Since I’ve been a little M.I.A., I sort of missed that whole legging/yoga pant blow-up. It’s happening all over, but if you missed the memo, here in Chicago/land, the buzz has been all about Haven Middle School in Evanston banning girls from wearing leggings and yoga pants — because it would be distracting to the boys.
As many (most? all?) issues that get people outraged (or just life in general?), there are several discrete issues that need to be parsed out, and for which one can hold completely disparate opinions. The biggest and most obvious issue is the idea that young womens’ fashion should be cause for distraction to men and boys, and should be fixed or changed.
It’s a tale as old as time. She got raped because she was asking for it. Look what she was wearing! She had a short skirt on. She clearly was teasing everyone. She was saying she wanted sex by wearing that to the club. Or to the party. Or up to his room. I wish this was a sad, sexist exaggeration from 1950. But this kind of shit is still being said today. In 2014.
So, I get why having a school give the reason that having girls in leggings and yoga pants is distracting for men and boys is just … fucking stupid. Lame. Unacceptable. Not gonna cut it, guys. You’re going to get some good old-fashioned feminist backlash. And that’s not a bad thing. Feminist is not a dirty f-word.
I completely support women in their right to be able to wear what they want and feel sexy and not slut-shamed and to fight back against the ongoing oppression of rape culture that continues to pervade this country, this world. That is one distinct element of this issue.
There are two others, one more important than the other.
Briefly, the second is that these ladies are young women. They are minors. And as such, when they are of age, I will support their decision to dress themselves however they see fit. They can wear fishnets and see-through shirts with black bras and stilettos. Go HAM, ladies, go HAM. But, while you’re not yet 18, you gotta keep a lid on it in school.
To that end ……….. LEGGINGS (or tights) ARE NOT PANTS. YOU CANNOT WALK AROUND WITH NO PANTS ON. I don’t care if there are no guys ever around. Can we all agree as a society that leggings ARE NOT PANTS?
I am not alone. See tightsarenotpants.com. They have a manifesto. There is a Facebook page called Leggings Are Not Pants. Or, if you would like guidance, you can consult this handy flowchart courtesy of Buzzfeed.
You can wear leggings if your crotch and ass are covered. With a skirt. With a long shirt. With a dress. With a wrap. I don’t care. It’s not so you don’t get raped. Or because it’s a distraction to the boys. It’s because … you DON’T HAVE PANTS ON. And we don’t want the boys coming to school in their boxers, right? Right. So, that’s why I haven’t found a ton of personal excitement around it. I think people should get whipped up about the REASONS the school gave for the ban. That’s good. But the parents should also be getting whipped up about the fact that their kids don’t have pants on. Real talk — they are letting their kids walk out the door with no pants on.
And yoga “pants?” Right. They’re just fancy leggings. Which are NOT pants. So, there’s that. I was told I’d get more “conservative” as I got older. Well, I’m still a bleeding heart, socialist, feminist. But I don’t think leggings are pants. Now, get off my lawn.
Keep up with my head, and keep your pants on … type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button. You will NEVER get anything else from me (no SPAM, and you can opt out at any time).