The Cotton Pantie Debate: Going Local vs Going Global


Written by Joseph Dunsay. After earning a Masters of Science in Ecology and Evolution, Joseph Dunsay became a science writer for international audiences. Find more Jewrotica writing by Joseph here.

Rated PG-13
Hanukkah is here, and so is the Victoria Secret Holiday Fashion Show. After a year in Paris, France and one in Shanghai, China, the show is back in New York City, USA. Despite the global reach of the show, the models showing off their sexy outfits came in the standard size: long and sleek. It is as if the producers want the lean models to resemble those fibers the cotton panties are made out of.

Cotton fibers come from the seed coat of cotton seeds. Like the fibers of dandelion seeds, cotton fibers evolved to help cotton seeds travel to new habitats where they grow into plants. Farmers have other plans for their cotton crops. After harvesting them, the farmers ship the cotton fibers to production sites where they eventually become clothing. Every time someone dons gay apparel made of cotton for a holiday celebration, he’s wearing the botanical equivalent of amniotic sacs that surround fetuses.

The distance cotton fibers travel to get from the dirt to the shirt depends on logistical decisions made by business managers. There are different philosophies regarding the shipment of goods. The statistics on the WTO’s Cotton Portal identifies the untapped potential cotton export of various countries, an understandable perspective for the World Trade Organization to hold. In the other camp, Made in America fans support a dirt-to-shirt approach that keeps cotton local. Customers who buy the dirt-to-shirt clothing can look online to see where in the USA their products were made. Opinions from politicians vary when it comes to global trade.

Israel is no stranger to fashion related debates. The nascent state had an austerity program with rationing based on the cost of imported materials back in the 1940’s. A letter sent by a clerk to the Israeli Ministry of Rationing and Supply complained that she had to wear her heavy winter footwear all year round, because she did not have enough points to buy a new pair of summer shoes. (This is a travesty, because a good pair of shoes can make or break a date.) By the 2010’s, Israel’s economy was doing much better. The cosmopolitan Tel Aviv fashion industry had reached the point where it could support two separate fashion weeks, one for a designer to show off his work, and one he won’t step foot in.

As Jews light their menorahs for Hanukkah, it is worth reflecting on why this holiday is different from Tisha B’Av. Debates over clothing are relatively transient. Some people wear blue, and other do not. Some look for the Made in America label, and others like designs from abroad. At the end of the day, how much one prefers to stay within one’s culture is an individual choice. As long as there is national consensus on core topics, a people can keep the light on and lovers can focus on more important things, like what to do with those shoes and cotton panties.

After earning a Masters of Science in Ecology and Evolution, Joseph Dunsay became a science writer for international audiences. His LGBT erotic e-book launched in the summer of 2015.