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Portland, OR, United States
I am finishing up my midwifery apprenticeship and plan to be a real midwife early in 2014!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Cutting through to the race issue

I regularly read the blog of a young Muslim woman who lives in Canada. Mostly I find the perspective of someone in a very different religion from mine to be very interesting. But today Asmaa posted a very challenging post. Challenging because it takes an issue beyond the apparent, superficial reasoning and on to the deeper issue of race. Read it here.


Magpie Ima said...

Hmmmmm....maybe it's because I'm white but I don't see sagging as a race issue. I see it on white kids, Asians, Latinos, you name it. And I find it offensive in lots of ways. I don't want to see a stranger's underwear, be it boxers or a thong. And glorifying prison culture where the sagging fad started? What's up with that? Why?

On the other hand, I don't think we need to legislate how people dress. That seems extreme to me.

I was pleased to see that our local high school does have a dress code which is aimed at keeping kids covered and keeping questionable messages relating to drugs and alcohol off their bodies. I have no problem with that.

architect said...

I agree with magpie - and since the saggy clothes look came out of prison fashion I don't understand why anyone would want to glorify the prison experience.

We don't need legistlation, we need parents who will say, "NO! We don't dress like that!" That would kill the young white girl slut look too. =)

Elizabeth said...

I think you're both missing Asmaa's point. I really don't think she's advocating people wearing saggy pants. I commented on her post, saying I was pretty surprised that she would weigh in on this side at all, because she is a pretty conservative Muslim who wears a headscarf, for pete's sake. The point she's making is that the legislation is coming down hard on kids with saggy pants, equaling black kids. Maybe you don't see that as an African-American thing? I don't think I did either, until I moved to North Portland, the diverse section of Portland. Where we have just as many, or more, black folks on our street as white. And I have seen more butts hanging out than I ever wanted to.

Yeah, I was just going through the households on our block. On our street, a one block radius. Here's how it goes:
White, black, white, white, white (us). Across the street, Latino, black, black, black and white, white, black.

So, as with lots of things, I don't support people dressing like that. But I certainly don't think we need to make laws about it, and we don't need to assume that people who dress that way are up to no good, unemployed, etc.

Molly Newman said...

I find Confederate-flag baseball caps and t-shirts with lowriders and bikini ladies far more offensive than sagging pants. Can we ban those first, please?

Honestly, as long as there are boxers under the pants, it doesn't seem bad to me at all... isn't it just like a camisole showing under a button-down shirt? And I agree that this banning trend has undeniable racial overtones; at the school where my mom teaches, there are entire color families that the kids can't wear at all for their supposed gang connotations. So, naturally, when wearing red is outlawed, only outlaws will wear red...