This Catholic mom thinks that leggings are corrupting her sons at Notre Dame

The religious folks are at it again. In a desperate attempt to one-up the Christian who says straight people don’t engage in oral sex or do butt stuff, a mother of four sons argues that leggings are corrupting her children.

In a letter to the editor of the Notre Dame student newspaper, Maryann White rips into the fashion industry for their evil leggings, because in her words, “the fashion industry has caused women to voluntarily expose their nether regions”.

No, this is not satire.

From a purely biological standpoint, Maryann points out the very accurate fact that all “women are someone’s daughters and sisters.” But curiously, she stops there. She doesn’t explain that men are all someone’s sons and brothers, or that some daughters have brothers. More to the point, she neglected to state that in addition to all women having parents, they have grandparents as well. And those grandparents? You betcha, they have grandparents, too. Weird how that works!

From Maryann’s letter:

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.

It’s really not that hard, actually. You just tell them that women deserve to be treated with respect, just like any other person. I don’t see what’s so difficult about that.

Maryann continued:

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.

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Won’t someone think of the poor men who view women as nothing more than sexual objects? The humanity!

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!

“Nice guys.” Ha!

As Jezebel points out, the students at Notre Dame didn’t take kindly to Maryann’s concerns:

Her plea to ask college women to stop wearing leggings was received about as one might expect: by mockery, protest, and dissent. In response to her op-ed, one student organized a campus Leggings Day, encouraging other students to “join in our legging wearing hedonism!” The Washington Post reports that another student group, Irish 4 Reproductive Health, also planned a “Leggings Pride Day,” while one senior penned a response and informal protest, “The Leggings Protest.”

Well, that backfired a bit.

I genuinely do not understand the religious right’s absurd concern over the activities of others, particularly when it comes to sex. Basically, what she’s saying in her letter is that women are too stupid to not wear leggings, women are too stupid to not realize that leggings are skin-tight, and women are too stupid to not realize that other people can see them when they go out in public. This is just a continuance of infantizing women – acting as though they don’t know how to make decisions for themselves, and that women need to be told what to do.

Let Notre Dame girls be the first to turn their backs(ides) on leggings. You have every right to wear them. But you have every right to choose not to.

(I imagine she was very proud of herself for the pun.)

Whoa – you mean people have free will? Even the ladyfolk!?! Weird!

It would seem to me that an all-knowing and all-powerful deity would have foreseen humanity’s epic battle against the cancer that are leggings and, you know, not let them be created. Or worn.

Maryann’s letter reminds me of the motto Ben Franklin put on the once cent piece he designed:

Excellent advice for Maryann.

Cover image via iStockphoto

Written by Dan Broadbent

Science Enthusiast. Atheist. Lover of cats.




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