Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Great Baggy Pant Debate

An amendment to the city indecency ordinance was introduced in Atlanta this week to ban baggy pants in the city of Atlanta. City Councilman C. T. Martin, the sponsor of the bill calls it an "epidemic" causing "major concern" around the country. Here is the Fox 5 News report on this story and a brief (no pun intended) excerpt:

Martin says he doesn't want young people thinking that being half-dressed is the way to go.

The proposed ordinance would also bar women from showing the strap of a thong beneath their pants. The proposed ordinance states that "the indecent exposure of his or her undergarments" would be unlawful in a public place. It would go in the same portion of the city code that outlaws sex in public.

Martin says the penalty would be a fine.

As you can imagine, this has caused quite a bit of controversy. Some are saying the style is a disgrace and should be banned, others are saying it's not the city's choice what they can and can't wear.

The ACLU is even getting in on the action saying it's racial profiling as it was originated "by black youth culture." Martin, who is black is standing by his amendment.

While, I would prefer when contractors show up at my house they are dressed appropriately (oh yes, did I not mention that the satellite installers showed up with his underpants hanging out?), and I abhor the look, I also think this is a ridiculous law.
This is nothing more than a government enforced dress code. I mean, what's next? Are we going to be forced to have our shorts and skirts at or below the knee? Will tank tops, t-shirts with certain slogans be banned?
Why would we allow the State to dictate what we can and can't wear?
But, on the other hand, being a non-smoker, I'm all in favor of smoking bans and isn't this just the same thing? The State moving in and telling us where we can smoke and what we can wear? It's all dictating our behavior. Although, as far as I know, baggy pants never caused cancer, asthma, or emphysema.

So, what do you think? Good law that is needed or bad law that forces us to conform? Am I missing something and is it racial profiling? And is it the same as smoking bans or something completely different all together?


  1. I don't think it's racial profiling as my nephew and all of his buddies seem to love the baggy pants thing. It's not my cup of tea, neither is the thong thing, but where will the Big Brother attitude stop? I don't like the way these things look, but indecent exposure? That's going a little to far.

    Smoking bans - I can understand no smoking in restaurants and other public places - there are health risks. These are two different things, but some of the smoking bans may be going to far also.

  2. I know this a late comment - but the laws would be used in situations that would most likely discriminate against just certain people at certain times, such as youth and what's stylish to them. I hope this trend will relinquish itself because it's just unpretty but a law isn't the right way to go. Our society can't be as uptight as it was once before because America has changed (to me, gone down hill from family values and keeping up with what is expected from society) I say "gone down hill" because we aren't making up for the fact that we live in a faster pace, youth driven world with a more open tolerance to culture and being "PC" as once it were just simpler. Grown-ups thought long hair on a boy meant hippie so therefore they were hippies. Girls weren't treated like trash as much as I see them now being treated (men were taught better by mothers) so women act more with a "thicker skin" and wearing what they want to show the world they're rough and tough which really shows they aren't so tough when wearing revealing clothes, but somehow it makes them feel good. What's wrong with being able to judge someone wearing baggy clothes against someone who conforms for social reasons? Let them come to that decision on their own. Let people express how they want because it is a choice that people can make for themselves. Just because someone thinks it looks like crap doesn't mean there is a right to ban the look they are going for. I sure hope they all look back and say, "What the hell was I thinking wearing that?!?"

  3. well....this is going to irritate people, but else will you know its me?

    This style was originally called "jailing" because it imitated the droooping pants after your belt was removed. The very low hanging pants was a sign of a prison "b--ch." It meant easy access. Seriously. So, by all means let them wear what they want, but by the same token, let them know what they are communicating. Oops. My sociology minor is showing.


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