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Sexism? Yoga Instructor in Booty Shorts Reveals More Than Questionable Fashion Sense

in Ethics, YD News

mohd-abdullah-shortsWell this is off-beat news for a Thursday and actually quite appropriate for the week we’ve had here. You feel a draft?

Mohd Abdullah is a 48-year-old university level computer science teacher in Kamaloops, BC Canada. He’s also been a pilates and yoga instructor at a nearby fitness center for the past year, which was going just fine save for a few complaints about his choice in yoga fashion. The problem? Short shorts! Apparently they are so short they are of a revealing nature. eep!

But Abdullah is standing his ground and refuses to compromise his style, opting for departure from the Centre rather than alter his wardrobe, which consists of 6 to 8 pairs of high-cut shorts (one of which, for some reason is noted, was purchased from Wal-Mart in 1997 for $5– dunno if it’s those in the pic).

So sure you may make snap judgments based on that snazzy photo, but the man’s got a point:

“I think it is discriminating and at the same time, I think it is a double standard,” he said. “Here you have women that are wearing shorts that are half my size and with, excuse my lingo, the boobs half falling [out] — and that’s acceptable.”

Hm. There definitely does seem to be a double standard sometimes. Like guys can’t show off their thighs and ladies can’t walk around topless? (we know what you dudes are gonna say.. zip it!) Of course there’s also decency and respect. Besides all that though, don’t traditional Ashtangis wear speedo-like tighties? (plus the Iyengar loin-cloth whities, not to mention Bikram’s booty briefs etc). Is this sexism?

Mr. Abdullah’s choice in yoga garb is obviously his prerogative, but in light of the recent and enlightening discussion around American Apparel, Tara Stiles and yoga clothing in general, we thought it was an interesting addition to the sexy/objectification convo. This guy’s leggy shorts certainly show off a little more skin than we’re used to, and don’t have a lotus on the butt either.

We’re not sure if the alleged complaints stemmed from students or what, but somehow we have a feeling this guy will end up finding a community where he’ll fit right in. Actually, we’re kinda thinking he’d be perfect for AA’s next ad…Dov we’ve got your male model!


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7 comments… add one
  • he should definitely take some recco’s from my past post on elephantbeans: http://elephantbeans.wordpress.com/2009/03/02/shorts-for-a-ball-free-yoga-classroom/

  • Mae

    this might be a case of sexism, it might not. On issues like these I tend to go with a “I know it when I see it argument.” Is Mr. Abdullah really trying to enrich his yoga practice or is he just providing a glaring distraction for his students? I’ve had male and female yoga instructors who have been scantily clad, but I wasn’t focusing on it because no one was made to feel uncomfortable.
    One thing i know for sure, if there is any signs of slippage, that’s totally inappropriate!

  • Are the family jewels showing? That is the real question. He can wear short shorts as long as his junk isn’t peaking out. There are booty shorts specially made for doing yoga that are tight enough to keep everything in place but loose enough to move in. I don’t know if Wal-Mart shorts will do.

  • Ken

    I agree with the previous posters except I think it is offensive to refer to the male body as “junk.”

    Our society does have a double standard. It is not uncommon to see the outline of women’s bodies (nipples, labia) while practicing hot yoga.

    Men should be able to wear form fitting exercise clothing when appropriate just as women — swimming, hot yoga, etc.

  • the city is Kamloops, BC. I agree the shorts are too revealing but still think women are too conscious of fashion even doing yoga. Stick your head in downward and fogettaboutit!

  • the city is Kamloops, BC. I agree the shorts are too revealing but still think women are too conscious of fashion even doing yoga. Stick your head in downward dog and fogettaboutit!

  • Daniel Sebold

    I would like to know who the man or woman is behind the curtain pulling the strings. Ever since 1988 someone has been brainwashing men into a mortified homophobic fear of being seen showing even their lower thighs in public. Is Michael Jordan in a conspiracy with the Christian right? Why are the shorts in the men’s departments from the knees downwards? And why especially don’t women say anything about it, and why would they complain about a man who wears short shorts? Why, after all these decades of feminism, after all this talk of sexism and equal rights, do women act as if it is their exclusive God-given right to show their thighs in public? Why loath the few males who are sensitive and non-sexist enough and brave enough to protest this sexist tiranny? All this talk of men not being feminine and sensitive was a joke. I can live in a misandrist society. I just go off by myself and do my own thing and forget about women

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