Men’s shorts are getting shorter, says the Wall Street Journal’s David Coleman. No longer must gentleman hide their gams under the 15-inch or 11-inch or 9-inch or even 7-inch inseams of yesteryear — the new fashion is a “thigh-flaunting 5 inches.” This is drastic. Coleman tries to explain the extent of the impact: “If men’s shorts were a glacier in Greenland,” he says, “scientists would be freaking out.”
Embarrassingly, I admit that I was also freaking out, or at least, somewhat skeptical. In the past, it is even possible I have been somewhat judgmental about men in short shorts (or any shorts, really). But I am wrong. I am humbled, and I am wrong. At Jezebel, Dodai Stewart illustrates the incredible possibilities of short shorts for dudes. At Slate, Amanda Hess takes the pro-short-shorts argument one step further: men in short shorts are not just visually pleasing, but also actively dismantling a sexist double standard. Consider:
In a world where women’s bodies are often dismissed as “dangerous” and “wrong” when exposed, girls are made to pass fingertip hemline tests to gain access to middle-school classrooms, and authority figures claim that these rules and regulations are put in place to protect girls from boys, pulling the short short onto the other leg implicitly dismantles these sexist structures.
Gender equality means short shorts for everyone. And Hess does mean everyone. Whether you’re a Daniel Craig-in-Casino Royale type or more of a Bill Clinton-jogging-circa-1992 sort of guy doesn’t matter. “In my view, discriminating against the body of the short wearer would be antithetical to the very spirit of the hemline lift.”
And so I take back anything I may have said, ever, that was less than short shorts evangelism. Let it be the summer of short shorts. Do it for yourselves, gentleman. Do it for women. Do it for me.