Came across this article condemning this fabulous word.
Some excerpts, with my commentary.
Sure, when said within the confines of a lingerie store, by an older saleswoman with a tape measure around her neck and glasses slipping down her nose, it’s fine: “Did you see the black underwire has the matching panty?” But taken out of this context ((In other words, when there’s men involved)), the word “panty” can be grimace-inducing—and there are a few possible reasons for that. ((and they’re all hamster bullshit))
So saying or hearing the word around old unsexualized ladies is fine, but if there’s any chance it could be construed as sexy or feminine, it’s creepy. Got it.
I’ve heard several people refer to the word as “infantilizing.” The addition of the suffix “-ies” (or in the singular form, “-y”) converts the word into a diminutive. Literally: “little pants.” The suffix puts it in the same category as “booties” and “blankies”
This is the dumbest argument I’ve ever seen. The plural of words that end in -y end in -ies and don’t mean “little” anything, and have nothing to do with babies. Companies, faculties, atrocities, implausibilities. Rationalizing and terrible writing at its finest.
It’s funny. It’s funny because the word is a sexual word. If you don’t agree, picture your father or grandfather. Now picture him saying “panties.” I admire the woman who doesn’t shudder.
So? I can’t imagine my dad or grandad talking about corsets or garter belts either, but what does that mean? Nothing. If you judged something inappropriate based on imagining your dad or grandfather doing it, we would die out as a species. I don’t want to hear my dad saying “corset” or “spank” or “sex” either.
Besides, I bet your dad loved it when your mom said the word “panties”.
Why does panties sound sexual? Many arguments could be made, not the least concerning advertising. I have a hunch that the sexualization of the word “panties” is the result of some marketing focus group grasping for a word to run alongside pictures of lingerie models in “tempting” mesh undergarments.
Or it could be sexualized because its the only part of a woman’s clothing that touches her vagina… But I guess vaginas are supposed to be looked at in a non-sexual, “non-threatening” way, so that would make no sense to the author.
Another friend, also male, said “panties” sounds so naughty simply because it refers to something so exclusively feminine.
Actress Christina Hendricks, in 2011, told Esquire that “Panties is wonderful word. … It’s girly. It’s naughty. Say it more.” Personally, though, I don’t know many women who would agree with her.
Oh Christina, I love that woman. She embraces her femininity in such a sexy, unslutty way. Grace with a little bit of naughty. Women could learn from her. Her statement about not knowing women who would agree certainly speaks to whom the author hangs around with.
However, “panties” forces us to call our underwear something sexy, when really we decide for ourselves whether our underwear is sexy or not.
No ma’am. “Sexy” is in the eye of the beholder. We don’t decide that. Because if it were that easy, we’d declare comfy sweatpants sexy on women and beta behavior sexy for men and call it a day.
So far, the best alternative seems to be referring to them by their particular style, like men do: briefs, boxers, boxer-briefs, long-johns. We could call them thongs, boy-shorts, G-strings. Et cetera.
Yes…. Because thongs and G-strings are completely not sexual!
It’s well-documented that women are ahead of the curve when it comes to linguistic ingenuity. When it comes to trends, women often set them rather than follow them—so if women are disgusted, then it’s our responsibility to keep the conversation going. At this point, it might be a good thing to get our bottom-undies in a twist.
Do I even need to point out the absolute irony of the sexism of this whole paragraph? Nah, I’ll let it speak for itself.
If you’re getting your panties in a twist over the word panties, I’m guessing you’re a woman who has been totally sheltered and hasn’t experienced real life outside your tiny apartment full of your man-hating friends. Learn to let it go and embrace your womanhood, lady. You’ll be a lot happier than ranting about names for your undergarments.