Demetri Marchessini is a retired Greek business tycoon, living in London, and has been a major donor to the right-wing, anti-immigrant UK Independence Party (UKIP). He also has some, let’s say, eccentric views about gay people, black people, women, and trousers, views so, er, eccentric that the folks in UKIP are a little embarrassed to be associated with him. Given that UKIP is filled with bigots in all varieties, that’s quite something.
In an interview last week with Britain’s Channel 4, Marchessini expounded at length on some of his more colorful views. He told interviewer Michael Crick that marital rape was impossible, because “you can’t have rape if you make love on Friday and make love on Sunday, you can’t say Saturday is rape. Once the woman accepts, she accepts.”
He argued that there is no such thing as homosexual love, only lust, because “they go out at nights and they pick up 5, 10, 15 different partners in one night.” Even gays in committed relationships are basically just roommates who still cruise for anonymous sex partners.
And he suggested that black slaves were better off as slaves in America than they would have been living in Africa, because if they survived the passage they lived longer.
But let’s just talk about the trouser thing. Marchessini thinks women should be banned from wearing trousers, because otherwise they just might bring about the end of western civilization.
In a 2003 polemic with the innocent-sounding title Women In Trousers, Marchessini decried female trouser-wearing as “hostile behaviour – they are deliberately dressing in a way that is opposite to what men would like.”
In his interview last week, he explained just how hostile an act trouser-wearing really is. Here’s the whole discussion, from the extended transcript of the interview he posted on his website. I’m putting some of the best bits in bold, but, seriously, the whole thing is pure gold.
Michael Crick: You wrote this book about women wearing trousers. Explain your position there.
Demetri Marchessini: Well this is a very … there are quite a few reasons why women shouldn’t wear trousers. The point of the book, was that photographs of women on the street, they weren’t posed, women walking down the street, and the point of the book is they were all photographed from the rear, because women do not realise what they look like from the rear, they can’t see themselves from the rear. And they don’t realise how terrible they look from the rear. And this was just a series of photographs, of actual photographs of women walking by and a lot of people didn’t like this, because it’s become a political matter.
Michael Crick: So do you think women should be banned from wearing trousers?
Demetri Marchessini: Yes.
Michael Crick: What, by law?
Demetri Marchessini: They used to be, for thousands of years. Did you know that until two or three hundred years ago a woman wearing trousers would be executed? Did you know that?
Michael Crick: Well presumably you’re not advocating returning to that position?
Demetri Marchessini: No, but I am returning to thinking that this is an important matter, something to think about, whereas now they don’t think about it.
Michael Crick: And you think that women are unsuited to certain jobs?
Demetri Marchessini: Wait a minute, let’s just finish this thing.
Michael Crick: Sorry, yeah.
Demetri Marchessini: The first thing is the Bible. If you are a Christian the Bible says anyone who wears the clothes of the opposite sex is an abomination. If you’re a Christian woman you can’t be wearing trousers.
Michael Crick: I would have thought the vast majority of Christians in this country today would say that’s rubbish.
Demetri Marchessini: Well I’m sorry, they’re perfectly free to say the Bible is rubbish, but if you believe in the Bible you can’t wear trousers, it’s up to you to decide. Secondly, for thousands of years after that, it was a crime for both sexes and then eventually when they started wearing trousers, which was after the First War, there were several reasons not to wear trousers. The first is they don’t look as nice as skirts; the second is trousers don’t excite men. Only skirts excite men.
Michael Crick: Why should women dress to excite men?
Demetri Marchessini: Because that’s the only way the world is going to continue. If they don’t, then men are going to stop fucking them, you understand, and may I tell you, with great respect, that the incidence of lovemaking in Western Europe has fallen drastically.
Michael Crick: What, because women wear trousers?
Demetri Marchessini: Well I think that’s one factor. Another factor is because women work. The fact is if men don’t make love to women the Western world is going to disappear.
So Warren Farrell is angry at women for dressing (or undressing) to excite men; Demetri Marchessini is angry at them for not dressing to excite men.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering why women look so terrible from behind, Marchessini helpfully provides a link to another post on his blog which offers this explanation:
[N]ature has shaped women differently from men, and it is women who have curves, and as a result, big bottoms. Men are more straight up and down. It is women who are, therefore, invariably photographed for their bottoms. Furthermore, since women have started wearing trousers, this situation has become worse. Trousers are made for men’s bodies, not for women’s bodies. As a result, they highlight big bottoms. Nevertheless, women go on wearing them.
Evidently, he does not like big butts, and he cannot lie.
Big thanks to the trouser-wearing Titianblue for tipping me off to this important story.
katz: Very nice. I’d forgotten that granite countertops were misandry.
“I tend to prefer pants because they’re warm and comfy, but now that I know they ward off misogynists I like them even more!”
I like shorts! They’re comfy and easy to wear!
I prefer leggings myself. I have quite a rectangular body shape, and women’s trouser manufacturers seem to think that every female has a low waist to hip ratio and irregardless of my body weight, mine is always pretty high. The manosphere has a lot of nasty things to say about me without bringing trousers into the equation. Apparently I’m a physical mutation of feminism. My grandmother had the same shape when she was younger and she was born in the 1920s so I don’t see how this is possible.
I never really wore shorts until last summer, partly so I wouldn’t have to sunscreen my legs and partly because I was a little shy about not shaving them. Turns out shorts are lovely and cool in a nasty humid Massachusetts summer. It does help that my legs have gone mostly bald in the past few years (one strip of hair down the inside of the front of the shin, tiny bit of hair on the toes and at the ankle, and that is all).
And now, of course, there is the pleasure of oppressing Mr. Marchessini in as many ways as possible with my bepantsed butt.
Isn’t it obvious? Whatever the women are wearing – that’s what is destroying civilization. Women should only wear what men tell them to – and then get punished anyway, for the border between slutty and misandrist clothing choices is an overlapping Venn diagram with a “Guilty” set encircling them all.
I didn’t wear many shorts or short skirts either, for a while. Thought that was cuz I was really self conscious about my legs, I thought they were too fat. :/ But the past two years I’ve been wearing them lots and really love them, they’re especially great for me because I have, like, 0 heat tolerance.
I know this thread is probably mostly commented out, but I had to come back because I can’t stop thinking about about Mr Women-wearing-pants-are-destroying-civilization. I just wanted to say that he makes me sad that I don’t live in the UK, because I would totally love to get a group of friends together to follow him around in public, wearing pants. When he looked our way, maybe we could bend over and waggle our be-pantsed behinds at him. And take photos of his outraged face. Just to flaunt our civilization destroying powers.
I also wanted to say how much this blog makes me appreciate that I’m fat, middle aged, have short hair and a bunch of cats. I’m sure it would completely mystify the Misters that I’m married, and got married less than a year ago.
About 20 years ago a politician in New Zealand, Peter Tapsell, told us that trousers with zip flies were worn by women who wanted to steal men’s power, because the zip fly represents the penis.
I have NO idea how he came to that conclusion, but I have always remembered it.