Hundreds of people convened in the coastal town of Barrington, Rhode Island to protest a man's characterization of yoga pants as "tacky" and "ridiculous."
Alan Sorrentino says he has been subjected to a torrent of abuse, including death threats, after a letter he submitted to the Barrington Times was printed in the newspaper on Oct. 19.
"It’s vicious and intimidating,” Sorrentino told WPRO. "The fact that this is seen as an appropriate reaction to something I wrote in the paper is really disgusting."
In the letter, Sorrentino argued that yoga pants, which he described as "the absolute worst thing to ever happen in women['s] fashion," should not be worn by women over the age of 20.
"Like the mini-skirt, yoga pants can be adorable on children and young women who have the benefit of nature's blessing of youth," he wrote, according to East Bay Rhode Island. "However, on mature, adult women there is something bizarre and disturbing about the appearance they make in public."
In defense of his letter, Sorrentino said he had written it in jest.
"I assumed the character of this grumpy old man that was railing about women in yoga pants because he was too tight to just relax and accept himself in his age and his own ways," he explained to WPRO. "It was meant to sound stupid and creepy."
Nevertheless, a group of more than 300 women and girls dressed in yoga pants organized a parade around Sorrentino's neighborhood.
The demonstrators insisted that their parade was meant primarily as a response to the idea that men have the right to tell women what to wear.
"Women are fed up with the notion that we have to dress for people's visual pleasure," Jamie Burke, one of the parade's organizers, told the Associated Press.
Some of the protesters held signs reading "Peaceful Pants Party" and "I've Got Passion For My Pants."
While the women marched through the neighborhood, law enforcement stood in front of Sorrentino's home to ensure that no harm was done to him or his property.
An openly gay man, Sorrentino said the threats he received in response to his letter echoed the difficulties he faced in the past because of his sexuality.
"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," he told WPRO.