Yoga Pants are not the Enemy


By. Megan Normandin

I sat in the leadership team meeting and listened as male after male

failed to see the implications of their words,

heard things like Uncomfortable, Distraction, Temptation--

In short, the education of students straight and male

is derailed by the bodies of girls.

The comfort levels of my ostensibly straight male colleagues

was being stretched and violated by the low slung tees of fifteen year olds.

I heard words like Shame -- the name sewn onto our daughters’ skin in

childhood, the first time someone tells them to put a shirt on.

But what about Jon, my brother, and my other friends?

Feeling the wind on their chests as they pop the best wheelie,

climb the old pine, rocket the red rubber ball and round the makeshift

bases in summer sweat...

That’s different, they say.

Those are boys. You’re a girl.

And even a 6 year old, who lacks the language for such sins,

knows. Shame.

My body is something not my own.

I remember that.

And now here I am 30 years later --

a position of power -- feeling like I’m that woman again.

The one who emerges every fall when Powder Puff football reduces

our female athletes to some pinked up NFL sideshow.

The one who strips all the well-intentioned fun from the

Buy-a-Date-with-a-Student-Council-Member fundraiser --I mean,

I know human trafficking affects 27 million people world-wide, but c’mon!

We have to pay for the prom favors!

Well...I AM that woman, I guess.

So I will poke holes in this code of dress bigger than the ones in Tashira’s half-shirt;

This code that should be called Code for Ghetto Girls Who Have Breasts, because

those are the kids that it subjugates best.

I’m sorry -- again boys -- for being that woman,

for bringing this feminist noise to this cut ‘n’ dry issue.

But I’m not just trying to rock my girl-power cape.

The message that girls’ fashion choices are responsible for the behavior of boys and men

perpetuates a culture of rape.

And if you want to feel comfortable...

I suggest yoga pants.