No ifs or butts: women shouldn’t wear leggings – especially in church

No ifs or butts: women shouldn’t wear leggings – especially in church March 30, 2019
Image via youTube

A CATHOLIC mom has sparked a lively debate in an Indiana University’s student newspaper over the question of women wearing ‘snug-fitting’ leggings.

Under the heading “The Legging Problem” in Notre Dame’s Observer, Maryann White described leggings as “an unforgiving garment” that “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.

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.

She concluded:

Leggings are so naked, so form fitting, so exposing. Could you think of the mothers of sons the next time you go shopping and consider choosing jeans instead? 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. Thanks for listening to the lecture. Catholic moms are good at those!

Reaction was swift. Susan shot back:

As a ‘Catholic mother’ of two young women in their 20s, I am exhausted by the instructions and rules and warnings I am constantly having to give my daughters to protect them from your sons. Men and boys need to learn to restrain themselves in the world, to control their impulses, to learn that the world will not be perfectly paved in front of them and may not be ‘legging-free’.

And at the very least, all men need to view women as human beings deserving of respect regardless of any fashion choice a woman decides to choose. Stop blaming women for the thoughts in your head or your perceived thoughts in the heads of others …

Mary wrote:

If you are standing in the presence of Jesus Christ and all you can think about is butts, perhaps the problem lies not with these women’s attire but rather with your inability to focus on what is important …

And Noelle said:

The only thing that you and I have in common Maryann is that we are both mothers of four boys. I find this to be a privilege to raise the next generation of compassionate men who can navigate the world and act as free thinkers who value others. Yet my message regarding young women’s clothing is quite the opposite of yours.

Women, including myself, my nieces, my 75-year-old mother, should wear whatever the heck they want. We should wear what makes us feel good, strong, smart or pretty. Anyone else’s “discomfort” is not our problem. To my sons, husband, brothers and father, guys, wear whatever the heck you want too. And respect each other, leggings or not.

That’s just three of almost 600 responses to Maryann White’s letter – and most of them strongly disagreed with her.

Image via Facebook

Soon the “The Legging Problem” migrated to LifeSite, where Canadian writer Dorothy Cummings McLean, above, rushed  to support White.

In the beautifully written apologia for women’s dignity, White argues that the world constantly tries to reduce women to ‘babes’, subverting her attempts to teach her sons that women are people worthy of respect.

White believes that by wearing skin-tight leggings and tiny T-shirts, young women are overemphasizing their feminine bottoms, attracting male attention even at church … 

Nevertheless, White is unable or unwilling to hide the primary reason she wants girls to cover their bottoms, and that is what has caused the inevitable feminist outcry. White suggests that young women have a responsibility to men not to distract them with their bottoms. I would go even farther and say young women owe young men a gentleness not unrelated to the gentleness men owe them.


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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Broga

    I don’t know what they mean by “leggins” but if they outline attractive female butts then I suppose it would help the time pass in church. The priests are still OK with frocks, I hope? This issue just demonstrates the paucity of of thinking on fascinating and important subjects – paedophilia, scientific, moral, ethical, environmental – in the RC community. This is still about sex. The subject which obsesses the repressed “people of faith”. Pathetic!

  • ShaLaLa

    If her “attempts to teach her sons that women are people worthy of respect” could be subverted by what women are wearing, she wasn’t doing a very good job in the first place.

  • Michael Neville

    Lady, if you don’t like leggings then don’t wear them. And stop whining about women who wear them.

  • John Thunderer

    Maybe the problem is not the girls’ leggings but Mrs White’s own uncertainty as to her own sexual preferences?

  • John Pieret

    As some wags noted elsewhere, if she is concerned about the Catholic “morality” of her sons, their lack of reaction to female posteriors might be a greater worry for her. Now the students at Notre Dame were organizing a protest to Ms. White’s letter in which they invite all genders to wear leggings, That might … or might not … remove any worry about her son’s she might have …

  • epeeist

    Sounds as though she wants to go back to the 13th century and sumptuary laws

  • John Thunderer

    I am not so sure about that.
    It seems more likely that she wants to see the re-introduction of so-called “modesty” dress, as found in Muslim and Jewish groups.
    Yet again, sex – and tolerating sexual attraction – are a problem for these closed-minded people.
    As Mrs Patrick Campbell reportedly said “My dear, I don’t care what they do, so long as they don’t do it in the street and frighten the horses.”

  • WallofSleep

    “White suggests that young women have a responsibility to men not to distract them with their bottoms.”

    Or maybe us men can control ourselves and not stare/slobber over said women? Just a thought.

  • WallofSleep

    “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.”

    Translation: “Stop reminding me my sons might be gay, you harlots!”

  • WallofSleep

    I see you and Mr. Pieret have already beaten me to that thought.

  • Illithid

    Heck, a skintight outfit on an attractive rear might tempt me to send up a prayer of thanks…

  • queenofmeanie

    What do expect from a nosy housewife that needs to mind her own business?

  • queenofmeanie

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBAj9xsE2KA

    All closed minded people need to take a physical anthropology course.

  • Fester Sixonesixonethree

    Well, if women can’t wear tights in church, then why do we let the men leading services wear dresses?

  • queenofmeanie

    Excellent point.

  • TheBookOfDavid

    Or, to paraphrase Steve Martin’s preacher character, “…and it was painful for me to watch, as they sashayed into the pew before me, stepping all over my tongue!”

  • TheBookOfDavid

    Catholic White sez:

    I would go even farther and say young women owe young men a gentleness not unrelated to the gentleness men owe them.

    Neat trick there, policing other girls’ attire with that beam stuck in your eye. Next time, try displaying some gentleness of your own before ordering others to do it.

  • TheBookOfDavid

    Well, you can’t really expect sound parenting from those who still raise their children in the Catholic church.

  • Vanity Unfair

    I was around the last time leggings were fashionable and, with any luck, I shall be around the next time leggings become fashionable. The whole point of fashion seems to be that a few years later the victims get a chance to say, “Did I really wear that?” That applies to men, too.

  • David Hughett

    Funny! Good point.

  • QuestionMark666

    Next step, Catholics women in burkas? Seems to be what this mother wants.
    No different. Others’ attire is none of Mrs. White’s concern but her potentially pervy sons should be.
    The courts just ruled against skirt requirements at a school in North Carolina, all of these prejudiced ‘dress codes’ should be rejected.
    I instigated protests over a ban on shorts for male students at a public high school 50 years ago next spring [1970].
    You would have thought schools should have gotten over this silliness 5 decades later.