It’s been an interesting week for women. First, Donald Trump called Hillary Clinton a “nasty woman,” and the insult became a viral call for solidarity. And now women in Rhode Island are taking a stand against a man who says women over the age of 20 shouldn’t wear yoga pants in public.
In a strongly-worded letter to the editor this week in the Barrington Times, local resident Alan Sorrentino declared yoga pants to be the “absolute worst thing to ever happen” in women’s fashion.
Like the mini-skirt, yoga pants can be adorable on children and young women who have the benefit of nature’s blessing of youth. However, on mature, adult women there is something bizarre and disturbing about the appearance they make in public. Maybe it’s the unforgiving perspective they provide, inappropriate for general consumption, TMI, or the spector of someone coping poorly with their weight or advancing age that makes yoga pants so weird in public.
Making matters worse, the opinionated Rhode Island resident went so far as to say the tight-fitting pants are especially inappropriate outside the yoga studio on “mature older women,” likening it to “wearing a Speedo to the supermarket.”
“They do nothing to compliment a women over 20 years old,” Sorrentino wrote. “In fact, the look is bad. Do yourself a favor, grow up and stop wearing them in public.”
But it’s Sorrentino who needs to do the growing up, many readers feel. Since the letter was published, several readers have responded with their own letters to the editor saying no one has the right to tell women what they can and can’t wear. (Sorrentino declared slacks or jeans a more favorable choice.)
Some have called the letter “sexist” and “misogynistic,” while others have criticized the paper for publishing it at all.
Matt Hayes, publisher of East Bay Newspapers, told The Huffington Post that the newspaper’s standard is not to judge the opinion of letters to the editor, as long as the letter is not “attacking someone or making misstatements.” “We publish opinions whether we agree with them or not,” Hayes said.
“In this case, Mr. Sorrentino is not attacking any individual nor specific group. It’s safe to assume that his comments target a large portion of America’s female population, and that group obviously has ample firepower to respond to Mr. Sorrentino and his opinions,” reads a comment from the newspaper on their Facebook page.
Hayes says they haven’t heard from Sorrentino amid all the backlash, but would be open to letting him respond to the criticism itself, rather than re-iterating his stance.
As for women of the area, they’re making their voices heard loud and clear. A “Yoga Pants Parade” has been organized on Facebook for this Sunday afternoon to “show dear old Al, we can wear whatever the hell we want.” Around 200 people are planning to attend, to date. The Barrington Times is planning to cover the parade.
“Long gone is the time when a man can dictate what a woman can or cannot wear,” Sharon Wollschlager wrote.
Amen to that.