The saga began Wednesday with a letter to the editor in a local Rhode Island newspaper criticizing women over 20 who wear yoga pants in public. Quickly, it snowballed into a "Yoga Pants Parade" Sunday afternoon with hundreds of people walking past the letter writer's house — and a few death threats, according to the author, who said he had only intended satire.
"To all yoga pant wearers, I struggle with my own physicality as I age," wrote Alan Sorrentino, 63, in the letter published by the Barrington Times last week. "I don't want to struggle with yours."
It's a funny letter. The guy ended up with a parade in fron of his house, hundreds of women telling him to shut the fuck up. They pretended it was "peaceful," but I think he got the message.
Sorrentino disagreed as the walkers passed his Knapton Street home, where he had put up a sign bearing the words "FREE SPEECH."
Barrington police officers stood on the edge of the property while some people in the street paused to take photos of the home.
Sorrentino said he received death threats, which he reported to the police. Someone wrote in chalk on the street outside his house that morning, identifying him as the resident.
But Sorrentino said that even if the letter was offensive to some, the event was an "improper reaction."
"This is bullying," he said.
He asked whether a woman would feel comfortable with a similar crowd walking by her home after death threats.
Burke said Sorrentino had "impolitely declined" her invitation to participate in the parade. Sorrentino said her invitation to wear yoga pants and join in the parade was "humiliating."
It was the shaming and the policing of women's bodies that struck a chord with the attendees, said organizer Jamie Burke, who lives in Barrington and called the parade a "positive response to casual sexism."
Here's what I'd like to see: a parade of fat old men like me in front of Ms. Jamie Burke's house in Barrington RI. Maybe we could all wear Speedos and carry "Don't Tread On Me!" signs. Bet that would make her feel all safe and comfy, right?