The Associated Press reports:
Hundreds of women, girls and other supporters proudly donned their yoga pants Sunday as they peacefully paraded around the Rhode Island neighborhood of a man who derided the attire as tacky and ridiculous.
Alan Sorrentino said the response to his letter to the editor, printed in The Barrington Times on Wednesday, has been “vicious” and that he’s received death threats. He maintained the letter was meant to be humorous.
In the letter Sorrentino criticized yoga pants as similar to a man wearing a Speedo in public and that they doing nothing to “compliment women over 20.” But organizers said even if Sorrentino’s letter was meant to be a joke, the message is clear.
“Women are fed up with the notion that we have to dress for people’s visual pleasure,” said Jamie Burke, parade organizer. The so-called yoga pants parade wasn’t a protest against Sorrentino specifically but part of a bigger movement against misogyny and men dictating how women should dress, organizers said.
Sorrentino likened the death threats and expletive-laden voicemails he says he’s received to what he’s experienced for years as an openly gay man. “It’s vicious and intimidating,” he said Saturday on WPRO-AM. “The fact that this is seen as an appropriate reaction to something I wrote in the paper is really disgusting.”
On Sunday, a police detail was posted in front of Sorrentino’s home, which had a hand-written banner saying “Free Speech” hanging over it. Burke said she advised participants to respect a quiet zone by his home. A call to Sorrentino on Sunday went unanswered.