Natalie Southwick
September 12, 2015 12:48 pm

The lazy dressers among us look forward every year to sundress season, when we can look put-together, and even cute, with just one simple article of clothing.

Alas, though, this wonderful time of year doesn’t exist for one town in Alabama — or it soon won’t, if some members of the city council get their way.

Council members in Dadeville, Alabama, are considering a ban on short shorts and dresses in the town of about 3,200, saying it’s only fair in the interest of gender equality.

The proposal actually started as a ban on men in the town wearing saggy pants, which is apparently upsetting enough to city council members that they need to devote significant public time to discussing it. The Alexander City Outlook reports that the issue was originally brought up by one council member, Frank Goodman, during an Aug. 25 meeting, when he presented the ordinance to ban so-called “slacking.”

“We have people walking down the street with their hand in front of them holding up their pants,” Goodman said. “Then they have the nerve to walk into a place of business and ask for a job. If you come to my house you are going to pull them up before you get on my property, much less in my door. I prayed about this. I know that God would not go around with pants down.”

Concerned that the ban was only targeting men, some council members have proposed that the ordinance be expanded to include a ban on women’s clothing like short shorts and dresses with high hemlines.

“My concern is it should be for everybody,” council member Stephanie Kelley said at the most recent meeting, on Sept. 8. “I think for the girls, with these shorts up so high looking like undergarments and dresses so short, I don’t want us to be showing favoritism.”

While other council members have expressed their support for the initiative, there’s been plenty of backlash against a proposal that some see as Puritanical. Dadeville residents have protested the measure on Facebook, calling it a “ridiculous waste of time,” an “example of people giving the government more power” than necessary and a problematic lesson for kids that “you’re supposed to be respected by what you wear.”

Council member Goodman, however, said respect is exactly the point of the ban.

“Who is going to respect you if you don’t respect yourself?” he asked at the August meeting. “The reason I brought this up is I think people deserve respect when they are in public. I think slacking is disrespectful. I think it gives our younger generation the wrong impression of what is cool.”

Despite the public outcry, there’s apparently enough support within the council for this interpretation of self-respect to bring it to a vote soon. Dadeville town attorney Robin Reynolds said he hoped to have the ordinance ready for a vote by the next meeting, although the short shorts addition might complicate the process.

“If the council wants me to write in something for the females – it will take a little more creativity on my part,” he said.

[Image via Muse Productions.]

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