Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Freedom Burkas

Yesterday, I went shopping in La Crosse (a necessary trip for pretentious people seeking to avoid Target or Wal-Mart, the only stores in Winona).  Browsing around in Macy's, I found myself briefly in one of the many women's sections.  I think I was in a kind of no-woman's land between lingerie and long dresses (they may have been nightgowns).  Wow:  the tyranny of fashion.  So much padded, elastic, stringy uncomfortable-looking stuff in the lingerie.  But the dresses seemed cool.

I have never been very fond of trousers.  Someone once told me that it was the ancient Gauls who introduced the custom of wearing pants to the Roman Empire.  That's another black mark for the French, since pants are simply NOT as comfortable as tunics or kilts or robes.  Can you even get a wedgie if you're wearing a robe? (Wikipedia, that fount of wisdom, says that the ancient Greeks--whose men wore skirts--thought that trouser-wearing Persian men were effeminate.)

Well, anyway, I think dresses are just fine--for both men and women.  In fact, the mall in La Crosse is frequented by a rather hirsute dude who always wears a kilt.  Nobody points or anything.  (I do wonder a bit about the guy, though:  he seems to have no other occupation.  Can skirt-wearing be someone's profession?)  Well, anyway, to pursue my thought...  I like the idea of men wearing dresses.

Only I would never do it, except as a gag (in a French Camp skit, for instance).  The maternity dress in the photo was, for many years, a staple costume in such skits.  I had great fun playing Catherine de Medicis attired in this atrocity.  I think a lot of men feel as I do.  They love the idea of wearing a dress, but, of course, they simply CAN'T--unless there's some socially-sanctioned occasion justifying the seeming perversion (a skit, a Halloween party, or--admittedly a special case--a Gay Pride parade).

Women, on the other hand, feel free to wear almost anything they might see on the shelves of the Men's Department--though beneath it all, I fear, they still don their stringy, clingy, elasticized and padded undies.

My modest proposal is that we stop all this fashion foolishness.  Wouldn't the burka work for everybody?  A lot of looseness for men--no more need to buy clothing three sizes too big in order to give your "junk" room to breathe.  And no more padding and squeezing for women--since shape would be irrelevant.

You see, once again the French have got it wrong.  Instead of banning burkas for women, they should make them obligatory for EVERYBODY.  They could call them "freedom burkas" --or something like that.

If any of the world's governments take up my suggestion and pass such a law, I do have one request though:  please could we have our burkas in at least one or two additional colors?  Black is classy, I know--but it really shows cat hair.

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