The leggings-as-pants debate has been going on for nearly a decade (because in the '80s and '90s, there was no debate: they were pants). But no matter your personal stance on the spandex issue (just to be clear, they're literally pants), we can all agree that this nervous Catholic "mother-of-sons" is directing her ire to the wrong place.
In a letter to the editor published by Notre Dame's student paper, The Observer, a distraught mother named Maryann White, who may herself be too fixated on young women's behinds, pleaded with her readers to PLEASE STOP WEARING LEGGINGS. To, you know, protect the innocence of her four sons.
She recalled one particularly disturbing instance of beholding stretchy pants:
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.
She then compared the objectively comfortable garments to Princess Leia's "slave-girl outfit," because apparently her sons can only process Star Wars metaphors when it comes to respecting women:
I talk to my sons about Princess Leia and how Jabba the Hutt tried to steal her personhood by putting her into a slave girl outfit in which her body became the focus. (That’s the only scene in the whole franchise in which Leia appears in such a way — and it’s forced upon her.)...we want to be seen as a person, not a body (like slave-girl Leia).
Of course, White's perfect sons avoided the forbidden fruits they were confronted with, "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."
In the end she begs you to consider her struggle the next time you go shopping: "Could you think of the mothers of sons the next time you go shopping and consider choosing jeans instead?"
Needless to say, the letter caused a wave of backlash from women in the Notre Dame community, prompting a student-organized Leggings Pride Day on March 26th. The event's Facebook page summed it up best: "While well-intentioned, White's viewpoint perpetuates a narrative central to rape culture in implying that womxn and girls are responsible for the actions and reactions of others."
Sorry, Maryann. You can kiss our leggings-clad ass.
[Photo via Unsplash]