I Have an Unpopular Opinion- DP Challenge

I love when the DP Challenge covers something I just wrote about – like here …


Right after I’m done listening to David Bowie’s “Fashion”

– I’m gonna rant a little bit.

About the Clothing Police –

Are we ready? Good – let’s get to it.

Recently, I read an article about how overjoyed a lot of folks in Texas were because a couple of the McDonald’s were banning people from coming in with ‘sagging pants, excluding toddlers aged 3 and under’ (but not man-babies). Even the commenters, who you can usually count on to show a particularly ugly shade of derision and disagreement, were funneling their hatred towards a resounding “Huzzah” for this ban.

It kind of alarms me – who cares if someone wants to walk with their pants down below their butts? They’re the ones that look like that; not me – so why would I care? And so vehemently? One person claimed it ‘disrespected women’.  I’m not sure I agree. As long as their body parts are inside their boxers, why is that disrespectful to me? It’s not ME wearing it.  I am in no way involved or affected by their clothing choices.

I don’t like that people are so quick to ban clothing in places and we are all so happy about it – it doesn’t hurt ANYONE if someone is wearing saggy trousers.  It’s really about targeting a subculture within our society that people may not like and making ‘rules’ that subversively exclude them under the guise of some sort of clothing police. Why is it that we can wear boxer shorts as shorts but as soon as there is a pair of pants over the boxer that show it’s horrifying?  I wear thermal underwear under my skirts in the wintertime and EVERYONE can see them. And as far as I know, all those people survived.  I don’t much care about seeing people’s underwear.

And then it gets crazy

While some schools and businesses have sought to slap bans on other clothing, such as leggings,skinny jeans, and T-shirts with offensive slogans, saggy pants are the most commonly targeted piece of attire. In Texas alone, entire malls have banned people from wearing them, as has the Fort Worth, Texas, public bus system. Recently, more than a dozen Houston-area apartment complexes have instituted a fine of $100 or even eviction for renters who wear saggy pants on the properties.

Ok so now imagine that the next things banned are rainbow logos, Yarmulkes, bra straps, YOGA PANTS – and you now have to pay a FINE or you might be EVICTED from your apartment because someone decided they didn’t like you because you’re not heterosexual or you’re Jewish or they think you dress trashy, or you’re over 34 (Ok, I’m joking about the yoga pants, obviously…maybe).

In my opinion, banning fashion trends in public places – no matter how stupid – are pretty much opening the door for allowing a wide range of discrimination in the future. It reminds me of the famous quote by Paster Niemoller

“First They Came for the Jews”
By Pastor Niemoller

First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.

These kinds of bans, to me, are just history repeating itself.  But there’s a solution – a way to break the chain without resorting to bans…


Don’t like saggy pants? Don’t wear saggy pants.  Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy.

About Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher

I'm a research librarian for Public Television, story teller, bike commuter, baker, music fiend, lover of reading & books, mother, wife, friend - and many more descriptive adjectives and nouns.
This entry was posted in Aversions, Bowie, Censorship, Clothing, Fashion, Humor, Philosophy, Random Thoughts, Society and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

71 Responses to I Have an Unpopular Opinion- DP Challenge

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  3. Love this post, and I’m totally with you. It’s the thin edge of a thoroughly scary wedge.

    But as a non-American, I’m also…well…gobsmacked, really. In a state where someone can come into Maccas armed to the teeth (as long as he’s in a suit, presumably) and potentially shoot up the entire store, they worry about saggy pants? Sorry, don’t get the priorities at all.

  4. geanieroake says:

    I know, it’s a slippery slope. But as far as the pants go, it’s more about the statement they are making. Look at me, my pants are hanging off my butt and you can’t do anything about it. I guess there’s two sides, but I sure hate to see it.

    • It’s totally about the statement they’re making – and for me, the freedom to get to make it. I wore things out of the norm in high school for those same reasons – and if it tweaked/torqued my parents and other adults – even better 🙂 But once we ban one thing – it can fly out of control and before you know, we’re banning all sorts of things b/c we ‘don’t like them’ – thanks for reading and commenting.

      • geanieroake says:

        Hmm, this is an interesting idea you’ve brought up. Of course we don’t want to start banning fashion statements, but you can take it too far the other way too, and say, “I should be able to go out in public naked. It’s not hurting anyone etc.” But as a society we’ve agreed that’s not O.K. so we have a law against it. Where do you draw the line?

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  6. As much as I hate seeing the saggy pants, you’re right about banning them. An apartment building?? A fine? Really? Is that even legal? I guess they can cite “public indecency” but until they get taken to court to clear this up, this kind of madness will continue. Are they going to ban mini-skirts and shorts on women too? Where does this end? Must we also cover our heads “or else”?

  7. girlseule says:

    I can’t believe McDonalds is banning certain types of clothes. I think our local McDonalds would serve people in just their undies as long as they had money!

  8. SocietyRed says:

    Being a natural-born rebel I totally agree with you; except for…
    “In my opinion, banning fashion trends in public places – no matter how stupid they are – that are not actually indecent, are pretty much opening the door for allowing a wide range of discrimination in the future.”
    It’s the “that are not actually indecent” part that I stumble on. Because now we’re talking about making a judgement call about decency. Who gets to make that call? Doesn’t that take us right back to the beginning where saggy pants and yoga pants are questioned as decent?
    Isn’t “indecent” just another word for “that makes me uncomfortable”?
    As soon an arbitrary judgement is made about decency, someone is going to feel oppressed, right? I might think wearing nothing at all is my right, and someone is going step up and call it indecent and probably throw me in jail. So where is the line? WHY is there a line?
    I guess you got me thinking this morning…

  9. Rohan 7 Things says:

    Wow, this is scary and mindbogglingly ridiculous! You are exactly right when you talk about escalation. The old example is of course the way things started in Nazi Germany, as you alluded to. It sounds extreme but many people celebrated the subtle changes and ban put in place early on, and before you know it they are banning the very thing you really dig doing! Yikes!

    And really, who doesn’t enjoy spotting a fashion disaster?! Do we really want a world where everyone is impeccably dressed, in the same damn thing?! People are weird…

    Didn’t know about this, thanks for sharing!


    ps. And really? MacDonalds? Not the classiest join now is it?

  10. shoutabyss says:

    Personally I’m glad to know I’m entitled to your opinion. 🙂

    I don’t get the baggy pants thing. Remember Back To The Future Part 2? In the future, they imagined, kids would wear their pant pockets inside out. I remember saying, “Come on! For crying out loud! They couldn’t come up with something better than that?”

    Turns out they were right.

  11. A thought provoking post indeed.

    But what is at the core of wearing clothes in unorthodox ways? You may say it is draw attention to oneself and, as you have written, you care two hoots about that. But could it also have something to do with trying to subvert the established values that society goes by? If that be correct, what does it imply then? Could McDonald’s reaction be emanating from that?


    • I wholeheartedly agree that saggy trousers are subverting the established norms. As were Mohawks and Doc Martin boots, as were denim jeans as were pants on women – our generations have been bucking the norm for, well, generations. To me, at the root of it, it is making a change to what is acceptable/the norm in a very rebellious way.

      During all of these periods, I’m sure many establishments would have loved nothing more than to deny custom to unskirted women, denim wearing men, Mohawked youth etc. Because, to me, it is not about what people are wearing, it’s all about those ‘hooligans’ that are wearing them.

      I don’t give two hoots about what others wear, but I give a lot of hoots about what I wear and my freedom to choose for myself what I wear. And others to have that choice.

      I still content McDonald’s reaction (banning saggy trousers) is a way to keep a certain ‘element’ of society out of their restaurants. Next it could breast feeding women, or men holding hands etc. I guess my point is “when does it end?”

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment!

  12. BigLizzy says:

    Baga-baby, OH MY GOD! You are so right. Can’t we all just leave each other the hell alone?! Seriously, people. Look at your own freaking flaws and address them. Guess what?! The world will take care of itself. Let’s all mine our own lives for challenges and obstacles to overcome. I’m so tired of this penchant we humans have for regulating behaviors that have no business being regulated. OH! Let’s make government like 1000 times bigger. That’s the answer. Grrrr…..

  13. It’s sad that many people aren’t happy unless they are outraged by something. I prefer not giving a sh*t, topped off with a big dose usually not even noticing stuff like this.

  14. Twindaddy says:

    I’m of two minds on this. Banning inoffensive clothing IS a slippery slope. If you start there where will it end?

    Secondly, it’s not only young black males who wear their pants thusly. It’s a LOT of young men. White, black, hispanic, Asian, etc. The problem with this particular sub-culture is it’s hip-hop. There’s nothing wrong with hip-hop…except for the fact that a lot of it is glorifying their so-called “thug life”..or being a gangsta.

    I think the assumption is that if that type of apparel is banned then those “thugs” will simply not show up. That’s an asinine assumption, but I see where they’re coming from. Also, having apprehended my fair share of shoplifters over the years, I can tell you that baggy clothes are GREAT for hiding shit in.

    Ultimately, though, the problem is what’s offensive to one person isn’t offensive to the other. Personally, I think wearing your pants below your ass is idiotic, but I’m not offended by it. If they want to spend the day pulled their pants halfway up every other step that’s their choice. But banning things has historically failed. I’m not sure why we keep trying to do it.

  15. dentaleggs says:

    As long as the baggy pants, along with any underpants, don’t slide down to ankles and expose a hairy bottom, I’m fine with it.

  16. stephrogers says:

    Yes! I couldn’t agree more. And more often than not (I don’t know because I’m not American, just making a general assumption – I know, don’t crucify me) it’s actually about banning a particular type of person or element of the subculture more than it is about the actual item of clothing, or the actual piece of sidewalk art.

  17. rossmurray1 says:

    I’m pretty sure banning “saggy pants” is a polite way of banning “young, black men.” And, voila, it all becomes clear…

  18. Carrie Rubin says:

    “It’s really about targeting a subculture within our society that people may not like”—I think you hit it spot on right there. And because of that, it’s a slippery slope to start banning clothing items, whether or not one likes sagging pants. Or rainbow shirts, of which I was a proud owner back in the 80s…

  19. My 78 year old mother LOVEs the fact that bra straps have become publicly acceptable 🙂 I haven’t tested her opinion on saggy pants, but I suspect she would only care about the behaviour of the wearer. Wonder what it’s like to have nothing more important to worry about than what other people are wearing! .

  20. I wanted to say that I didn’t really care what people wore, but after a summer of seeing shorty shorts aka random butt flesh, saggy pants seem downright conservative. Plus, it’s funny to see people walk in an attempt to keep their pants up. That duck waddle is SO cool.
    I don’t like laws that govern the superficial and completely subjective.

  21. NotAPunkRocker says:

    I live in a state that made national news when our legislative branch tried to ban sagging pants as a state law.

    Yes, I am so proud. Point is, nothing surprises me anymore.

  22. The Cutter says:

    Actually, there have been some issues with high schools having to ban yoga pants.

  23. I totally agree with you………as long as people wear clothing, why should we care what it looks like. (Though those saggy pants do look like if the wearer makes one wrong move they could be down around their ankles in a flash :)).

  24. MissFourEyes says:

    I’m not a fan of the saggy pants, but all of a sudden I want to wear them just because.

  25. It’s another case of people with limited communication skills targeting the surface of a problem. Maybe they’ve had problems with people who wear saggy pants so they think everyone wearing savvy pants will cause problems. Instead of dealing with the PEOPLE involved (which takes conflict resolution skills) they take on the PANTS. It’s much easier to have a conflict with an object than it is to communicate with real, live people.

  26. Cathy Ulrich says:

    I have to agree with Janet, Denise. It is Texas…

  27. MissTiffany says:

    Well said. I’m not a fan of the saggy pants, but then again I’m not a fan of a lot of the things people deem appropriate in public. But that doesn’t mean I think they should be banned, evicted or fined for it. But I can tell you it does no favors for their first impression.

  28. janet says:

    ………..and of course, don’t live in Texas 🙂

  29. El Guapo says:

    Definitely targeting the subculture.
    Though as an extension of this (since saggy pants have been around for a while), I’ve seen people turn up for interviews in suits with the pants down.
    Any thoughts on that?

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