A commissioner in Louisiana is pushing a public ordinance that would ban people from wearing anything "sold in the sleepwear section of department stores" in public. Gawker writers Brian Moylan and Maureen O'Connor debate the law.
Brian Moylan: It's a Triumph
Personally, I think that Caddo Parish District 3 Commission Michael Williams is a modern hero. Good for him for standing up for what is right and decent in society. He told the Shreveport Times about the incident in Wal-Mart that spurred his proposal, "'I saw a group of young men wearing pajama pants and house shoes,' he said. 'At the part where there should have been underwear,' his private parts were showing through the fabric." First of all, that is just disgusting, but that isn't even the issue here. The issue is that people think they can wear just any old thing out in public. Wrong.
I actually love pajamas, and I spend many a lazy Sunday lounging around my apartment. But that is the key: in my apartment. There is no reason pajamas should ever leave your house. Period. Even if you're walking the dog. Even if you're studying for finals. Even if your trick's boyfriend just came home and you have to make a speedy exit. Never.
It's not that hard to throw on a pair of jeans. You can even put them on over your PJs and then take them off when you get inside. Or sweat pants. Put on sweats. It's not that hard people.
I've spoken out against pajamas several times in the past and my argument boils down to this: you have to make some sacrifices of comfort to live in a decent society. Every society has rules, and the rules in ours are fairly permissive. It's not like we have to wear collars and girdles and corsets and wigs and heavy overcoats and all sorts of things that jut and spur into our bodies. You can wear a sweatshirt and jeans an sneakers in public. That isn't comfortable enough? If we start to wear PJs all the time, we might as well just get ourselves all cushy fleece sacks to walk around in and be infantilized plushies for the rest of our lives.
Actually we shouldn't because that is gross. We should stop the scourge of pajamas from encroaching on our streets, and if we need a law to do it, so be it.
Maureen O'Connor: It's a Travesty
Give me saggy-butt comfy pants or give me death.
Take your tyrannical tidiness elsewhere, Moylan. This is America, and it is our God-given right to look as crappy as we want, wherever we want. At some point in my life, when I am frail and old, or maybe just going through a dark period when I stop showering and consume nothing but whiskey and BBQ potato chips from weeks on end (not that such a thing has ever happened to me before) I may need to shuffle down the street to the corner bodega in billowy flannel with an elasticized waist. And if you arrest me for it, I will barf whiskey BBQ all over you, and you will regret it.
Yes, "private parts were showing through the fabric" sounds gross. But that's also an accurate description of 90 percent of the non-pajama clothing sold at Forever 21. You can't legislate taste. (Speaking of which: I didn't want to bring your kangaroo pocket hoodie cape into this debate, Brian, but I'm not above it.) To do so would be to stoke violent revolution, culminating in death by Ugg-boot bludgeoning for all members of the elite.
Whose side are you on? Let us know in the comments.
[Images via Getty, AP]