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Yoga Pants Fight Back! Women Protest Sexist Letter Saying They Shouldn’t Wear Yoga Pants In Public

in YD News

Yoga Pants Parade | photo: Jim Davis/Boston Globe

There are few things more infuriating than telling a woman what she should and shouldn’t wear. Telling her she’s “bizarre” or “disturbing” for publicly wearing yoga pants—god’s gift to everyday lower extremity comfort—is literally opening the floodgates for hell’s fury. When 63-year-old Rhode Island man Alan Sorrentino sent in a letter to his local paper (who published it for whatever reason) making such criticizing statements—example: yoga pants are “the absolute worst thing ever to happen in women fashion” that “do nothing to compliment a woman over 20″—we imagine he had no idea the wrath he was inciting (or the casual sexism he was perpetuating).

“To all yoga pant wearers, I struggle with my own physicality as I age,” wrote Alan Sorrentino. “I don’t want to struggle with yours.”

But yoga pants fought back! Well, more accurately, women who wear yoga pants, and the sensical men who support them took it upon themselves to speak out and take  stand, a very comfortable stand.

It all began when Sorrentino’s letter to the editor was published in Rhode Island’s Barrington Times last Wednesday. People read it, were naturally incensed, and responded with “Yoga Pants Parade” which drew hundreds of people (thousands virtually) who marched proudly in their stretchy pants carrying signs declaring “We wear what we want” and other body-positive statements. The parade route led right past Sorrentino’s house.

“I don’t get involved in much in the way of protests and marches and all of that, but this just brought me out because the guy’s letter was offensive,” Ellen Taylor, one of the parade-goers, told the Boston Globe, her shirt emblazoned with “MATURE OLDER WOMAN’ in yoga pants.”


The response may have been more than Sorrentino had bargained for, or expected at all—he maintains that the letter was written in jest—but women are at a breaking point when it comes to these such sexist remarks about their bodies or clothing and find nothing funny about it.

It’s about MORE than just yoga pants, and if you don’t get that, you’re missing the entire point. The tired cultural tradition of shaming and policing of women’s bodies is unacceptable, and it’s about time we say it. “Yoga Pants Parade” organizer Jamie Burke explained on the facebook event page that this was a “positive response to casual sexism.” Burke was clear that the event was not intended to be a “hateful protest” against the man (Alan) but a bigger message to the man (the patriarchy) that “misogyny and the history of men policing women’s bodies” is not OK.

Sorrentino, who in his letter suggested women wear a ‘‘nice pair of tailored slacks’’ or jeans instead, says he received death threats and described the peaceful pants protest response to his “free speech” as “bullying.” Which is funny, and a fine case of pot calling the yoga pants-wearing kettle black.

According to Burke, she had invited Sorrentino to join the the parade, to which he had “impolitely declined,” calling the invitation to don yoga pants and participate “humiliating.”

But after all of this, the guy still says it was a joke. Perhaps now he gets it—we don’t think it’s funny, Alan! Have you not already learned from others’ mistakes?

Here’s Sorrentino’s original letter that set off the backlash:







12 comments… add one
  • Druid- American

    Okay… so… Fellow Men: we need to come together and hunt this mini-skirt hating guy down. His brain is all fouled up – he needs help that only a sanitarium, with leg and wrist irons, can provide… on a deserted island in the land of Burka’s.

  • I think that this plays directly into the non-issues we have been seeing placed in front of us with this election and in general. Seriously, is this going to stop any woman from wearing whatever she wishes? If it does, it is then her choice to follow the viewpoint of a random 63 year old man in R.I. Makes about as much sense as what we have been presented as “debates”. Let’s grow up.

  • Who’s complaining? Men who can’t keep it in their pants? I think yoga pants are quite sexy in their own right, and while extremely stimulating, who are we to stop women from expressing themselves freely? Isn’t it part of yoga, to establish a deeper connection with yourself? Perhaps the only thing that’s disturbing is seeing yourself and your vulnerabilities in those who have the courage to express themselves freely.

  • Karl

    His letter kinda reads like he was trolling everybody.

  • Oh my gosh! I totally want to have a yoga pants parade!

  • I like seeing women in yoga pants. To top it off at the end of the day, it’s their money that bought it so why should I care that much. Lastly come on this is 2016.

  • Matt

    I don’t think he was saying women don’t have a right to wear yoga pants, just that he didn’t think they were always flattering. Part of being an adult is accepting that other people have opinions, and that you are free to act upon them–or not–as you see fit. And if anything, the strictures on men are narrower, if we are to judge by workplace dress codes, the fact that men are assumed not to be qualified to wear any colors that are not black, brown, gray, or camo, the fact that men’s shorts are basically tents, etc.

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  • I’m glad that people are speaking up for their rights

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