Why men wear the pants

1

October 23, 2015 by Dr. Geyser

Hike up your skirts ladies and gentlemen, and let Dr. Geyser demonstrate to the civilized world the barbarity of wearing pants! It is absolutely as dirty as it sounds. But don’t worry, Dr. Geyser promises to keep it in his pants (SFW) – for now, anyway!

Brief summary of previous post

In our previous discussion, we removed the patient’s pants with our imagination in order to help clarify the boundaries of the medical body. Our conclusion was that, to fully appreciate the medical body and answer questions raised by the male-dominated pair of pants, we needed to place the patient back into his normal attire. In performing this operation, we essentially expanded the medical body by less than an inch on all sides. To take this discussion to the next level, we will need to analyze the medically relevant effects of wearing pants.

To show that we have not been merely flying by the seat of our pants, colloquial expressions are brought to bear fruit on this issue. Those who would like to submit citations from peer reviewed journals on this issue are encouraged to do so. It is actually a lot of work to review the literature on a topic, largely because scientists do not consider this to be of the same value as the research itself. The deplorable state of scientific literature is evidence of its power, much the same as the urban sprawl of ancient Rome contributed to its barbaric allure.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day,” we say. “But what about Chicago?”

Recombinatory techniques for the medical imagination

In order to fully appreciate the meaning of this act, and hence of the conclusions we will be able to draw from it, we must conform to the same methods used to constitute the operable interface of the medical body. This is not as complicated as one might assume, given the amount of scientific research and clinical experience that has gone into constructing the standard medical patient. Clothing is a far simpler material construct to than the body which it conceals, especially since we are ignoring concerns not directly related to the medical body itself. The manufacturing process, the fashion, the functionality of the design — these are at the very periphery of our analysis. We want to expand the medical body by less than an inch, from skin to clothing, from penis to pants. For the medical body is actually made of two surfaces, in direct contact with one another for the greater portion of the patient’s lifetime.

Having expanded the medical body by a radial inch, we are now in a position to properly examine the dangling dew-daddies hanging between a man’s legs. But before we do so, let us reexamine our original question, the question I know must be burning in everyone’s loins:

Why do men wear the pants?

This question is a blank check. Let us decompose it into more manageable question marks.

Why do men still wear the pants?

The utilitarian function of pants is lost when men are ‘hanging out’ around the house. Yet few men have found a manly excuse to wear free-flowing attire comparable to a woman’s dress.

What is the origin of the colloquial expression, where one goes to the store and tries on “a pair of pants”?

This is an important question, for it extracts from language an expression tied directly to the male body. Men have two testicles, and one penis, just as a single pair of pants have two legs. To put on pants “one leg at a time” is similarly penile, augmented with a sense of penetration. In putting on the pants, men are reenacting the act of penetration, passing between the two legs of a singular female body. This also answers the question as to why the original expression assumes that there is only one pair of pants (“Why do men wear the pants”).

How is the word ‘pants’ related to the verb, ‘to pant’?

Before attempting to answer this question ourselves, let us see what Shakira has to say on the issue.

There’s a she wolf in your closet.
Let it out so it can breathe.

By wearing pants, we restrict the normal flow of air around our genitalia. In short, we feel like our junk needs to breath, like a panting dog – or a she wolf. Obviously, pants have this effect on both male and female genitals.

Something you won’t learn in medical school

We are now at a point where the medical, health-related significance of pants can be discussed. If you have not guessed it by now, that is quite alright. It took me two years of ‘thinking for myself’ (i.e. not being in school or reading medical textbooks or wearing pants) to be able to answer this question. It belongs among the stars, as the first post in a growing collection of things I didn’t learn in medical school. Consider yourself lucky to be getting this knowledge in advance of any further education or scientific experiment.

As I noted in a previous post, in a normal adult human being, up to 50% of fecal mass is actually bacteria. Because these bacteria live in the colon, we know they must have an anaerobic metabolism, or at least the ability to exist under anaerobic conditions. Since human beings are dependent on oxygen, it is not intuitively obvious why anaerobic organisms do not colonize the skin. Oxygen (O2) is a highly reactive molecule – a two-sided coin, at any rate, since the high amount of energy we obtain from O2 requires a number of metabolic and structural safety mechanisms that not all organisms possess. The health value of ‘antioxidants’ is that they provide an alternate target for oxygen free radicals which would otherwise react with the plasma membrane, DNA, or some other vital cellular structure.

Just as Staphylococcus aureas does not colonize the colon, the hegemonic domain maintained by Escherichia coli is the colon. E.coli is a facultative anaerobe, and is thus not strictly limited to anaerobic conditions. But because S. aureus and Streptococcus spp. are better at dealing with the aerobic environment of the skin and airways, they form a competitive barrier against skin colonization by organisms like E. coli. However, because pants (and underwear, obviously) restrict the flow of air through the genital region, they alter the competitive equilibrium between the bacteria of the colon and those which colonize the skin. To put it bluntly, pants allow the genitals to become colonized with our own shit.

Now, let me be clear,[1] not all pants are created equal. Basketball shorts, track pants, and some types of dress pants are of a much lighter fabric than the denim variety worn by today’s informal class of shit-besmeared upstarts. Here I must include past iterations of my self: everyone wears jeans at some point in their life, but that does not mean they should continue doing so. Those who enjoy wearing ‘informal attire’ every Friday (or whenever) should really reconsider what is going on below the belly button (and inside of it as well; see footnote).[2] Men who poo-poo the Scottish kilt, or engage in messy semiotic assumptions about the communicative value of women’s fashion, will need to explain more clearly the reasons why they enjoy having their genitals covered in shit.

Summary of arguments raised in this post
  • Without clothes, the medical body is incomplete.
  • It is weird that men do not like to wear dresses.
  • Pants are a symbol of male dominance and sexual aggression.
  • The pubic region of those who wear pants is colonized with feces.
Questions for the Reader

Here is a set questions and topics for interested readers to consider commenting upon.
– Why do you wear pants? And how do you think this might relate to issues of women’s health?
– Why do men just want to get inside women’s pants?
– America is a we-wear-the-pants culture. How might this be related to the social needs present in early (European) America?
– What is the material basis for our concepts of whole-ness? What sorts of problems might we anticipate by applying a wholistic philosophy to the medical body?
– Hospitalized patients wear gowns, ostensibly for the sake of ‘easy access’ for providers. Beyond these utilitarian functions, what other health-related functions are served by the medical gown?
– In light of this post, how can we interpret the eroticism associated with clothes?


  1. I feel like Obama here.  ↩
  2. The umbilichus is also colonized with shit, exposing the most likely source of meaning for this colloquial expression.  ↩

That’s it for now. Tune in next Friday to see how Dr. Geyser teases apart the reasons why men enjoy ‘wearing pants,’ and the implications of male hedonism for women’s health. So long!

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One thought on “Why men wear the pants

  1. […] Update: The second part of this essay is now online. “Why men wear the pants.” […]

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