By: Megan Prangley
Okay, so it’s really been going viral lately that public schools are banning leggings and even yoga pants from being worn. The argument is that school is a “professional” environment and they are “distracting” to other students, mainly male students who apparently have no control over where their eyes go.
To which I say- this is a bunch of crap. First off, school is not a professional environment. People wore fuzzy jammies when I was in high school, and dirty hoodies- neither of which would fly in a “professional” environment. Neither would excessive jewelry, piercings, tennis shoes, shirts with sayings on them, jeans, or any of that stuff. If everyone had to start dressing up for an actual work environment, even male students, then maybe people would stop complaining about leggings.
The idea that you can see a student’s butt or legs (gasp) is more explanation for the ban. If this is the aim, why not put all female students in loose, sack dress uniforms to cover up everything? Because let’s be honest, skinny jeans, skirts, and stretch pants in general show just as much as leggings. There is no way to totally hide our bodies, and we shouldn’t have to, certainly men aren’t taught this. The sad thing is sexual jokes, inappropriate comments, assaults, and rape will still happen with any uniforms because rapists cause rape, not clothing. I think we should focus on raising awareness in high schools instead of creating a band aid, the real problem here is rape culture- not leggings.
By outlawing leggings and yoga pants schools are telling women that other students’ comfort is more important than their own. It also enforces that women are at fault for unwanted advances because of how they’re dressing. Plus, it makes those who choose to wear leggings “sluts”. News flash: A girl can wear whatever she wants, and it’s the assaulter and/or rapists fault for committing the crime. Leggings don’t cause rape, the reinforced thought that women’s bodies are public domain to be regulated and controlled does. The problem is no matter what we wear women are seen as sexual objects, and that’s what needs to change.
Also, most importantly, leggings and yoga pants are comfy. Many leggings are as thick as stretch pants and even lined with fleece for winter! Que the hallelujah chorus! Walking around GVSU campus I see tons of different people wearing these kinds of pants. Yes, leggings aren’t see through (usually), so therefore pants. Tights are see through and therefore not pants. Glad we cleared that up. Now, I wear yoga pants because they are comfy, not to solicit unwanted attention. Assuming girls who wear tight stretch pants are “sluts” or “asking for it” is slut-shaming. It is not okay, so stop. If it’s taught that judging someone by their looks is not okay, why are we reinforcing judgement of someone by their leggings? Also if you’re thinking, “Well young women just shouldn’t dress like that, I wouldn’t,” great- you keep doing you. But telling someone else how to dress just because you don’t like it is immature. I don’t wear red (I just don’t like the color), but that doesn’t mean I fashion-police everyone else into not wearing red.
This is a prime example of how feminism benefits men. As a feminist I know men are smart and capable enough to not be so distracted by a simple pair of leggings that they can’t focus in class. If leggings are causing a male student’s undoing- good luck being an adult, you’re going to need it. Long article short, leave my leggings and yoga pants alone. If you don’t like me, or someone else wearing them then don’t look, there problem solved. And stop teaching rape culture in high school by over-regulating a girl’s clothing. Women are always going to be wearing tank tops, yoga pants, dresses, skirts etc. It’s time we fixed the real problem which is how society treats women and rape culture.