When Maryann White, who describes herself as a "Catholic mom," wrote a letter to the editor of the Notre Dame student newspaper asking women to think twice about wearing form-fitting leggings, she did her best to be diplomatic. "You have every right to wear them. But you have every right to choose not to."
White was prompted to write her letter after seeing a row of snugly clad rumps in the pew in front of her family at Mass. Now, I can think of many reasons to be against wearing leggings to church, beginning with the fact that it's tacky. The blessed sacrament is supposed to be a more solemn event than Bikram yoga. But White chose to found her objection on the temptation that leggings present to hotblooded males, and so an avalanche of outraged feminists duly descended upon her.
The campus group Irish 4 Reproductive Health organized a Leggings Pride Day, and users as far afield as France posted leggings-wearing selfies to Twitter to protest the reactionary suggestion that sexually provocative dress is not the height of female empowerment. Poor Mrs. White's efforts to be diplomatic earned her no goodwill from the haunch-flaunters. Her letter pleaded, very reasonably, "Could you think of the mothers of sons the next time you go shopping and consider choosing jeans instead?" Jeans? To church? Next time, bearing in mind how little good was accomplished by her efforts to compromise with the forces of casual fashion, the Catholic mom is advised to go all the way in her defense of dignified dress at religious services.