The next assault on the South: ban the hoop skirt

When it comes to the Social Justice Warriors and their assault on all things Southern, we probably need a new category of posts carrying a tag of something along the lines of… you didn’t think they were going to stop with the flag, did you? For our next exhibit we turn to Elizabeth Boyd, writing at the Washington Post, who was apparently quite happy that the University of Georgia banned hoop skirts, but thinks that this is a trend which needs to go nationwide. Wait a minute…

[insert sound of record player needle dragging across a disc]

The University of Georgia banned hoop skirts? Apparently they did.

The hoop skirt ban came after UGA Student Affairs administrators met Monday with some UGA fraternity and sorority leaders, including representatives of the UGA chapters of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Kappa Alpha fraternities, both of which have deep roots in the Southern Confederacy.

The ban comes a week after the University of Oklahoma expelled two SAE fraternity members and shut down the university’s SAE chapter because of a racist video made by members. In the video, SAE members chant about lynching, and using a racial slur, vow that there will never be a black member of the fraternity.

I recall the video that came out early in the year of the racist idiots on a bus from Oklahoma and they deserved to be pilloried for their actions. But the school .. banned hoop skirts? I’m sorry, but I deal with reactionary SJW types who do some crazy, offensive, and just plain ignorant things on a daily basis, but that one is taking us into a whole new alternate universe. Clearly I need someone to explain this to me, and as I mentioned above, Elizabeth Boyd is on the job. (Washington Post)

While donning a hoop skirt on occasion may not constitute a hate crime (whether it is a crime of fashion is another matter), make no mistake: The Southern belle performances routinely staged on campuses across the South constitute choreography of exclusion. And most do not even require a hoop skirt. In campus productions — sorority rush, beauty revues and pageants, sporting traditions — young white women serve as signs of nostalgia for a bygone, segregated South and all its attendant privileges…

Just think about mainline sorority rush as practiced on most Southern college campuses: from the demure dress code and insider skit scripts to the clubby decor and Old South embellishments to the carefully rehearsed patter about home towns and family trees, the choreography of sorority rush — typically performed large and loud against a backdrop of faux plantation architecture— practically screams to minority applicants, “NOT YOU!” …

If UGA and other Southern schools really want to lead, they will not only ban the hoop; they will also go after the belle. This will be tougher to do. It will mean discontinuing support for still-prevalent campus productions that promote imaginative connection with the Old South. And it will mean instituting new campus productions in their place. For their part, traditionally white Southern sororities serious about anti-racism will scrap the belle aesthetic and corresponding performances designed to measure it. They will develop new yardsticks for evaluating potential members that are less about looks and more about leadership. In short, they will confront the central role their choreography plays in reiterating race and class privilege. They will just say to hell with the belle.

Before going any further I would point out that this wasn’t something that popped up in the comments section of Daily KOS or Talking Points Memo. This was published under the banner of the Washington Post. At this stage I would normally launch into some argument about how different political and socially charged symbols mean different things to different people and how politically motivated actors try to game the system. On this story, however, I am left briefly in a gobsmacked silence. This is quite possibly the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

Southern gentlemen wore waistcoats, ties and white shirts of a significantly different cut than we wear today. (Visions of My Cousin Vinny run through my head) Shall we ban those? Couples carried parasols to fend off the southern midday sun. Ban them! And what about those big hats that the ladies wear at the Kentucky Derby every year?


Clearly these women need to be arrested. Those are fashions which were worn in a bygone era when people did terrible things which have been illegal for the entire living memory of everyone discussing them today. Clearly we can’t be reminded of anything that happened back then and if you are evil and racist enough to … wear clothing… then you are part of the problem and on the wrong side of history.

If this movement catches on, please sign me up for that Mars One project. I’d like to get off the planet now. The stupid has overwhelmed me.

(The original article was edited to reflect that the bus video was recorded in Oklahoma, not Georgia. My apologies to the Peach State.)