While Maryann White was attending Mass with her family, she noticed something about what the girls were wearing that couldn’t be ignored.
It was their “snug-fitting” leggings.
In an attempt to call on women everywhere to stop wearing the garment, this Catholic mother of four sons sent in a letter to the editor to The University of Notre Dame’s The Observer, claiming she was “ashamed for the young women at Mass”.
“Some of them truly looked as though the leggings had been painted on them,” White wrote. “I thought of all the other men around and behind us who couldn’t help but see their behinds.”
White said that looking at the girls’ nether regions was “unavoidable”, though she assured readers her sons definitely weren’t the ones staring.
“These are not just my sons — they’re the fathers and brothers of your friends, the male students in your classes, the men of every variety who visit campus,” she said.
“I’m fretting, both because of unsavoury guys who are looking at you creepily and nice guys who are doing everything to avoid looking at you.”
White expressed confusion as to how some women find leggings comfortable, likening them to being naked.
“The human body is a beautiful thing. But we don’t go around naked because we respect ourselves — we want to be seen as a person, not a body,” she said.
“We don’t go naked because we respect the other people who must see us, whether they would or not.”
White proceeded to coax girls to keep the mothers and sons in mind when going shopping next time, encouraging them to choose jeans over the “exposing” alternative.
“You have every right to wear them. But you have every right to choose not to.”
In response to White’s letter, women everywhere have started the Twitter hashtag, #leggingsdayND, accompanying it with photographs of them wearing their own leggings.
These leggings might be tight AF, but they still fit my determination to treat every human respectfully and with autonomy in regards to their choices in there ???????? #leggingsdayND #leggings #leggingsday pic.twitter.com/K5uYkrIYcy
— Meghan (@franklydarlin) March 29, 2019
a Catholic mom published an opinion in ND’s newspaper that leggings Lead Men Into Sin so we’re protesting our right to not be responsible for men and to not be constantly policed by morals or femininity #LeggingsDayND pic.twitter.com/bN7oTNheIc
— anne-marie (@anniejarr) March 26, 2019
— Dani Green (@danigreen41) March 26, 2019