Geese, ganders, and hypotheticals
In case you don't get it, let me explain. On the left is a young man, or at least a young man's checkered boxers and jeans. On the right are two young women, or at least their undies and jeans.
So when you see a person - typically a young man - wearing such loose trousers, like the guy on the left, that his skivvies are showing what is your snap judgment, your immediate reaction? And what about when you see a person - typically a young woman - wearing such snug, low-riding jeans, like the women on the right, that their undies and sometimes even their half bare behinds are showing?
I'll be honest. My instant reaction is usually the same, whether the offender is male or female. I usually feel scorn at such a display of poor taste.
However, my second reaction varies, depending on who I'm looking at. We're being honest, right? So I'm a hypocrite. With the guys my scorn is usually followed quickly by intense annoyance. The sight just bugs the hell out of me, maybe because I know that it is a fashion statement that was born in prisons across the country where male inmates' pants sag, because often the inmate aren't allowed belts. That look is nothing to aspire to. With the women, my scorn usually softens juuuuuuust a little and is followed by an old fogyish comment to the effect of "Boy, they sure didn't make 'em like that when I was her age!"
So we find ourselves with this article, posted on MiamiHerald.com last evening. If you don't want to click the link, the abbreviated version is that a growing number of cities across the U.S. have instituted or are trying to pass laws that ban the wearing of super saggy trousers that show off underwear. The logic in every case is that too many young "men" are showing too much underwear, because of big baggy trousers.
Critics say politicians in these towns are unfairly targeting guys who are hip-hop heads, guys who embrace rap culture. Supporters say these guys are being indecent by showing their underwear.
My question is what do the critics and politicians have the bigger problem with, baggy trousers or visible underwear and/or butt cheeks? If it's the former, then their beef is with the baggy look. If it's the latter, then their beef is with the lack of modesty and decorum. And if this is about modesty and decorum, then it doesn't matter how loose or tight one's pants are. The issue is what shows. And if politicians insist on focusing on the bagginess of man pants, then I agree with the critics. I see more thongs peeking out of tight, low-riders on women than I do boxers or briefs peeking out from guy's baggy pants...not that I'm looking for either.
We don't need new laws regulating the waist-band on people's trousers. That's why we have indecent exposure ordinances on the books. If people's underwear show, give 'em tickets and as my grandma would say, smack 'em up side their heads. But if they're actually showing butt skin or loin skin? Arrest 'em for indecent exposure.
Save the passing of new criminal laws for the introduction of new crime.