Our Voice: hoop skirt hooplah

The Editorial Staff

If you haven’t heard, our pals at the University of Georgia are being dealt a great injustice. About a week after an inflammatory video of University of Oklahoma’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity brothers reciting the classic poem “There’ll Never Be a [N-word] in SAE,” UGA’s administration has taken the precautionary measure of banning hoop skirts.

For the unaffiliated (some Colonnade Staffers included), the Kappa Alpha Order and SAE hold formal events that traditionally ask that women attending the event wear hoop skirts indicative of the styling of the antebellum South. This is the way KA and SAE have been doing business since their conception.
So, if you’re hip to what was going on in the antebellum period, you might remember the plight of the African American was something serious. However, there was an alarmingly small amount of damage done to African Americans at the hand of the hoop skirt.

Are there times when “remembering your heritage” tip-toes down the line between racism and nostalgia? Oh, absolutely. The Confederate Flag might offend some people because the history it portrays is a history that was more than unkind to some people. There are other symbols of the time period that are considerably less provocative — for example, the hoop skirt.

A hoop skirt never hurt nobody. Maybe once or twice in a freakish hoop skirt accident, but I’m convinced no one was ever deeply disheartened by a hoop skirt. That’s about half of what’s bothering us here.

The other half of what’s bothering us is that we have one group of people telling another group of people that they can’t wear a particular style of skirt. The freedom to wear whatever you damn well please is a basic human right, and nobody should reserve the right to make those decisions for other people.

What if, for reasons unimportant to this piece, someone wanted to wear a wicked-cool hoop skirt to class?

Conversely, you might ask who would wear a hoop skirt, the most impractical article of clothing on Earth besides shutter shades, to class.

To which we would respond: that’s kind of the point.

The only time anyone would wear a hoop skirt is (probably) for one of KA or SAE’s formal events. Furthermore, the girls wearing hoop skirts to these events might not even care.

The hoop skirt is part of a long-standing tradition that isn’t even remotely born out of hate. Young men still wear suits to these events much like they would’ve in the antebellum South, but suits aren’t typically depicted as hateful or insensitive attire — let alone have they ever been banned from a campus.

It’s the principle of the thing. If someone wants to wear a hoop skirt, the only thing stopping them from wearing that skirt should be the possibility of coming in close proximity with open flames.

So, to our UGA friends- you wear those hoop skirts (if you want to), and you wear them proud.

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