A concerned mother of sons attending Notre Dame wrote a 600-word letter to the editor of the student-run paper to complain about female students wearing leggings to class — because, she wrote, “it’s strange that the fashion industry has caused women to voluntarily expose their nether regions in this way.”
This was all inspired by a recent visit to a Catholic church when her family sat behind women who were wearing leggings. While she said her boys didn’t stare at them, “you couldn’t help but see those blackly naked rear ends.”
Maryann White‘s wish came true. The Observer ended up publishing her letter…
“I’m not trying to insult anyone or infringe upon anyone’s rights,” White wrote. “I’m just a Catholic mother of four sons with a problem that only girls can solve: leggings.”
“Only girls can solve.” As if there’s no responsibility for men to, I don’t know, look away?
In the comments section, sparks flew. Quickly was a protest born.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, students of all genders attending the private Catholic university encouraged one another to wear leggings in a demonstration of how strongly they disagreed with the letter.
Student activists with Irish 4 Reproductive Health, a campus reproductive rights group, called the letter “well intentioned” on a Facebook page for a newly created event, Leggings Pride Day. But it also pushed “age-old sexist tropes that characterize women as unchaste temptresses,” they said.
Good on those women. Hopefully someone can also remind White about what Jesus said to do in the face of temptation: “If your right eye causes you to sin, cut it out.”
While it’s unclear if White’s sons support her or if they’re completely embarrassed by what she did, but if it’s the former, they may want to get those eye patches ready.
(Image via Shutterstock)