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New object of hate: Guy who complained about older women in Yoga pants

New object of hate: Guy who complained about older women in Yoga pants

Women plan large protest at Rhode Island man’s house as he receives death threats.

The internet moves from object of hate, to object of hate.

Perhaps a prime example was Justine Sacco, who after tweeting an ambiguous, clearly satirical message about AIDS that some people interpreted as racist, found herself the subject of an internet hunt — all while she was on an airplane to Africa. By the time she landed, she had been fired from her job, and people tracked her airplane and confronted her at the airport when she landed. The writer for Gawker who started the whole thing apologized years later.

Certainly there have been many other such examples, but the Sacco incident stands out.

I don’t know if it will reach Sacco proportions, but there is an internet “outrage” gaining momentum against a guy in Barrington, RI, who wrote a letter to the editor of the local newspaper complaining about older women who wear yoga pants:

To the editor:

The absolute worst thing to ever happen in women fashion is the recent development of yoga pants as daily wear outside the yoga studio.

Not since the mini-skirt has there been something worn by so many women who should never have it on in the first place.

From casual to formal, weddings, funerals, shopping, and even for the workplace, yoga pants are everywhere on women of all ages, usually paired with a blousy top and a pony tail hairdo. What a disaster!

Like the mini-skirt, yoga pants can be adorable on children and young women who have the benefit of nature’s blessing of youth. However, on mature, adult women there is something bizarre and disturbing about the appearance they make in public. Maybe it’s the unforgiving perspective they provide, inappropriate for general consumption, TMI, or the spector of someone coping poorly with their weight or advancing age that makes yoga pants so weird in public.

A nice pair of tailored slacks, jeans, or anything else would be better than those stinky, tacky, ridiculous looking yoga pants. They do nothing to compliment a women over 20 years old. In fact, the look is bad. Do yourself a favor, grow up and stop wearing them in public.

Besides, why would you want to wear something that’s seen on dozens of other women every day, everywhere? I thought women didn’t like doing that for obvious reasons. Yoga pants belong in the yoga studio. What’s next? Wearing a “Speedo” to the supermarket? Imagine if men did that. Yuck!

To all yoga pant wearers, I struggle with my own physicality as I age. I don’t want to struggle with yours. Thanks,

Alan Sorrentino


The letter received numerous negative comments, and additional critical letters to the editor in response. All of which seems a perfectly appropriate way to disagree.

But then things turned ugly. The story spread as local women organized a protest (scheduled for Sunday, October 22, 2016) to march past Sorrentino’s home.

This is the original Facebook event page (image via Washington Times):

The protest movement took a local newspaper flap and turned it into an internet rage and national news story.

The AP reported:

Women clad in yoga pants plan to parade through a coastal Rhode Island town in protest of a man who said the attire looks tacky and ridiculous.

The women plan to hold a parade Sunday in Barrington to show they can wear whatever they want.

Their outrage is in response to a letter that town resident Alan Sorrentino wrote to the Barrington Times about his dislike of yoga pants. He said women over age 20 shouldn’t wear them.

Of course, Sorrentino never tried to stop older women from wearing yoga pants, he just expressed his opinion about it. Yet this is being portrayed as an issue of women’s rights:

(added) The organizers even have taken to Twitter to claim that this man’s letter to the editor is the equivalent of French police forcing Muslim women to take off burkinis on the beach:

Many national news outlets covered the story:

The protest story was covered extensively on local television:

And even national news:

Along the way, the protest turned into internet stalking and calls to get Sorrentino. Some of the Facebook comments expressed a pent-up anger that seems to be taken out on Sorrentino, including this message from Jamie Patrice Burke, one of the organizers of the protest:

And this one from a local mother who felt the yoga pants comment reflected a larger societal misogyny:

Other messages were threatening:

Justin Katz at Ocean State Current noted how the protest turned into a threatening mob:

Some women (and men) are planning a parade in yoga pants down the street of a man who did nothing but express an opinion about appropriate clothing (published in a forum that only a portion of even his town’s residents encounter on a regular basis). If it happens, the event will be mainly than an opportunity for some people to live out the fantasy of valor on a Sunday afternoon by reveling in somebody else’s powerlessness.

As with their attempt to stop the newspaper from allowing such views to be published, the parade’s effect — its intended effect — will be to warn others away from expressing views to which fascist agitators like Erin Johnson of Barrington might object. In matters of disagreement with the self-righteous, only those willing to depart from the challenges of their daily lives in order to escalate the fight will push back, isolating the great majority of people who just want to go about life in harmony and forcing them to choose between extremes. (Nevermind that one of the extremes is largely fictional.)

Our society once strove to encourage discussion of differing points of view to foster understanding and to resolve those differences in a way that we used to call “civil.” Guess those days are done.

Local popular radio host John DePetro interviewed Sorrentino, who detailed not only the abuse he has received as a result of the protest coverage, and also his fears for the protesters approaching his house:

Alan Sorrentino, the man who wrote the critical letter about women in yoga pants to the Barrington Times this week, spoke exclusively to WPRO’s John DePetro Saturday and asked organizers to call off a planned protest parade on his home Sunday, saying he has received threats on his life and property. “Please don’t invade my home,” Sorrentino said to DePetro.

“It’s vicious and intimidating,” Sorrentino continued. “The fact that this is seen as an appropriate reaction to something I wrote in the paper is really disgusting.”

Sorrentino shared several voicemails he received with DePetro, including threats such as “we’re showing up to your house you mother f—–,” “die alone b—-,”you’d better watch your f— ass,” and “go die you b—-.”

Sorrentino compared the harassment he is receiving to threats he had received in the past as an openly gay man. “This brings back memories from when you were afraid to stand up for yourself because you didn’t know who was going to descend on you, what kind of physical harm or intimidation you were going to be subjected to.”

The letter was written in jest as a respite from the current political climate, Sorrentino said….

One of the issues is why march to Sorrentino’s house. Why not hold a protest somewhere else?

Bringing hundreds of protesters to someone’s home ups the level of the protest from issue-oriented to vilification of the person, and is tantamount to doxxing.

I reached out to one of the organizers of the protest, Jamie Patrice Burke, for comment on the threats:


I’m writing about the fact that this protest has now turned threatening and the guy who posted the letter is receiving death threats. I saw your recent post about this being non-violent, but I would like a statement from you that I can include in my article about how the frenzy over the event has turned threatening. Why did you organize this as a march to his house rather than some other place? Do you have any regrets about that?

Jamie Patrice Burke:

The Yoga Pants Parade is a peaceful walk of women and the people who love them supporting their choice to wear whatever they want. I am sure Mr. Sorrentino is regretting his letter that has now gone viral and drawn much attention to him. I was hoping he may have had a change of heart and would walk along with us as a sign of peace but my request was denied. I cannot control who has threatened Mr Sorrentino based on his letter, but I can assure you the women at our event are non violent and have not threatened Mr. Sorrentino. When you put your name and address on such a ridiculous letter, you open yourself up to all sorts response. I am not responsible for the response, and neither is the Yoga Pants Parade. We will continue to ensure this is a peaceful gathering of love and support of the Body Positive movement.

Please note this was never a march TO his house, a parade by house house was planned and will continue as planned. We will not be engaging with him or other residents, as this is a peaceful walk with no intent to disturb the peace.

It seems that the organizers are recognizing what they have unleashed. The word “Peaceful” was added to the name of the event (see above for original page image):


Also, as this message calling on people not to confront Sorrentino during the march was posted this afternoon and pinned to the top of the event page:

I submitted a comment to the event Facebook page, but as of this writing several hours later, it was not approved and has not appeared on the page:


The question remains, was this guy deserving of the internet hate being visited on him over his OPINION about older women in yoga pants.

Does he deserve several hundred people protesting outside his house?


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As an older woman I have to agree with Mr. Sorriento. Jiggling isn’t particularly attractive nor are the dimples and dents that show up under these things. Wear them if you want ladies, but realize that they merely accentuate your negatives.

Baby hunts became popular with the political progress of female chauvinism and other civil rights-like movements. Baby trials, too.

DieJustAsHappy | October 22, 2016 at 6:23 pm

Hey, what’s a matter with a lil’ shakin’ and a rattlin’ and a rollin’?!

The schools really need to enforce bans on this semi-clothing. Seen any groups of junior high or high school girls recently? They are ALL wearing painted on lycra or some marginally thicker stretch material from the waist down, which is just about exactly a hair’s breadth from being naked. They aren’t doing this as any form of self expression but because kids that age are hyper-obsessed with fitting in and feel overwhelming fully-internalized peer pressure to wear these “clothes.” They would be mortified to be seen wearing anything different than what everyone else is wearing. It is the equivalent to boys wearing their pants down below their underwear, as if anyone would ever think on their own of doing anything do asinine.

The only upside for them is that it reveals every ounce of bulging fat, creating a very strong inventive for girls these days to not let themselves get fat, a much needed antidote to the unnatural fat-acceptance activism that is constantly pushed on them.

For the older women who think that an expression of fashion taste assaults their right to wear what they want, I geuss we have to eliminate the fashion-magazine womens-magazine industry then, and the fashion industry itself, as these are all nothing but expressions of taste. Hmmm, tempting.

For the accidental provocateur, he should have no trouble finding ways to have fun with the attention.
If they are really all coming to his house to show their wares, how about walking through handing out different colored assessment slips, from “yes, yoga pants all winter please,” to “aaugh, my eyes!”

How to get the local college girls to picket my house naked………Huh. If I lived in Austin it would be much easier.

I like the idea of the women fixing letters on their bottoms to spell out a message to him. It could be very short: Q. E. D.

The activities of “feminists” these days are trivial. That is because their grandparents passed Title VII and Title IX of the Civil Rights act, and then went back to living their lives.

Now, we find a group of women that have nothing more important to do on a Sunday than get together in public so they can look like a bunch of fashion victims. In the process, they have brought the idiot corner of the internet down on some unsuspecting neighborhood.

This is bad Karma, and I wish a full dose of it on Jamie Patrice.

    Paul in reply to Valerie. | October 22, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    Meanwhile, Title IX and other “equality” laws are being bastardized by the progressive fascists, just exactly like some people warned would happen back in the day.

Whiskey Bravo | October 22, 2016 at 7:33 pm

The stupid is getting so deep now that it’s drowning out anyone else with half a brain or more. These days, living life in these United States is like being strapped to a hurtling death machine.

Sad in America how much time is wasted that could be better spent actually doing something positive. False outrage never is.

He is, obviously, right. And that’s the greatest crime of all. Especially when women are involved.

Men know this. Why doesn’t Mr. Sorrentino?

… as an openly gay man.

Interesting. I wonder if that is why.

    Milwaukee in reply to tom swift. | October 23, 2016 at 1:27 am

    The women are doubly offended by his being a “gay” man.

    First the women are offended that any man would have the temerity to suggest they are being offensive to the eye in their selection of clothes. He has rejected their fashion choices.

    Second, he is gay, meaning he prefers having sex and being with men, rather than women, which means he has rejected all women.

    Exactly why was giving women the vote a good idea?

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | October 22, 2016 at 7:40 pm

I don’t take the threats of violence or property damage seriously. Just liberals expressing their hate. He should put the car in the garage and record the parade on video. Just in case.

I always look at idiocy like this and say it is a function of extreme affluence and relative stability. I have a picture of my great-grandfather when he was a young man wearing a straw hat waving to the camera while walking behind a mule plowing a field. I suspect when he was not walking behind a mule he was chopping wood so they’d stay warm in the winter, canning vegetables, tending to livestock or doing the millions of things that have to be done to eke out a living on a farm. He probably didn’t have time to care very much about women’s attire.

This Sorrentino guy has a peaceful life and the free time to pen a frivolous letter about women’s fashion. Now lots of women have the luxury to parade around and pretend like they are victims of oppression because some random dude expressed his frivolous thoughts about yoga pants.

Sure beats walking behind a mule for 12 hours a day.

As any A.A. counselor will tell you, it’s always best to point out the elephant in the room. Particularly if it is wearing yoga pants.

as a female friend of mine says “Spandex is a privilege, not a right.”

the corollary is that, just because they make something in your size doesn’t mean you should wear it.

i just wish that Congress would address the Great American Mirror Shortage, so that people would stop going out in public looking like 10#s of 5hit packed into a 5# bag.

just because you have a strong body image doesn’t mean i have the stomach to match.

Yoga pants were invented for in shape young women. Just because hot women wear them, it doesn’t mean that ANYONE who wears them will suddenly become hot. That is called MARKETING. They do not make someone look fit unless that person was fit when they put them on. Please leave a little to the imagination and cover it up. Looking like a hefty bag full of cottage cheese is not sexy.

If you are not asked to wear spandex, please don’t. Yes, we had a spandex committee, but that was calmer times in the twentieth century when humor still existed.

Formerly known as Skeptic | October 22, 2016 at 9:01 pm

What if he took his own advice and peacefully protested this protest by standing in his front doorway wearing a Speedo?

He should just have thought of Maria’s boobs!

OTOH he should be excoriated for not including anyone named Kardasian.

He should put an enormously large mirror in front iof his house and force them to look at each other.

I am sure Mr. Sorrentino is regretting his letter that has now gone viral and drawn much attention to him.

THIS is the key takeaway. These harridans aren’t interested in a difference of opinion, they want him to not speak and are making an example of him as a warning to others.

Call me crazy, but I think I know how Mr. Sorrentino could best respond to this protest:

Get together a group of men of various sizes and shapes (ideally of the sort which may not be the most attractive), have them wear yoga pants, spandex, skinny jeans or other form fitting clothing… then do some exercise routines or dancing in his front yard.

Echo the larger message that not all body types are conducive to all types of clothing.

And… if anyone (male, female, gay, or straight) objects to the poor choice in attire… go the easy route and label the offendee racist/sexist/homophobic/body shaming/etc.

Henry Hawkins | October 22, 2016 at 9:56 pm

Excellent example of PC speech restriction, driving all towards the liberal mean.

Women sure do like to complain, don’t they?

I know how he can get rid of them. Invite Trump over to shout at the women “That’s OK I’ve seen it all before.”

Sorrentino should write a follow up letter to the editor – go ahead and vote Hillary you totalitarian moonbats – give it 10 years snd you all w/b wearing Burkas….

The marchers should also demonstrate their right to go topless in public.

Frank, I think, was Scarlett O’Hare’s second husband. He asked her to not work at night, and to not go by the shanty town at night. She did anyway, and her honor was offended. Frank felt the need to round up some fellows and go teach those boys a lesson. Scarlett was then a widow for the second time. Mighty convenient. What women wear in public is public business.

While “blaming the victim” is not popular, at what point do we as a society get to say that stupid people playing the stupid game get the stupid prize. He only criticized their clothing choices. He didn’t propose banning. Clearly their are deranged if they are so upset over such a little thing.

This smacks of defensiveness to me. I guess this guy hit a little too close to home. My guess is these women just don’t want to be reminded that they don’t have 20 year old bodies any more and that they really shouldn’t be wearing what they’re wearing.

And it pisses them off.

You don’t care?
You will be MADE TO CARE.
This is the Left. This is what they do.

Sorry folks, but fat is ugly and it is 100% preventable. It is in the category of smoking or drinking to much. It is bad for your health for a whole host of reasons. The Left just refuses to accept the majority of men are not attracted to fat women. No amount of pressure can change a visceral reaction.

AmyinHinckley | October 23, 2016 at 9:32 am

More first world problems – so much time on your hands that you have to hold yoga pants parades on the city streets to shut some old gay man up to ensure that he keeps any further opinions to himself. I know of another gay man that would agree with him on the yoga pants issue – fashion designer Tim Gunn.

The nutty and dangerous lefty’s doing what they do.

When they don’t like your speech they will do everything to SHUT you down. Death threats over a letter about sweat pants?
Come to your home to threaten you and your neighbors. Insane behavior.
What in the name of god is wrong with theses idiots.

I truly hope if there is any damage to Mr. Sorrentino’s home or him that appropriate legal action will be taken.

People have truly gone mad today!

    Typical Alinsky tactic.
    It does seem to be “1984” 2 minutes of hate; only it’s ongoing and on so many different levels!
    Childish and ridiculous response to one man’s opinion. Get over it!

What’s the rule on old men wearing yoga pants? I need to know before a cook out this afternoon.

I am a woman and enjoy living in a country where the WORST thing that can happen to women is that someone writes a letter to the editor about fashion. Too d@mn bad that these women don’t seem to realize just how infantile they appear. Mutton dressed as lamb is an old expression but fits these women’s attitudes exactly.

theduchessofkitty | October 23, 2016 at 3:43 pm

And this is an issue… how?

All I’ll say is: if it looks like you’re smuggling a sack of potatoes under your clothes, yoga pants might not be for you.

Maybe we need to make this a Jeff Foxworthy type thing.

If “double wide” is your pant size and not your dwelling, then yoga pants might not be for you…

It’s not about the fatties. It’s about the fascists.

What about those pants with letters in the a..s, paired with destroyed uggs boots (grotesque products of abhorrent cruelty) worn by girls while shuffling their feet down the aisles of the supermarket, or the little tennis outfits favored by ladies in affluent neighbourhoods, or cargo bermuda pants and flip-flops wear all summer long by guys everywhere, point is, they are here to stay, like with any trend, some people will look better in it than others, so if you don’t like it, don’t look at it, and anyway, why doesn’t he go and judge what gay guys wear? That’s his area, after all.

Yoga pants are for yoga classes, not the streets. I don’t see men walking around in large groups wearing yoga pants in the street and neither should women.

Women seem to think that they can get away with certain privileges and double standards in the way they dress and behave in public. Well, I’m sick of it, and so are my gay friends.

No – repeat, no – privileges for women. The other privilege that women have is that they can wear either pants or dresses without being spat on in public. If a man wore a dress in public, I doubt that many of these women would tolerate it, especially if that man were her husband.