- The Washington Times - Monday, March 27, 2017

United Airlines, in case you missed the news cycle the last 24 hours, has stirred a major social media controversy with its demand that two little girls cover up their leggings or fly some other plane.

Well, good for the airlines. This whole wear-what-you-want attitude that’s permeated our society in recent years has really ruined some good dining experiences. Who wants to drop $300 on a meal looking at the dirty toes of the sandal-wearing dude at the nearby table?

Let them all have dress codes, I say.

But feminists, like Shannon Watts, the founder of @MomsDemand — who bills her group on Twitter as a “grassroots army working to end gun violence in America” — is outraged. And she’s taken her outrage, like any good Outraged Citizen does nowadays, to social media, where others with similar outrage can express and console themselves.

Here’s a taste of the furor.

From Watts: “1) A @united gate agent isn’t letting girls in leggings get on flight from Denver to Minneapolis because spandex is not allowed?”

And then: “2) She’s forcing them to change or put dresses on over leggings or they can’t board. Since when does @united police women’s clothing?”

And also: “My hot take on United #leggingsgate — ‘Leggings or Lives: What Drives the news Cycle?’ “

From there, readers are directed to — yes indeed — Watts’ full-fledged take on the whole Leggings Crisis, which apparently now has a hashtag all to its very own. Her essay opens with, “This weekend, my husband and I took off for a much-needed week away,” progresses to her witnessing of a “bizarre situation,” and then tells of the sad and scary America — the one where dress codes actually exist.

Another of her tweets: “3) Gate agent for fat 215 at 7:55. Said she doesn’t make the rules, just follows them. I guess @united not letting women wear athletic wear?”

Truly, at this point, one might start to wonder: Was Watts coming from or going to her vacation — because if it’s the former, she might need a redo.

Her angry rants sparked considerable feedback.

“I’m flying @united next week + will be wearing leggings in solidarity with #leggingsonplanes cc:@shannonwatts,” tweeted Amber Goodwin. “Ridiculous sexist policy.”

Oh great. We’ve got the Solidarity Sistahs rallied for battle now. Next up: Wear Your Leggings to Work Day.

But as with most upsets from the left, one need only peel back the surface the tiniest of bits to see there’s an explanation. These girls, it seems, were “pass travelers,” meaning they were allowed to fly for free because their family members are United employees. The company benefit comes with a string, however — and that string comes in the form of a dress code.

Jonathan Guerin, a spokesman for United, said pass travelers are actually “‘representing’ the company and as such are not allowed to wear Lycra and spandex leggings, tattered or ripped jeans, midriff shirts, flip-flops or any article of clothing that shows their undergarments,” the New York Times reported.

Seems reasonable.

Dress appropriately — get a free flight. Likely scores of passengers who don’t have the good fortune of having family members work for United would take that deal, if offered.

The girls could’ve kept their leggings if they gave up their free seats. Which raises a good point: Maybe Watts, instead of spreading the Twitter war against United, could’ve instead started a fund to raise money for the girls’ tickets, so they wouldn’t have to suffer under the Hand of the Man and cover their leggings. Or, maybe she could’ve coughed up her own money to buy the tickets.

Even better: She could’ve minded her own business.

But here’s the thing with radical leftists and feminists like Watts. They fight for silly things. They start dopey battles. And they act as if their causes actually count, in some greater scheme of things. Instead of getting all in a bind about leggings, though, how about railing against a real symbol of women’s inequality and submission?

How about fighting the burqa and Islamic teachings that say women can’t go outside without an acceptable male escort, without head-to-toe body coverings, without permission from their husbands, fathers or brothers?

There’s a cause that could draw in women from all political walks — not just the far left. But leggings? A dress code from a private business? Eh. Not so much. Not really a cause that concerns.

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