Thursday, July 13, 2006

Britain: Her Latest Crisis

Here’s an appalling article from Britain:

"Wear nice pants" - police tell women drinkers Thu Jul 13, 8:07 AM ET

LONDON (Reuters) - Women going on boozy nights out have been warned by police to "wear nice pants" in case they fall down drunk in the street…

…"If you fall over or pass out, remember your skirt or dress may ride up," (says a public safety magazine published by British police.) "You could show off more than you intended -- for all our sakes, please make sure you're wearing nice pants and that you've recently had a wax."

This theory doesn’t sound like it’s grounded in public safety research or scientific data. This kind of advice sounds like the cops in England are now just “shooting from the hip,” making up advice as they go along.

Why, for instance, do the pants have to be “nice?” Why can’t women just wear sturdy blue jeans, or better yet, overalls? Does wearing a pair of “nice” pants really provide all that much more protection, if a woman is passed out in the gutter? Do that many British women in short skirts really fall down drunk in the street? If so, how is “making sure that they’ve recently had a wax” going to help the situation? And if they take the advice and wear the "nice pants"--who cares whether they've had a recent wax or not? It would seem to me that you either wear the "nice pants" or get the wax, it isn't necessary to do both (unless you're some kind of "belt and suspenders" neurotic.)

The waxing thing bugs me. It seems that that advice isn't offered to promote the safety and well-being of the passed out drunken woman-- it is instead aimed at protecting the aesthetic sensibilities of passersby (or cops on the beat) who might suddenly find themselves confronted by the distasteful spectacle of some drunken woman's hairy behind rising from the gutter.

It seems kind of sexist to me. If it’s wearing dresses and not pants that makes these women vulnerable to attack, what are the British cops telling Scotsmen? Are they telling Scotsmen to change out of their kilts and into pair of “nice tartan pants” before slipping out for a wee dram? It would be interesting to find out if they are advising Scotsmen to make sure they’ve “recently had a wax” before heading out for a “boozy night on the town.” And it would certainly be interesting to hear what the Scotsmen told the police in response to that suggestion.

One wonders: what kind of collective experiences have these British cops had that led to them to adopt this “nice pants/regular waxing" policy? Were there several incidents in which British bobbies got so toasted that they left the pub wearing sweatpants or Y-fronts, passed out in the gutter on the way home, and woke up to find their casuals down around their ankles and their persons violated?

I don’t know. And neither do you. But one mystery has been cleared up. I always wondered why policemen’s uniforms inevitably feature “nice pants.” Now I know. It’s because they think if they get plastered and pass out in the street, wearing nice pants will keep criminals from “interfering with them.” I share their contempt for the intelligence of the underworld, but these cops are living in a fool’s paradise if they’re now relying on “nice pants” to foil criminals. The prospect of having to undo an unconscious officer’s belt and fear of ruining the crease in his trousers is no deterrent at all to an angry, horny thug.

Have such outrages dropped off significantly since cops on the beat started wearing nice pants? If so, I’ll shut up and go home. But if the raw data isn’t there to support this somewhat “cavalier” advice to the public—you can be sure that the Stillwater Tribune will revisit this issue.

At the outset of the twentieth century, Britain ruled half the globe; it was said that the sun never set on the British Empire. Now, a scant hundred years later, their Empire has vanished; their drunken women and coppers lay ass up in the gutters with their knickers exposed--and all the British government can do in response is propose wearing nicer pants and waxing more often. This is one more reason not to support American imperialism in this century--is this the future we want for our grandchildren?

I do know this--if you drink to excess, remember to watch out for criminals and keep your trousers on. But this is good advice even if you're sober, so what exactly is the point, here?


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