Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Stop (Trouser) Press: Parisian Women Can Now Legally Wear Trousers

Here in Britain, we're used to some barmy antiquated laws, from the one where you can kill a Scotsman in York with a bow and arrow to the one about slapping people seen willfully wearing Crocs (okay, so I made that last one up, but it should be enforced). But the Parisians have just outdone us with their 200-year-old piece of legislation, stating that women should not be permitted to wear trousers

 Jane Avril, as depicted by Toulouse-Lautrec, secretly wishing she was wearing jeans.

When the law was enforced in 1800 it was designed to limit the number of professions that a woman could take on, but it became more and more outdated as bikes soon proved popular and then women had to take on men's jobs during World War I. However, without it being officially overturned, there was theoretically nothing stopping a police officer from arresting and detaining a woman just for wearing trousers - until today. 

Strangely enough, it was a conservative politician from France's UMP party who applied for the law to be revoked; it was then championed today by the Minister for Women's Rights, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem. She pointed out that the old-fashioned law didn't fit with the constitution and equal rights principles, so it was thankfully ditched in favour of common sense. 

Vive le pantalon (think I've got that one right - because it's singular in French, like when you read about 'a great pant' in fashion magazines) and here's to some serious trouser displays at Paris Fashion Week later this month.

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