A Pants-less Woman’s Perspective

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photo credit: Paul Martinka

Earlier this month, I blogged (here) about the “No Pants Subway Ride” organized by Improv Everywhere.  On my way home from the AALS, I encountered several pants-less riders at the Jay Street Station in Brooklyn.  I asked two of them if I could take their pictures for the blog, and then gave them my business card with an offer to send a copy of the picture and a link to the blog post.  Later I traded e-mails with one of those pants-less riders, Miriam Rambo (name used with permission).  She accepted my invitation to blog about her experiences that day.  Here is what the ride was like from her perspective:

About a month ago my parents were in New York visiting me and my younger sister from our northwest home, and showed us these hilarious videos on YouTube by a group called Improv Everywhere. I am no performer so most of their”missions”are way out of my league, but when we saw the”pantsless subway ride”, I thought it was the most hilarious thing I’d ever seen. Genius. In a place like New York, something as light-hearted, carefree and humorous as this, I thought, was brilliant. My sister and I moved to New York very recently, and when we found out that we were just in time for the pantsless subway ride, we knew we had to participate. This would be a story to tell for the rest of our lives.

As a woman, it was an interesting experience, to be sure. I was surprised with how uncreepy people were. I think most either understood that what were doing was meant to make them laugh and lighten moods, or, they thought we were totally whacked and steered clear completely. Of course, there are always one or two people who are going to say something inappropriate, but they were the vast minority.

I think the cops were my favorite – they weren’t really sure what to do – they knew that we weren’t there to harm anyone or cause any trouble, and we weren’t breaking any laws – most couldn’t help but laugh with us, especially when we all convened in the Union Square station- there were HUNDREDS of us. Many of us got great pictures posing with some of the cops – pretty classic.

From what I saw, men took more risks with their choices of undies- which makes sense, since they can basically wear shorts and call it underwear. But for me, that’s kind of what was funny and jarring about doing it – for women, this was such a big thing to”forget”(which is the excuse that many of us gave), so many of us got much more strange looks. For the most part though, women kept their underwear pretty normal (there are always exceptions, of course), so as to illustrate the point that this was to be funny, not offensive or sexually deviant in any way.

Overall, this was an amazing experience. I would do it again in a heartbeat. It was freeing and wonderful to be a part of a group of strangers who are so connected by this light-hearted and fun experiment. I had so much fun.   Thank you, Improv Everywhere !

Ms. Rambo’s reflections convey the same sense of joy that the NY Post’s photos  (here) do.  One of those photos (shown above left) captures Ms. Rambo and three friends enjoying the atmosphere in the Times Square subway station.

-Bridget Crawford

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