June 3, 2011

Fort Worth, Texas Bus System Bans Saggy Pants

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What is the issue?

In a move that smells a bit like cultural oppression, The Fort Worth Transportation Authority in Fort Worth, Texas has recently instituted a ban on saggy pants. You heard right – if you’re a person that wears your pants below your ass, you’re not going to be allowed on the buses in Fort Worth. From Reuters:

“Riders don’t want to see a person dressed like that on a public bus,” Joan Hunter, communications manager for The T, told Reuters on Thursday. “Our customers think it’s disrespectful.”

The saggy pants look has been around for more than a decade, tracing its roots to prison attire because inmates are not issued belts. It spread to the rap and hip-hop music community, and from there became a popular symbol of freedom and cultural awareness for many young people.

Hunter said the new saggy pants policy is simply an extension of the dress code that The T has had for years, which has long required shirts and shoes.

“A lot of different people ride the bus,” she said. “And many of them told us it’s not a good idea to have your pants below your buttocks.”

So up went signs in city buses, reading “Pull ‘em up or find another ride.”

The reaction, according to the Reuters story, has apparently been mostly positive, although I’m surprised loud objections haven’t been voiced regarding the implications of the new policy. What’s next, burkas? Shirts with profanity on them? Exposed tattoos? Because “riders don’t want to see a person dressed like that on a public bus”? Not sure what else to make of this, other than the fact that I’m not surprised to see Texas leading the way here. TC mark

image – Darwinek
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