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Pants for women

I thought perhaps it was just that I was getting older and because I have a 16-year-old daughter, but it’s not. Raunch culture is with us. And I don’t like it. I don’t like seeing breasts and bottoms everywhere I look in the papers and on TV. Breasts and bottoms are marvellous, practical and fun, as are many parts of the male anatomy. Call me old-fashioned, but I think there’s a time and place for the admiration of these wonderful things.

You’re going to have to take my word for it that I’m not a prude, as I don’t intend to get naked to prove it. But increasingly girls and young women try to look as if they’re sexually available at all times. Whatever happened to feminism?
I’m reading Ariel Levy’s book Female Chauvinist Pigs which describes how women make sex objects of themselves and of other women. It’s fascinating and deeply troubling. Levy asks:
“How is resurrecting every stereotype of female sexuality that feminism endeavoured to banish good for women? Why is laboring to look like Pamela Anderson empowering? And how is imitating a stripper or a porn star – a woman whose job is to imitate arousal in the first place – going to render us sexually liberated?”

It’s a good question. And it leads me to what I believe is the thinnest end of the raunch wedge: not that very young women feel pressure to have breast enlargement or that women who have had children go for pointless vaginal rejuvenation surgery or labial neatening, though I think these sickening. Thankfully, lack of money means that for most women these are not an option. No, it’s the curse of The Evil Thong.

Thongs symbolise raunch culture. For just a couple of quid any girl or woman can buy a thong from M&S. Marketing thongs to 10-year-olds with ‘porn star’ emblazened on them is not responsible. They’ve been very popular but I can’t think why. Unless you are young and/or have a spectacular arse they look terrible, and worse than that, I suspected them to be horribly uncomfortable. To test my theory I purchased one to try. I was right: a string of elastic rubbing between my buttocks felt ghastly.

My husband, knowing my hatred of thongs, was surprised to say the least, when I put on my thong for him to see. He requested I remove them immediately. This was proof enough that thongs are Not Real Pants, were designed only for use in the bedroom and certainly not meant to be worn!

Page three of today’s ‘super, soaraway’ Sun newspaper reports that: “the bottom could be falling out of the thong market … sales are down 28% in the past two years. But boy shorts are now a big hit with the girls, sales have doubled in the past 18 months.”

‘Boy shorts’. Hmmmm… Here are some boy shorts. What a strange name for pants for women and girls. On the one hand we have thongs, which are for clearly for men to either look at or quickly remove and on the other hand we are presented with the new fashion phenomenon of ‘boy shorts’. What about some pants for women? … Some pretty panties where we can put our bottoms and bits safely, warmly and comfortably?

While I heartily cheer at the downturn in sales of thongs, I don’t think it signifies the end of a raunch culture. But at least women are reclaiming the right to buttock coverage and are, in one small way abandoning the idea that they can be like glamour models.

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