A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Women of BYU Campus from Being the Target of Unwanted Attention and for Making Them Beneficial to the Purity of Men's Minds

It is a sad scene for those who walk the paths of BYU campus, seeing the buildings and courtyards filled with women dressed in leggings. One can neither walk from classroom to classroom without hearing a mention of this fashion choice nor go a day without being pulled into a modesty debate.  What a tragedy that this topic has been made such a spectacle.
I declare that this choice of clothing is bringing more sorrow upon our campus than any other fashion choice of the era. Women who wear these leggings are prone to criticism and judgmental stares, and it is all a woman can do to keep herself from crumbling under the pressure.
Alas, it is not only the perpetrators for whom I am concerned. The choice of women to dress so provocatively greatly affects every person who would otherwise be pleased to peruse our campus. Other students and faculty are forced to make immediate and shallow assumptions about these women based on their attire. One might presume, for example, that a women’s decision to wear leggings as pants means she does not fully understand the principles of modesty. All those who visit campus, therefore, unrighteously judge these women, leading to a greater concentration of sin.
In addition to the judgments being made of these women, other prominent concerns relate to the young men attending this well renowned school. It is widely known that one of the main purposes of BYU attendance is to find an eternal companion. One great joy of attending this university is that worthy Latter-Day Saint men are surrounded by a plethora of suitable young women, all of whom have signed a code of honor, pledging to live lives that will lead them and the young men to wholesome thoughts and actions. However, when a woman wanders about campus with leggings substituting for pants, it sends the minds of these men in a downward spiral that is in no way conducive to celestial marriage.
Having been a student at this university for a number of years, I have had time to consider the matter at hand in great detail. After hearing my fair share of debates on the topic, I have arrived upon the most reasonable solution to our problem.
I have concluded, after serious contemplation, that the amputation of all of BYU’s female students’ legs would permanently solve this problem of immodesty and immorality. I submit that the ideal time to cut off a woman’s legs is when she reaches the university level. This is the age when men and women start searching for a marriage partner, and it is not acceptable for immodest women to deter others from achieving eternal happiness. This is also a transition period when women must be taken seriously, and substituting leggings for pants is such a despicable and immature act that it would, in fact, be better for the woman if she did not have legs at all.
After some reflection, I have deemed this to be the easiest solution to the dispute. The act of requiring all women to discard all of their leggings would necessitate buying new pants. This would be a tremendous expense and inconvenience, which would put further burden on the tight wallets of college-going women. However, my proposal is comprised of two simple and free acts: amputation of the appendages and cremation of the remains. In contrast to my proposal, methods currently being used to solve this problem involve much debate, which will not result in a definite solution due to the diversity and differences of opinions. We mustn’t continue in this manner any longer; we must put a swift end to the embarrassment of women and the immoral thoughts of men.
As previously mentioned, I have reflected on this solution a great deal, and I have come up with a list of my proposal’s greatest advantages:
Firstly, the portion of the female population that is currently considered “unfashionable” will no longer need to worry over their leg coverings. In addition to its other benefits, my proposal is a step toward greater self-esteem for all women on BYU campus.
Secondly, the removal of women’s legs will lead to an increase of personal finances. A vast number of female expenses include, but are not limited to: shoes, shaving cream, tights, leg warmers, and, naturally, leggings. The elimination of these costs will result in spare money, which can then be used to increase one’s fast offerings or to contribute to other beneficial charities.
Thirdly, as mentioned previously, this act would do wonders for the marriage possibilities on campus. Women would no longer be pre-judged as immodest or immoral based on their use of leggings as pants, and men would not need to worry about being confronted with an uncomfortable situation. Men and women would be able to court effortlessly, and an increase in eternal marriages would follow.
In the case of my proposal, I am inclined to believe that no one objection may be found, unless it be that campus construction would be extended to provide greater accessibility for the legless women. I have considered this in my theory and deemed it inevitable.  I do not, however, see this as a negative aspect. I believe the act of amputating women’s legs would only increase the value of the construction that is constantly being implemented. Students everywhere would come to realize the purpose of the construction, and, in turn, would welcome it as a means of making their campus more accessible.
After years of debating the modesty of leggings, being forced to give an opinion, and judging other women unrighteously, I am blessed to have come to such a solution for the ongoing problem. Were someone to present a different resolution, I would be willing to hear his argument. However, until that time, it is imperative that we implement my proposal immediately so as to prevent further side effects of leggings on campus.
If there are any who question my method, I invite them to interview the women on campus. Would they rather be judged, risk being a burden on a young man’s mind, miss an opportunity to be married for eternity, or have the ability to walk? We must remember that each man and women will be resurrected in his or her perfect form. One must ask if it is not worth the temporary mortal sacrifice to live a life of celestial glory in the hereafter?
In closing, I must assure that I have no ulterior motive in this proposal. My intentions are pure; I wish only to rid our campus of the quarry that tears at the self-esteem of divine daughters of God. Owning no leggings of my own, I can say that this proposal is not made in selfishness, but that I am merely looking to aid those whose campus I share. 

unedited image via

This paper was written for my History of Creativity class. It is based on Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal," a satire written in the 1700s suggesting that parents eat their children as a solution to Ireland's hunger problem. The paper was awarded full points, something that I bragged about in a previous post, and dear Kelsey suggested that I share it. Swift's original work can be found hereThe BYU honor code can be found here here.


  1. Excellent idea and solution to the awkward problem currently facing the entire atident body at BYU. How well thought out your points are! I would like to take it a step further and propose that after the amputation of legs, the female students should wear a kind of shroud, draping them head to stump, so as to avoid causing any uncomfortable moments of misinterpreted body language, and halt any potential sightings of any other female body parts that may cause the young men to have sinful thoughts.

  2. That was amazing.

    Additionally, this would also address the many quandaries that young women face when wearing shorts & skirts.

  3. This is special. You are a real gem, Sadie. How did we never think of this before.

    Swift would be proud.

  4. The one thing that kept popping into my head was, sure you'll save them money on all the things mentioned, but you didn't take into account of things they will have to purchase. They will have to pay for the amputation, any form of altered travel - like a car with buttons on the steering wheel for gas/brakes, a wheelchair and all its maintenance and accessories like cushions for it etc, any home changes to help someone with no legs. None of that stuff is cheap. :) Awesome paper though!

  5. I have been looking forward to this post ever since you mentioned it :-) Very clever, sadie.

  6. HAHA. I'm not even going to try and say something witty. The gist would just be that I LOVE it. You are great.

  7. Burkas! Either that extreme, or just turn BYU into a nudist campus and forbid all clothing.

  8. Your brain is amazing. I'm so glad you're putting it out there

  9. I will never forget when I first read Swift's paper, and this was so spot on! haha I loved it :)