Yoga pants are not the problem
Montana legislator David Moore became a ridicule magnet this week for suggesting a Big Sky ban on yoga pants. Reluctant to bag on a fellow conservative, I won’t ridicule him, but I will disagree. I have been enduring perpetual lament in recent years as the culture stumbles to its death. But, quite frankly, we have bigger fish to fry than yoga pants, or any other item from Satan’s wardrobe. (OK, so much for my commitment to not ridicule.)
Perhaps I should be more prude, but I don’t walk around in a perpetual state of temptation because of leggings or yoga pants, as common as they are worn. Every man ought to be strong-willed enough to abide a trip to the grocery store, mall, or walk in the park without fighting an internal carnal battle — especially in a society with pretty disparate standards of modesty. And believe me, I have three precious daughters of my own and a healthy concern about teaching them high standards of self-worth and modesty.
But to impose an arbitrary standard on others through legislation? What in the world? Laws are about keeping people safe and free in an orderly society, for heavens sake. There’s a problem when lawmakers of any ideological stripe start enacting legislation to keep their inner pervert at bay. Most of us probably agree on a basic minimum legal expectation: Cover your genitals. And I’m ok with that level of government intrusion. (A legal requirement to keep my genitals covered is not, in my opinion, tyranny. But maybe that’s just me.) What happens atop the underwear, however, is determined by the societal culture, and if anyone wants to phase out yoga pants, fine. But they should convince, not mandate.
Furthermore, the priority-setting puzzles me. When our teenage boys are a few mouse clicks or screen swipes away from a limitless library of high definition hardcore pornography, does it make sense to obsess over leggings and stretchy pants? Perhaps this may be a controversial hypothesis, but perhaps a world with SOME level of temptation makes a great proving ground, a spiritual vaccination of sorts. No matter how hard we try, we cannot adequately create, nor exist in, a civilization devoid of sexual temptation. We have to learn to deal with it.
And what about context? A one-piece swimsuit that wouldn’t warrant a second glance at the beach would draw gasps in the classroom. Perhaps there’s a generational analogy. Yoga pants in 1956 may have been the scarlet letter of fashion. In 1986 they may have signaled a kinky invitation. Today, they lead to little more than a yawn — for most. especially when we see what celebrities are (barely) wearing on the cover of grocery-store aisle magazines. Yoga pants are pretty low on the sexual provocation totem pole.
As the swath of normalized sexual behavior quickly widens to include incest and intergenerational sex — the sanitized academic term for pedophilia — we have gigantic breaches in the integrity of our once-moral culture that will not begin to be repaired by replacing yoga pants with moomoos. And I fear the widespread effort to redefine the family and gender — far more than the perky college co-ed jogging in the park, or the soccer mom shopping in the grocery store after hitting the gym.
We have some big fish to fry, indeed, and it ain’t yoga pants.
Neal Larson of Idaho Falls is a conservative talk show host on KID Newsradio 590am and 92.1fm, and also at www.590kid.com. “The Neal Larson Show” can be heard weekday mornings from 8:00 to 10:00. His email address is email@example.com.