Unless you’ve been locked away in a dark room with Chris Froome’s legal team for the past few months, you’ll be aware that the media is currently thigh-deep in debate and discussion around gender and equality.
Fortunately, I was not in that dark room – my legal career never really got off the ground if I’m honest. To paraphrase Peter Cook: “I never had the Latin.”
Also, I think Froome might have been a naughty boy, so I’m probably not best placed to defend him.
This means I’ve had time to get into the gender stuff instead.
Having given this my full attention I’m happy to report that I’m strongly in favour of men not sexually assaulting women. I also think that kids should play with whatever toys they like, pay-cheques should not be gender dependant, and if men want to wear make-up who the hell am I to tell them not to?
Perhaps because I was born in a decade not known for it’s progressive attitude towards gender issues (that’s the 1970’s, sexism fans), I do carry with me one outdated norm from a bygone era.
It’s fashion related.
Tights, are for women. They are women’s clothing. They are not designed for male humans. Men can wear them, I’d just rather they didn’t. Not in my vicinity, if that’s OK?
Let’s say within a ten-metre radius.
I know what you’re thinking.
You’re thinking: “What misogyny is at work here Mr so-called Ragtime Cyclist?…Explain yourself!”
Tights, as you might be aware, tend to follow the contours of whatever lumps and bumps they’ve been stretched across. I’m very firm in my belief that women’s bodies are far more suited to the job of “wearing tights” than men’s bodies.
Call me old-fashioned but I don’t need to see my fellow man as if rendered from a block of solid Lycra by a Renaissance sculptor.
And yet, alarmingly, between November and March I often find myself wearing tights, and surrounded by an array of other men in tights. Because I’m a cyclist, of course, and the alternative is hypothermia.
And sometimes I consider that option very carefully.Embed from Getty Images
As if that weren’t bad enough, I settle in for the opening weekend of the Spring classics on Eurosport and – thanks very much Belgium, with your clear skies and freezing temperatures – 95% of the pro peloton are wearing tights to keep warm.
I’ve returned from a bike ride, having worn tights, surrounded by a phalanx of men also wearing tights, only to plonk myself in front of the telly to watch 180-odd other men wearing tights.
I can’t imagine what the 1970’s would make of all this.
(Bib tights image: via rapha.cc)