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Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantyhose

I've been saving this one up for a searing hot summer day: Sisters, it's time to send those pantyhose south.

I'm not talking about down-around-the-ankles-during-hot-sex-in-a-public-restroom kind of south. I mean, throw those control-top, sausage-wrapping suckers away.

It's OK now. So says the Wall Street Journal and Michelle Obama.

It's suddenly become acceptable to confess what many of us did years ago - shed those nylon casings. Come on, the only females I know who still squeeze into these stifling, sweaty things wear orange shorts up their butts and deliver hot wings to your table. In summer, the only thing pantyhose are good for is tying orchids to a tree in your backyard or smashing your facial features beyond recognition so you can rob a bank.

Last month, The WSJ reported that even on conservative Wall Street, women are going bare-legged. About a week later, Michelle Obama made a pantyhose confession on "The View" and told Barbara Walters et al that she stopped wearing pantyhose a long time ago because "it was painful and they'd always rip."

Which brings me to another point: Not only are stockings confining and sexist, but they're too damn expensive and seem to be designed to be worn only once. The hosiery industry, which has been pulling this scam on women for decades, has seen stockings sales this year fall 7.5 percent over the previous year, according to the NPD Group, a New York-based marketing and analysis company. Let's all shed crocodile tears for the makers of a $20+ pair of stockings.

I have no problem with the occasional pair of tights or patterned hose when it's chilly outside. Even thigh-highs are OK now and then to stir things up on date night with hubby. But that's by choice. No workplace or school - especially in South Florida - should require females to wear pantyhose.

In May, Palm Beach Gardens High mandated that female students wear hose to their graduation ceremony or else they couldn't walk across the stage to receive their diplomas. The school's administration said it wanted to ensure the girls looked like "ladies." There is a special ring in Dante's Inferno for people who come up with rules like this. It involves wearing the scratchiest, tightest pair of control top L'eggs that can be found on a 95-degree Florida day.

That ain't no way to treat a lady.