. Police officers wear uniforms so that citizens can identify them when there’s trouble. Medical personnel are easy to spot by the way they dress in a medical setting. Hell, I wore a dirndl at Busch Gardens because that identified me as an employee. The dirndl added to the ambiance of the fake Germany, where I was working at the time. I have heard that the costumes have been phased out, but people who work at Busch Gardens still wear uniforms so they can be identified as employees.

I also think that dress codes aren’t a bad idea in a school setting, as long as they are equally enforced. It is distracting when a person comes to school wearing a t-shirt with swear words all over it. It is disruptive when someone dresses in a way that is impractical or unsafe. Moreover, school is preparation for the work world. I would hope a person wouldn’t go to a job interview wearing leggings that reveal the message that he or she “gets around”. Maybe you are able to do your job while wearing purple leggings that announce that you “get around”. But it’s not very professional or appropriate to wear that attire at work if you’re dealing with the public. If you want to walk around town with those leggings on, I guess it’s not such a big deal… except you might end up being made fun of on social media. But I can always avert my eyes, right?

Bottom line… wear what you want to on your time. Leggings aren’t always about trying to pick up men. Some people do find them very comfortable. I would hope most people who find them comfortable would select them in the right size and made with fabric that adequately covers the subject. But I suppose even that is in the eye of the beholder… and nobody really cares about my opinions, anyway. Bwahahaha…

In other news: Yesterday, I ordered us a lawnmower. It’s a robot, which means I might not have to mow. I can sit on my ass and watch the mower cut the grass while I drink beer. I tried using a robot vacuum. It was hard to get used to. Hopefully, this will work out alright. I’ll take a video.

condescending twatbags, slut shamers

Catholic mom begs girls and women to stop wearing leggings…

Ah… modesty. It’s a topic that has graced my blogs many times in the past. Now I have a new blog, and I haven’t yet written about modesty on this one. So here goes…

Many people are of the opinion that leggings are not pants. Some people think leggings are indecent and immodest. Some people think people with certain body types have no business wearing skin tight, stretchy fabric that shows every crease and roll. And some people are hyper-religious and sexually repressed and they worry that the sight of a pretty young woman in leggings will cause moral decay.

Catholic mom, Maryann White, recently wrote a letter to the editor of The Observer, a student run newspaper that serves The University of Notre-Dame and other local colleges. White’s letter has caused a stir which caused so much commotion that the story was featured on Today.com. White, who is the mother of four sons, writes:

“I’ve thought about writing this letter for a long time. I waited, hoping that fashions would change and such a letter would be unnecessary — but that doesn’t seem to be happening. I’m not trying to insult anyone or infringe upon anyone’s rights. I’m just a Catholic mother of four sons with a problem that only girls can solve: leggings.”

White goes on to explain that in the Star Wars movie franchise, Princess Leia was forced by Jabba the Hutt to wear a revealing slave girl outfit that “steals her personhood”. She explained to her sons that the slave girl outfit is demeaning, especially since it’s forced upon Princess Leia. Then, she writes that no one forces women and girls to wear leggings, except maybe the “fashion industry”, which has created these damnable garments that allow women to display their “nether regions” in such a way that males can’t look away from them.

I’ve actually never seen this movie… but I have seen the bikini. I don’t think Princess Leia’s bikini is the same as leggings…

White is very distressed about this. She’s so distressed that she writes:

I’m fretting both because of unsavory guys who are looking at you creepily and nice guys who are doing everything to avoid looking at you. For the Catholic mothers who want to find a blanket to lovingly cover your nakedness and protect you — and to find scarves to tie over the eyes of their sons to protect them from you!

She then goes on to suggest that girls and women “choose jeans” instead. She admits that we have the right to wear leggings if we want to, but choosing to wear leggings is, in her opinion, indecent and disrespectful on many levels. And oh, can’t we please think of the males who will be either tempted or disgusted by the sight of female bodies and their long suffering Catholic mothers?

I haven’t worn leggings in many years. There was a brief time in the early 90s when they were popular. I wore them then because they were more comfortable than jeans. I’m short and curvy– okay fat– and it’s hard to find jeans that fit properly without actually going to a store and trying on a whole lot of them. I also find jeans uncomfortable. The heavy seams and stiff fabric are not pleasant to me, so it’s not so often you’ll catch me wearing them these days. I particularly dislike how jeans have that low rise fly, which just accentuates my beer gut. Leggings can just be pulled on and stretch to accommodate everything. I don’t wear them today, but I can see why some women like them. I do think it’s wise to use good judgment and discernment when dressing. I wouldn’t wear them to church, which is one scenario White complains about in her letter. But then, I don’t often go to church anymore. I’m sure a lot of ministers/priests/holy people are less concerned about what a person wears to church and more concerned that they have butts in the pews and money in the offering plates.

I do understand Ms. White’s angst about leggings. They aren’t always a good fashion choice for everyone, at least in terms of aesthetics. However, that’s the kind of thing that is in the eye of the beholder. What may be offensive to one set of eyes is pleasurable to another. And it’s very difficult for people to please everyone. I run into that concept a lot as a blogger. I get snippy comments from people who don’t like what I write and complain, while others continue to read and even praise me. Women and girls can certainly eliminate leggings from their wardrobes, but then still offend people by wearing jeans or short skirts.

I think that it’s up to the “Catholic moms” (and all the other parents) to teach their children that people are worthy of basic respect no matter what they’re wearing. Maryann White says it’s hard to teach her sons that all women are someone’s wives, mothers, daughters, etc. What she doesn’t seem to grasp is the fact that women are not merely “someone’s anything”. Women are “someones” in and of themselves.

Chances are excellent that male hormones will surge regardless of what women choose to wear. Furthermore, it’s exhausting for females to keep trying to figure out which rules they should follow in order to be “respectable” in the eyes of people like Maryann White. It’s not up to girls and women to protect boys and men from their “lustful” thoughts. It’s up to everyone to exercise self-control of their own thoughts and actions.

I don’t think Maryann White’s letter has done much to convince anyone not to wear leggings anymore. People have become so up in arms about White’s comments that she’s inspired people to host “Leggings Pride Days”. They’re posting pictures of themselves in leggings all over social media. So, instead of shaming women back into long skirts and jeans, White has probably made the situation more acute.

The point is– what a person wears doesn’t define his or her worth. The human body is beautiful and complex and absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. So, Maryann White, don’t “slut shame” girls and women for wearing leggings. Teach your sons that women and girls are people worthy of respect and self-determination. I’m sure that such a caring “Catholic mother” such as yourself is up to the challenge.