Leggings, Hate, and Human Suffering

If you’re alive, and you use the internet, you’ve probably seen something about this post (if you’re dead, and you use the internet, I’m going to assume you have different priorities). Christian blogger Veronica Partridge released a wave of hate and very nearly broke the internet last month when she wrote about her personal decision to not wear yoga pants or leggings in public.

Her thoughts are that tight leggings/yoga pants may cause men to look at her body lustfully and she doesn’t want to be responsible for causing men to stumble. She makes it very clear that this is her decision and she is in no way telling others how to live. So why all the hate? She even wrote a response to her blog post standing by her decision and calling out those who spewed hate toward her. She said she has been called all sorts of names and her husband has been solicited for sexual acts. I’ve read similar things the last couple weeks on all corners of the internet.

What has happened to us, people? We’re disgusting.

I’m not here to debate modesty, we could do that forever and never come to a conclusion, and I personally love my yoga pants. The only reason I’m not wearing them right now is because they were on the bottom of my drawer underneath my jeans and I was too lazy to dig for them. Which is why I love them, they take no effort, and clearly I’m fashion-lazy. But this isn’t really about yoga pants.

What is this really about, then? I’m still not sure. Misplaced anger? Lack of human decency on the internet?

Or maybe we just hate anyone who makes us look inward. When we read an article or blog post that causes us to self-examine our lives we get angry. How dare she tell me what to do! And yet, she hasn’t told anyone what to do. Perhaps if I’m feeling a tugging in my spirit it’s because I know deep down that I need to change something about my life. Instead of going further with that feeling it’s easier to lash out at the source in anger and hate. We don’t do that to someone’s face either. We’re nice people. We never would tell someone in person that we hope they die…

And if you got angry at the haters, you’re not innocent either! I read comments where people lashed out and told a young woman to “go read a Bible and learn about modesty!” That seems like how Jesus would have reacted. Well done (sarcasm).

Today I read this post which lists 10 things we should get angry about before yoga pants. I agree wholeheartedly with the author. Let’s get angry about real things, about injustice, about slavery, about war.

Am I responsible for how I dress? Absolutely. Am I responsible for men’s reactions to how I dress? Absolutely not. Am I responsible for my brothers and sisters who are being killed for their faith every day all over the world? I think so, yes, and this really seems like a bigger deal.

But I don’t think that this means we can’t talk about modesty, and yoga pants. I think we should. Let’s just do it off the internet, shall we? What I think about modesty matters to my community. It matters a lot. And once I can live in messy harmony in my community, serving others, being served, then we can take on the bigger issues of injustice, starting in our community.

Let’s attack injustice the same way we attacked Veronica Partridge.

Without the hate.

 

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