As of January 31st, it is now legal for women in Paris to wear pants!
According to The Telegraph, last July, France's minister of women's rights,
Ms. Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, was given a public request by
Senator Alain Houpert to repeal the ancient, unenforced law
which stated that women must ask permission from the police to be
dressed as men (in pants!) or be arrested.
At certain points (1892 & 1909), an amendment to the law allowed women
to wear trousers if they were "holding a bicycle handlebar or the reins of a horse."
This repeal may seem a tad late although,
Gail Collins writes in her new book
"When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present,"
that in 1960, a young secretary was reprimanded by a traffic judge
for wearing slacks in his courtroom and sent home to change into more appropriate attire...
and most women had to get their husband's permission to apply for a credit card.
It's not so very far away, women needing permission
to be even slightly equal to men.
But at least, you can rest assured that as of this year, 2013,
you can now wear slacks in Paris without the least fear of being arrested.
(Photo copyright: Kirsten Steen)