Friday, February 21, 2014

Panties for President

In Kazakhstan, an interesting struggle has erupted between the government and Kazakh women -- over lacy panties. The Customs Union, a "Moscow-initiated trade allliance between Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus," imposed a ban on the import of the panties because they apparently didn't meet the threshold for dampness absorption that underwear need to me to be sold in Kazakhstan and were in fact, far below par in this area.

This trade bloc has been criticized before, in 2012 by then Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, who commented that the union was re-Sovietizing the region under cover of economic integration.

A pertinent quote by one of the affected women:
"It irritates me the most that the authorities want to decide what I should wear," Iryna Davydenko, a bank manager, who travels regulary between Kazakhstan, Russian and Ukraine, told Al Arabiya English. "As if all other issues in the country are solved and the only outstanding issue is ladies panties."
 This is such an interesting issue, one that seems too ridiculous to be true. Why should the the trade union care whether lace panties have a 6 percent absorption threshold? Most, if not all of us, would be hard-pressed to tell the difference between different absorption levels of underwear. This ban makes the non-existent issue seem more important than it really is, creating an issue where there was none before. It almost seems as if this were manufactured to draw attention away from some bigger plan.  In terms of personal rights, the freedom to choose your own underwear seems like the most indisputable.

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