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May 16, 2014

Men of VC, Strike a Blow Against Sexist Piggery!

Do it for the children:

Who wears short shorts? This summer, men wear short shorts, according to a delightful fashion dispatch from the Wall Street Journal’s David Coleman. “In the past few years, the low-water-mark length of a 15-inch-or-so inseam receded to knee-length (11 inches), then a knee-baring 9 inches, then to a quadriceps-exposing 7 inches and on to the newly fashionable thigh-flaunting 5 inches,” Coleman reports. “If men's shorts were a glacier in Greenland, scientists would be freaking out.”

...If short shorts on men are dangerous, then I welcome a state of emergency. The shorter short can, of course, make for a compelling visual—think Daniel Craig emerging, boy-shorted, from the sea in Casino Royale—but short shorts on men also confer social benefits to everyone. In a world where women’s bodies are often dismissed as “dangerous” and “wrong” when exposed, girls are made to pass fingertip hemline tests to gain access to middle-school classrooms, and authority figures claim that these rules and regulations are put in place to protect girls from boys, pulling the short short onto the other leg implicitly dismantles these sexist structures. Craig’s ocean scene wasn’t just a proud moment for short-shorted men everywhere—it helped to restore the cosmic balance between cheesecake and beefcake in the Bond universe.

As you strut about in your gloriously proud manliness, know that the womenfolk of America are ogling have got your backside.

What a brave new world, that hath such wonders in't.

Posted by Cassandra at May 16, 2014 07:14 AM

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Comments

Back in the days when I was young, and fit, and running just about every day for the Army, I had a story related to me by a friend. A pair of female sergeants were running around the track providing moral support for each other, when one declared "I can't make it!" The other said, "You'll make it, just keep looking at [MikeD]'s butt."

It never once occurred to me to be embarrassed, or angry, or feel objectified, or want to file a sexual harassment complaint. At worst I was bemused. At best I was flattered. But it's possible because the circumstances were such that no one made the comment directly at me, that it wasn't something I was hearing thrown at me all the time, that the sergeants in question weren't approaching me in the hallways and "chatting me up" or anything like that. Nor did I get accused of dressing provocatively in my PTs. So I freely admit that it's hardly the same as what women tend to face in the workplace.

I guess the short of it is, I had a nice butt once upon a time, and it inspired a SGT to run harder. So, my butt did good service for the country?

Posted by: MikeD at May 16, 2014 11:01 AM

The dangle coefficient, aka the static friction force, expressed as Fk=Fnμk, would suggest a limit of seven inches, unless one is indifferent to felony-exposure raps. I hope the equalitarians of the distaff persuasion are not absolutists. I shudder at the next barricade to be assailed - swim trunks. Dental floss pouches and Brazilian defoliation would suggest not only the end of men but the end of days were at hand.

Posted by: George Pal at May 16, 2014 11:13 AM

When I was still playing independent baseball, I was a runner up for the "Golden Buns Award" given by the owners/wives (the trophy was a pair of gold painted dinner rolls). Though as a catcher, I think it had a lot more to do with having my backside to the fans constantly. Chalk one up to exposure. :-)

Today, I pity any woman who is subjected to the image of my fat a$$, even in pants.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 16, 2014 11:18 AM

George is right about this one. Girls may have to pass fingertip-length tests at high schools, but guys who wear these shorts are in some danger of jail.

Nor did I get accused of dressing provocatively in my PTs.

You have doubtless identified the next move in forcing the military to become more politically correct. Be out of uniform, get punished for violating regs. Be in uniform, get punished for creating a hostile work environment.

Posted by: Grim at May 16, 2014 12:08 PM

?
Even my much appreciated WSJ is sometimes subject to NYC fashion foolishness.
Most of us are old (experienced) enough to recall more than a few fashion cycles. When I was young, gym shorts were very short by current standards . . . They were gymnast shorts.

I'll admit I miss hot pants. On the right woman.

Posted by: CAPT Mike at May 16, 2014 01:59 PM

I had a nice butt once upon a time, and it inspired a SGT to run harder. So, my butt did good service for the country?

That made my day :)

I used to be (OK, still am) a huge fan of those little olive green running shorts the Marines wear.

At worst I was bemused. At best I was flattered. But it's possible because the circumstances were such that no one made the comment directly at me, that it wasn't something I was hearing thrown at me all the time, that the sergeants in question weren't approaching me in the hallways and "chatting me up" or anything like that. Nor did I get accused of dressing provocatively in my PTs. So I freely admit that it's hardly the same as what women tend to face in the workplace.

You pretty much nailed it, Mike.

I think this is something most men just do not understand (perhaps because *they* aren't badgering women, they assume women don't get badgered??? I don't know).

I don't know too many people who get offended at simple appreciation from the opposite sex. Everyone likes to know they are still attractive. If that was where it stopped, I don't think you'd hear a lot of the hand wringing over ogling that one hears from women.

But that's not where it stops when you're young. A fair number of guys just don't know when to let it go, and they ruin things for the majority of men who aren't jerks. I've heard several guys comment here that they honestly believe women love being hit on by guys (or desired by them, or some such nonsense). And we do, if it doesn't become a problem.

But there's a big difference between an appreciative glance or comment and aggressive, in-your-face come ons where a guy just won't let up, even in the face of repeated attempts to politely let him know you're not interested. This is something I doubt too many men have experienced (or if they have, it has been one or two isolated instances rather than a steady diet).

I used to hate it when guys hit on me. I wasn't about to go home and jump in the sack with some random dude, and it made me really uncomfortable the way some guys would get downright stalkerish. You don't want to be rude, but politeness gets you nowhere.

I understand why men who are considerate might not be aware of just how often this happens to young women, but it does. It ain't feminism that makes women hate this stuff - the truth is that isn't no fun to be on the receiving end of that kind of attention.

Posted by: Cass at May 16, 2014 03:27 PM

I seem to remember, somewhere in the distant past, a trip to the grocery store...the purchase of a butt book and the promise of a post.
Shirley, that wasn't a dream....
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at May 16, 2014 05:53 PM

I still have some cargo-pocketed stretch climbing / sailing shorts with maybe a 4" inseam. Ha! They're still being made. http://www.sportif.com/shorts/the-original-stretch-cargo-shorts/670170-331/detail

I don't wear them much other than around the house these days. They are very comfortable.

Posted by: htom at May 17, 2014 06:49 PM

I wear shorts to the gym, and kilts to the Scottish Highland Games. FTW.

Posted by: Grim at May 17, 2014 09:17 PM

I think this is something most men just do not understand (perhaps because *they* aren't badgering women, they assume women don't get badgered??? I don't know).

Were I to rely solely upon my behavior and that of those around me, I'd probably come to that conclusion too, Cass. Because there are behaviors that I simply will not tolerate, and this is one of them. I am aware that it occurs (if it did not, it would hardly be as easy to find both anecdotes and data regarding it), but I can honestly say that while I have observed it, I immediately told the guy he was over the line and to walk away. But I can count such incidents over the past 40+ years on one hand.

Posted by: MikeD at May 19, 2014 09:05 AM

Jeez. I'd need several people's sets of hands to count all the times that happened just to me when I was a young(er) lass :p

I suspect this is something guys don't do as often when there are other guys around (probably b/c other guys would set them straight!). Or at least I hope that's what it is.

Posted by: Cass at May 19, 2014 11:46 AM

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