Thursday, March 28, 2019

The Great Leggings Debate

Maryanne White has a problem. She has a problem with women wearing leggings. She is especially concerned about the women who wear leggings to class and to church at Notre Dame University. A Catholic mother of four sons, White wrote to the Notre Dame campus newspaper to express her anguish.

Here are a few paragraphs:

The emergence of leggings as pants some years ago baffled me. They’re such an unforgiving garment. Last fall, they obtruded painfully on my landscape. I was at Mass at the Basilica with my family. In front of us was a group of young women, all wearing very snug-fitting leggings and all wearing short-waisted tops (so that the lower body was uncovered except for the leggings). Some of them truly looked as though the leggings had been painted on them.

A world in which women continue to be depicted as “babes” by movies, video games, music videos, etc. makes it hard on Catholic mothers to teach their sons that women are someone’s daughters and sisters. That women should be viewed first as people — and all people should be considered with respect.

Quaint notion that.

She continued:

Leggings are hardly slave girl outfits. And no one is forcing them on the countless young women who wear them. But I wonder why no one thinks it’s strange that the fashion industry has caused women to voluntarily expose their nether regions in this way. I was ashamed for the young women at Mass. I thought of all the other men around and behind us who couldn’t help but see their behinds. My sons know better than to ogle a woman’s body — certainly when I’m around (and hopefully, also when I’m not). They didn’t stare, and they didn’t comment afterwards. But you couldn’t help but see those blackly naked rear ends. I didn’t want to see them — but they were unavoidable. How much more difficult for young guys to ignore them.

I’ve heard women say that they like leggings because they’re “comfortable.” So are pajamas. So is nakedness. And the human body is a beautiful thing. But we don’t go around naked because we respect ourselves — we want to be seen as a person, not a body (like slave-girl Leia). We don’t go naked because we respect the other people who must see us, whether they would or not. These are not just my sons — they’re the fathers and brothers of your friends, the male students in your classes, the men of every variety who visit campus. 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!

I do not need to tell you that Mrs. White has been wildly excoriated and ridiculed across social media. What a prude? What a retrograde prissy schoolmarm? Students at Notre Dame University are proudly showing off their leggings on social media.

As for the difference between “unsavory guys” and “nice guys” I would suggest that there are no more nice guys. If these women do not want to receive unwanted advances they can have a say in the matter by dressing appropriately. If they do not, they are saying that they want to attract the dread male gaze to their butts. No one has a problem with that... except for women. It is the students' right to wear leggings, constitutionally speaking. It is not their right to flash people in church and then to complain if someone notices. Obviously, in an age when we do not want men to make unwanted advances toward women... wearing more conservative attire might send a different message. Is that such a bad thing?

The feminist left thinks so. While defending the hijab, an instrument of female oppression, they insist on the right to wear leggings. One can only wonder what would happen to them if they wear leggings in a mosque??

At a time when we supposedly want men to see women as something other than as the sum total of their declivities is it too much to remark that a woman who is wearing painted on leggings is not going to be respected for her mind? Or for her achievements?

Because the arguments against Mrs. White are mindless, all by themselves. They insist that young women should be able to wear whatever they want but that young men should not notice and should not draw any conclusions from their appearance. They are saying that they want to exercise complete and total control over the way other people see them. As though that were possible and as though that would not be utterly despotic.

Besides, it's always easier to blame men... for getting the right idea.

Notre Dame mom’s anti-leggings letter sparks ‘naked’ debate


Ares Olympus said...

I wondered the same about women's (and girls) swimsuits which exposes even more bare skin, even without bikinis. And sports bras are trouble too. Women need to understand they are sexual beings first, athletes second.

Anonymous said...

Went and read the comments over there! Outrage at 11! Seems leggings = thin skins


Sam L. said...

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelllll, a couple of days ago, there was a post at Instapundit about an undergarment for women called a "camel-toe"... which could be worse...

UbuMaccabee said...

Unless I am work, and the HR/PC police rules are in effect, I just stare. I don't care. I smirk and stare if I choose. A pure shitlord. But only if she is worth staring at, tightly constructed; fatties in tights are unpalatable.

If you put it out there, I might take a long look, or not. My choice. But that's why she is wearing it; that is exactly why she has it on. Look at meeeee! I'm hot! Loot at my ass! Next she'll say she's not wearing it at the club to meet guys, she's just there to hang out with her friends.

I ran this outlook past my mom, btw. I told her that if a women walks around virtually naked in public, save for a shiny Lycra bodysuit, then she is openly advertising for a man to check her out. Mom agreed. Guys, stare or not, mom says she's an exhibitionist.

Texan99 said...

I'm old and far from svelte, but I wear leggings. Of course, I wear them with tunic-length tops. I'm not so lacking in self-awareness as to expose my butt. Still, the problem of oblivious oversized people wearing clinging and unflattering garments is not limited to leggings or even bottoms of any kind. Personally, I don't choose to expose even my upper arms, because I take pity on my audience.

Anonymous said...

And don't forget "Skinny jeans" in this discussion! They are just leggings made of denim! Just as revealing of the hips, butt and thighs, but less so of the pudendum/"camel-toe".

And as a older male sh*t lord I'm only too happy to stare! As I tell my wife after being scorned for staring, it's what those young and old SLUTs want ( I live in an area where moms compete with their daughters for a place on on the SLUT train). They'd be disappointed if I DIDN'T stare.

I'm merely obliging them for our "mutual benefit". Besides, it makes the point that civilization deteriorates, if men can't (or won't, in the name of getting laid) control the sexual nature and power of their women!!!

Texan99 said...

Some of this "legging" controversy looks to be more about resentment against accusations of impolite ogling.

I enjoy looking at an attractive male body as much as the next woman, but I wouldn't ogle no matter how absurd his get-up was. But then I don't dislike men. It helps that I'm too old to be thinking about snagging one for myself any more. The young gorgeous ones have been out of my league for a long time.

Anonymous said...

I saw a butt-cracking construction worker in San Francisco wearing a Tee shirt that said, "I Love Yoga Pants".

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Dressing to attract mates is not automatic, but it is very common among both men and women even when they are unaware of it. They don't need to be the most outrageous or revealing, but neither do they want to be left behind so far that they look out of fashion - and any objectivity about how provocative it is matters very little. 60-something females now shake their heads and say "I cannot believe the skirts I wore in 1970. What was I thinking?" Well, they weren't thinking. Maybe a little more than the boys, but that's damning with faint praise. They were signalling with better accuracy than they were aware of.

Whatever problem wearing revealing clothing carries, wearing noticeably wrong clothing is worse.