Middle school boys picket for the right to show off their package

1 Apr





Middle-school boys in Evanston, Ill., are picketing for the right to wear leggings. Steven Hasty, 13, told the Evanston Review that teachers at Haven Middle School informed male students this month that leggings are “too distracting to girls” to be fit for the classroom. How absurd.  Really, what’s distracting about them?






Hasty, along with 500 students who’ve signed a petition contesting the rule, counter that the only thing leggings are responsible for is the supreme comfort of those who wear them. Last week, student protesters reported to class clad in leggings or yoga pants, holding signs like, “Are my pants lowering your test scores?”




The boys’ cause is about much more than the right to bear L’eggs. By emphasizing the disruptive consequences of leggings, administrators are attempting to fix girls’ juvenile behavior by placing an unfair burden on the boys who are supposedly distracting them. (As Hasty put it: “Not being able to wear leggings because it’s ‘too distracting for girls’ is giving us the impression we should be guilty for what girls do.”) The result is that the school is actually preventing these boys from focusing on their schoolwork by asking them to pay more attention to their own bodies.



School administrators have told parents that “if leggings are worn, a shirt, shorts, or kilt worn over them must be fingertip length,” but some boys say they’re being told they’re not allowed to wear leggings at all. And according to Juliet Bond, a parent of a student at Haven, the “students who were getting ‘dress-coded,’ or disciplined for their attire, tended to be boys who were more developed.”



That “inconsistent enforcement simply makes boys embarrassed,” she says. Luke Shapiro, a 12-year-old seventh grader at the school, backed up this claim, telling the Evanston Review that “when both he and a friend were wearing the same type of athletic shorts … a teacher came up and ‘dress-coded’ his, but not his friend” because, he was told, “I had a different body type than my friend.” Added Shapiro: “With all the social expectations of being a boy, it’s already hard enough to pick an outfit without adding in the dress code factor.”




Are leggings a human right? In 1969, the Supreme Court decided that while schools can’t ban students from wearing political messages on their sleeves—like black armbands donned to protest the Vietnam War—that ban didn’t extend to a school’s “regulation of the length of kilts or the type of clothing” worn by students. Schools can still impose dress codes on items that would reasonably “cause substantial disruption or material interference with school activities.”



But there’s a fine line between deeming a type of clothing as distracting, and declaring a body itself to be disruptive. And if girls are really spending too much time staring at leggings (or legs) instead of at the chalkboard, then that’s a behavior that girls should learn to regulate before they’re accused of sexual harassment once they graduate to the workforce.



According to school and district administrators, the dress code will be rehashed at a meeting later this month “in an effort to ensure consistency in terms of guidelines and enforcement across schools.” I hope they’ll listen to the arguments of leggings activists like Hasty. If the school seeks to uphold the rule, they should really have to answer the protestors’ question: Has any girl actually been academically impacted by the way her classmate covers his legs?


And if this is appropriate attire for school:




Then why the hell isn’t this?



Fair is fair, no?


Lots of love,



41 Responses to “Middle school boys picket for the right to show off their package”

  1. Laguna Beach Fogey April 1, 2014 at 20:54 #



  2. Cooper April 1, 2014 at 21:08 #

    Reblogged this on I Struck the Board, and cried, No more.


  3. caprizchka April 1, 2014 at 21:29 #

    As humorous and en pointe as I find this piece, I am reminded of the tragedy of Berkeley’s Naked Guy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Martinez. Of course, here on the West Coast, some of the humor of this piece may be lost because men and boys whoring it up for cash and prizes aren’t quite so unusual as in Evanston…yet.


  4. Michael April 1, 2014 at 21:30 #

    Haha! This one probably isn’t worth the blood pressure. Girls have been getting the same argument for years. Google jeggings and CollegeHumor. Youth will always find a way to show off what they’ve got and the opposite sex will find a way to be distracted by it. A magnificent impulse a million years of evolution in the making won’t be shut down by administrators. As for me, thank goodness there were no leggings in HS. Every few minutes, it seemed, I was distracted, often without warning — and leggings (at least as you pictured them) would not have been the thing to cover my distraction.

    Enjoyed the article. Wish I could still wear leggings.


  5. tteclod April 1, 2014 at 22:00 #

    Reblogged this on A Life Un-Lived and commented:
    My day had been all excitement about workload and new clients and getting jobs done, then a took a minute and scanned the WordPress blogs with “Patriarchy” tags. This one popped out.
    Enjoy the insanity.


  6. Mina April 1, 2014 at 22:49 #

    Black Knighting at its best. Go get ’em boys!


  7. Jeff April 2, 2014 at 00:16 #

    This has got to be an April Fool’s joke.


  8. judgybitch April 2, 2014 at 00:22 #

    Kinda, sorta, but not really.

    Obviously, there are no boys picketing for the right to wear leggings. But if you click the link, there are in fact girls picketing for that exact “right”. I’ve just done a gender swap to show how absurd the idea is.

    And the key point is glossed by every media report: leggings must be worn with a skirt or shirt that reaches fingertip level. Why? Because it’s not the LEG part of leggings that is the problem. It’s the fabric wedged so far up your snatch I can tell if you are wearing a tampon part of leggings that is the issue.

    Keep your vagina under wraps, ladies. Believe it or not, we really don’t want to see it. Even in outline form.

    Can you imagine the outcry if boys wanted to wear leggings that clasped their dicks like shipwreck survivors clinging to lifebuoys?

    Er, no thanks.

    To either.

    Camel toe: just say no.


  9. Paul Murray April 2, 2014 at 01:59 #

    “Popped out”. ISWYDT.


  10. Paul Murray April 2, 2014 at 02:00 #

    Bring back the codpiece!


  11. tteclod April 2, 2014 at 02:16 #



  12. Morris April 2, 2014 at 02:18 #

    “Camel toe: just say no”



  13. bbaker6212 April 2, 2014 at 12:57 #


  14. Spaniard April 2, 2014 at 13:14 #

    In this side of the world only bullfighters have the right to show package and still being condidered straight male.
    The rest of male showing package are considered gay.
    Shaving your hairy chest in case you have it (most men have it in the South of Europe) is very gay too. It seems that in U.S. men with hairy chest is a relic.

    And, for women, extreme upskirts are not very popular here. Not like in England. In UK “vaginal upskirts” are the norm for women from 15 to 60. And I undestrand it coz British women have fantastic legs.


  15. P J April 2, 2014 at 13:57 #

    That REALLY REALLY good !
    Why girls run around 90% naked and blame guys for staring, banning legins for boys would clearly be double-standart, that is : sexist and discriminatory to men, just for being men !!

    Yes, go fight the sexist feminist agenda !


  16. Lean Back April 2, 2014 at 17:32 #

    This is why I believe in the efficiency of neutral, androgynous school uniforms.

    Kids can “express themselves” through their clothing after school hours.


  17. the 4th survivor April 2, 2014 at 18:30 #

    Guys shouldn’t be wearing leggings anyway. Judgy Bitch, you of all people should see that guys in this country are slowly becoming feminized and this is just one of many symptoms of that.


  18. Alan Bowker April 2, 2014 at 20:31 #

    Stop blaming the victims for what they wear. The ones who need to be persecuted are those who rape-stare. Stop the Rape Culture.


  19. feeriker April 2, 2014 at 21:39 #

    Burkhas for everyone, anyone?


  20. Lean Back April 2, 2014 at 23:34 #

    Are you Saudi Arabian feeriker? If not why is your knee jerk reaction to “androgynous school uniforms” buuuuuuurrrrrrrrrkhaaaaaaaaasssssss????


  21. malcolmthecynic April 3, 2014 at 04:23 #

    This was satire.


  22. malcolmthecynic April 3, 2014 at 04:25 #

    How does one “rape stare”? Why are we assuming that anybody who is turned on when a woman displays sexual aspects of herself is also considering rape?


  23. malcolmthecynic April 3, 2014 at 04:27 #

    Unless you’re not being serious, and it’s a sad commentary on society that I genuinely can’t tell.


  24. Lean Back April 3, 2014 at 14:45 #

    Oh gawd. Now what’s wrong with yoga pants for chrissakes?!


  25. the 4th survivor April 3, 2014 at 14:56 #

    Well in that case I’m a fool 😀


  26. Goober April 3, 2014 at 17:07 #

    Any type of clothing that shows off the genitals is not acceptable for primary school. To be honest, it really isn’t acceptable for any type of polite company. I’d be as uncomfortable with a guy walking around with his junk clearly telegraphing through his leggings as I would be with a gal doing the same (cameltoe). If I wouldn’t want the teacher wearing it, then I sure as hell don’t want the kids doing so, and if my kid’s male or female teacher was walking around with their junk showing, I’d take exception to that.

    Therefore, if you can wear leggings without showing off your junk, go for it. This includes boys with the “package effect” and girls with cameltosis.

    I don’t honestly understand why that’s so hard.

    As for primary school dress codes, there are usually a couple of these “controversies” every year or so, about unfair application of dress codes and the like, and it wears thin after a while. When I was in school, we couldn’t even wear shorts, and short sleeved shirts had to be mid-bicep. The idea of wearing yoga pants or leggings like this would have gotten you sent home, whether your junk telegraphed or not, but I don’t think that’s the answer. Zero tolerance is rarely a good option.

    So it’s simple – you can make the automaton excuse and say “no leggings allowed” or you can apply the common sense excuse and say “dude, your junk is totally showing, that’s not cool.”

    By fighting against this, all we’re doing is encouraging the automaton response, and further eroding the ability of anyone to apply common sense to the situation.

    And yes, that means that chances are, boys are going to be disproportionately targeted by this, because it is a lot less easy for them to not telegraph their junk through tight leggings. Tough shit.

    I do think the “girls won’t be able to pay attention” stuff is just delicious, since the opposite of that was one of the biggest argument to keeping women out of the workforce back in the day. How things have changed…


  27. Goober April 3, 2014 at 17:10 #

    Malcolm – Agreed, but I’m relatively certain that Alan was being deliciously satirical in this case.

    Bravo, Alan, by the way. That was awesome…


  28. gwallan April 3, 2014 at 23:36 #

    Going back a while there was a furore over Australian sprinter Matt Shirvington’s genitals. Public complaints were being made by women who didn’t like his “floppy bits” being apparent whilst he was running.


  29. judgybitch April 3, 2014 at 23:38 #

    Was he running in “budgie smugglers”??!?

    One of my favorite strine phrases!


  30. Lean Back April 6, 2014 at 19:32 #

    “Any type of clothing that shows off the genitals is not acceptable for primary school. ”

    I agree. But what does that have to do with yoga pants? I’ve never seen a primary school student wearing yoga pants to school and even then, they don’t show off genitals. And if somehow they did, one could wear a long shirt over them, like this;


    But these “controversies” are precisely why I support unisex style school uniforms.

    Kids can “but mom I need to expreeeeeessssssss myself through my clothing choices” after school hours.


  31. gwallan April 8, 2014 at 20:45 #

    This was in the nineties. It was the early days of one piece uniforms for track and field. Have to say I’ve not heard of “budgie smugglers” but I am prehistoric. Looked them up. Yuck!


  32. Camela Toe April 9, 2014 at 22:26 #

    “We are frankly shocked at this antiquated and warped message that is being sent to the kids. Under no circumstances should girls be told that wearing bloody steaks all over their bodies while swimming in the open ocean with sharks is responsible for sharks’ bad behaviors. This kind of message lands itself squarely on a continuum that blames girls and women for assault by sharks when wearing bloody steaks all over their bodies while swimming in the open ocean. It also sends the message to sharks that their behaviours are excusable, or understandable given thet the girls are wearing blood-dripping steaks all over their bodies while swimming in the open ocean with sharks. And if the smell of a girl’s blood-drippin steaks is too much for sharks at Haven to handle, then your school has a much bigger problem to deal with.

    We really hope that you will consider the impact of these policies and how they contribute to bite culture. Girls should be able to feel safe and unashamed wearing bloody steaks all over their bodies while swimming in the open ocean with sharks. And sharks need to be corrected and taught when they harass girls.”

    “Don’t tell girls not to wear blood-dripping all over their bodies while swimming in the open ocean with sharks.
    Tell sharks not to like blood-dripping steaks !”


  33. Camela Toe April 9, 2014 at 22:27 #

    shouldn’t women learn to controll their primitive impulses now ? ( and not openly follow their impulse to sexually represent themselves to all males in order to fish for the best male ? ). Shouldn’t women really start learning to controll their primitive sexual impulses nowadays ? I think yes.


  34. desperada57 April 30, 2014 at 20:35 #

    Moose knuckles!!!


  35. Konrad July 19, 2014 at 13:23 #

    If women and girls can wear anything they want, and men should not make them feel ashamed or uncomfortable for doing so, then why doesn’t the same apply for men and boys? Double standards!



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